West in too deep in Ukraine war, 'can't afford' to lose: Newsweek
The former national security chief of Ukraine says Russia is planning for a large offensive and Kiev has little time to prepare.
The United States and NATO “can’t afford” for Ukraine to lose the war against Russia, and time is of essence here, the former head of Ukraine’s National Defense and Security Oleksandr Danylyuk told Newsweek.
Danylyuk, who served in the position under Ukrainian President Vlodomir Zelenskyy in 2019, considered that Russia made a strategic mistake by launching its military operation against Ukraine.
According to him, Moscow was left facing a large “international coalition” that, so far, is still counting on Ukraine’s victory.
The formal national security chief expressed Kiev’s constant worry that the West will eventually “get tired”, but until now, they have not reached that point, he added.
"We are always thinking from the perspective that maybe the West will get tired,” he said, adding however that "so far, they're not getting tired, they're actually committing more and more to Ukraine. Russia also expected that the West would get tired, but so far there is no sign of this.”
Danylyuk compared the resources of Russia to the combined resources of the United States, UK, Germany, and France, concluding that the “West is better off” referring to resource capabilities.
"When we compare the resources of the U.S., U.K., Germany, and France to Russia, obviously the West is better off, and isn't risking direct intervention."
However, the former senior security chief warned that the west has contributed so much to this war that they can’t handle defeat.
"The worst case scenario for the West would be to commit support and then end up losing the war. Because of the political commitment of Western leaders, they cannot afford for Ukraine to lose."
Last Friday, a meeting took place between representatives of 50 countries supporting Ukraine, known as the Ukraine Defense Contact Group at the American Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
The countries committed in the meeting to a landmark military support to Kiev, despite not agreeing on providing Ukraine with the German-made Leopard tanks.
Among the large military aid package were advanced air-defense systems, infantry fighting vehicles, a range of artillery power, and massive quantities of ammunition, in addition to UK’s pledge to send Challenger 2 tanks.
Danylyuk noted that Ukraine is in urgent need of every weapon it can get and “stressed the need for those not yet provided like the Leopard 2, the MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System, and Western-made fighter jets—to fend off renewed Russian offensives this year,” he told the news site.
The ex-security chief said Moscow will probably launch a new offensive before the western weapons arrive in Ukraine, which will be used to back Kiev’s plans to carry out a large-scale operation in the coming spring.
"I think they [Russia] will be planning to do this pre-emptive attack, that is the logical thing to do," he noted.
Danylyuk added that Moscow is “also watching the developments at Ramstein and other platforms and they make their own conclusions."
"As soon as Russia understands that it is serious, that we will get the weapons, they will try to launch a preemptive attack," he claimed.
Last December, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg claimed that Moscow is preparing to prolong the war in Ukraine and warned that Russia should not be underestimated.
"We see that they are mobilising more forces, that they are willing to suffer also a lot of casualties, that they are trying to get access to more weapons and ammunition," he said then.
"We should not underestimate Russia. Russia is planning for a long war," the NATO chief added.
Stoltenberg also stressed that the alliance's member states should keep the flow of arms to Kiev.
He also pointed out the depleting weapons and ammunition stockpiles that NATO member states are facing due to the large demand by Kiev and the possible inability to replenish the stocks.
"We are ramping up production to do exactly that: to be able both to replenish our own stocks for deterrence and defense, and to continue to provide support to Ukraine for the long haul."
According to Danylyuk, "The good thing for us is that they don't have much time to prepare for it. At the moment, I cannot say that their forces are highly motivated. I think the best thing for us would be for them to launch this attack with unprepared forces."
"We will be able to stop these attacks and then launch 'avalanche' attacks, like the one we had in Kharkiv Oblast when we liberated so much territory,” he stated.
Following Putin’s decision back in December, hundreds of thousands of servicemen have been conscripted for partial mobilization, who, according to Moscow, will be deployed to the fighting fronts in Ukraine.
Putin signed a decree on 21 September to initiate a partial mobilization in Russia, while the decree according to Russia's leader will allow the government to quickly alter the mechanisms to fulfill the demands of the Ministry of Defense.
The third of a million soldiers are a little more than 1% of Russia's available manpower, which Moscow said was necessary for controlling the liberated territories in the Donbass and the line of contact around a mile away.
The partial mobilization plan was announced completed on October 28, 2022.
"Russia has resources to mobilize itself, to increase production, to mobilize more people," Danylyuk told the news site.
"The question here really is whether they are capable of doing that. In theory, of course, they are."
However, he believes that more setbacks for Moscow “may prove costly."
"It's not only about us preserving momentum, it's about them preserving momentum as well. They need somehow to feed positive news as well. When there is no positive news, I think it will be more and more difficult for them to mobilize people," he added.
"Russia is capable, in theory, of mobilizing itself and producing more," Danylyuk stressed, adding that he believes that “despite all efforts and the sanctions, they will be able to source all the necessary parts from places like China, India, and so on."
However, Danylyuk said, referring to Russia’s increased preparations, "The West is not sitting idle."