Ukraine in 2023… internal disputes and 'disappointing' counter-actions | Policy

Kiev- Overall 2023 will not be easy for me Ukraine This is the second year of the Russian war, which has been ongoing on multiple broad fronts since February 2022, but the most prominent feature of this year has been Ukraine's faltering counterattack against Russia. Kyiv It has been for months, with the help of your so-called Western “partners”.

As officials confirmed, these operations were postponed from the spring (as expected) to early June last year under the pretext of delaying the aid, and Kyiv was able to regain only dozens of square kilometers of land in different locations in the two provinces. donetsk Despite the declaration of “liberation,” Zaporozhye, located in the southeast of the country, remains a de facto hotspot.

Thus, the uproar these operations caused before they began proved to be far greater than their impact, in contrast to last year's operation, which saw Kyiv almost completely regain control of hundreds of kilometers of provinces. Kharkiv east, andKherson There is also Nikolayev in the south.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is embraced by U.S. President Joe Biden in the Oval Office of the White House on September 21, 2023 in Washington.Reuters/Kevin Lamarque TPX Pictures of the Day
Experts say U.S. and European interest has shifted from supporting Kiev to supporting Israel (Reuters)

Russian losses

However, in an interview with Al Jazeera, Ivan Stupak, a military expert at the Institute for the Future of Ukraine and a former adviser to the Ukrainian Parliament on military and security affairs, believed that Ukraine’s greatest achievement was the failure of all Russian attempts to acquire new Ukrainian lands.

It can be considered a transformation Russia An advance of only a few hundred meters was not considered a success as far as defense was concerned, nor was it sufficient to demonstrate the extent of the losses suffered by his troops during the year.

According to data from the General Staff of the Ukrainian Army, Moscow In 2023, Ukraine lost about 235,000 soldiers, a number that has exceeded 340,000 since the start of the war, but Russia denies the validity of these figures and points to large numbers in its data related to the deaths of Ukrainian troops in Kiev. deny.

Ukraine appears to have replaced its frontline defeats with widespread and high-profile bombings of sensitive and important locations in the Russian interior during 2023, including Moscow and a building. Kremlin.

It also continues to target Russian-controlled roads, logistics sites and military bases in “occupied provinces,” including CrimeaEspecially the naval fleet base in Sevastopol.

Expert Ivan Stupak said this gradually weakened Moscow's control over occupied Ukrainian territory and paved the way for future liberation, although the liberation process has actually progressed slowly.

Unlike last year, flying and aerial drones dominate the scene of bombing and targeting operations by both sides in 2023 and replace the large number of missiles that Russia is launching.

political differences

Many observers believe the reason is that Moscow has fewer expensive missiles that can no longer easily reach targets in Kiev and elsewhere, especially after Ukraine beefed up the capabilities of its advanced air defense systems in 2023, notably those of the U.S. Patriot and German Ares .

It should be noted that the air defense systems supplied to Ukraine since the beginning of the year, even if the Ukrainian authorities requested more, have largely contributed to protecting the capital and other major cities from successful missile bombardments.

It also ensured the safety of power plants and networks so the country did not experience widespread blackouts like the one seen late last year.

Against the background of the war and its defeat, the second half of 2023 saw the emergence of major divisions between the political and military leadership of Ukraine, especially between the presidents Vladimir ZelenskyAnd the chief of staff Valery Zarouni.

Expert Stupak believes that the reasons for the disagreement were miscalculations and strategic calculations about the course of the war, followed by mutual accusations between the president and the defense establishment, marked by the dismissal of the defense minister and incessant talk of firing Zuckerberg. The inevitability of Logni.

In addition, the enthusiasm of the United States and Europe to support Ukraine has declined in the second half of 2023, and the situation is expected to get worse in the coming period.

Vasyl Poroshin, an expert at the Razumkov Center for Strategic Studies, told Al Jazeera: “Russia’s war in Ukraine over the past year has made the Western economy more exhausted, and its major countries are also feeling the faltering pace of our counterattacks. Disappointed.” Operations. “

He added: “We also cannot ignore the shift in U.S. and European interests from supporting Kyiv to supporting Israel’s war… Gaza Strip“.

“Recovery and achievement”

Although Ukraine's economy continues to slump due to the war, with a budget deficit of nearly $40 billion this year, about half of the budget, its government is still talking about the “recovery and achievements” that have been achieved.

Prime Minister Denis Shmihal said gross domestic product would grow by 3% in 2023 after falling by nearly 29% last year, and said inflation would fall to a range of 8% to 9% after reaching 26.6% in 2022.

In fact, the national currency hryvnia strengthened against the US dollar, causing its exchange rate to fall from about 42 hryvnia to about 37.3 hryvnia, but many members of the public were skeptical of the published growth and inflation data and complained about the Times the exchange rate for private services and the spread of high prices in shops and markets.

In the face of all the above, Ukrainian officials were proud of the frequent visits, meetings and contacts with European leaders at the end of the year, the most important of which was European Union.

Officials confirmed that regardless of the war situation and the Hungarian State's opposition to the issue, the European position has reached a “consensus” on the importance of Ukraine's EU membership after Ukraine fulfilled and applied a number of conditions and criteria. .

Expert Borishin said: “We have to realize that whether it is a membership decision in the EU or in… NATO“This is primarily political, based on the needs of member states and even the size of their investment in supporting Ukraine, which is not small.”

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