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  • Writer's pictureAnton Kuchuhidze

International Press Review dated 4 - 15 September 2023

Many international media have traditionally written specifically about the need for Ukraine's membership in the EU, about its future victory on the battlefield, and about the additional and constant support of Western partners of our country.

The Washington Post published an interesting story, in which an American officer shares his views and predictions regarding the success of Ukraine's counteroffensive. The officer is impressed by the professionalism and zeal of the Ukrainian military, given the limited training and equipment provided to them by the West. However, he was and remains optimistic about the prospects for offensive operations next year, when most mobile military equipment will arrive to Ukraine from NATO.

In his opinion, no one would have achieved better results without air superiority and long-range artillery systems. Therefore, the progress demonstrated by the Ukrainians is extraordinary. "If the Biden administration is interested in ending this war", he said, "then it will provide the long-range weapons (Army Tactical Missile System, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, Reaper drones, F-16s), more M113 armoured personnel carriers, Bradley Fighting Vehicles and Abrams tanks." So, the partners are aware that additional weapons are needed for the complete victory of Ukraine.

In another editorial in The Washington Post, the authors argue that Ukraine deserves EU membership, but still needs to put efforts in it. However, it is critically important that the EU, and especially its most powerful members, Germany and France, set Ukraine's membership as a goal. However, Ukraine is the most important player in promoting this goal.

Besides, an important event was the visit of Secretary of State Blinken to Kyiv, who confirmed Washington's long-term support for Ukraine's fight to repel the Russian invaders and promised more than USD 1 billion in additional aid to Ukraine. The Wall Street Journal notes that Blinken's visit is the most high-profile one by a US official after President Biden's visit to Ukraine. Undoubtedly, this visit was aimed at supporting Kyiv and its Western allies, as well as sending a message to the Kremlin that Washington has no intention of backing down.

Apart Blinken, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbok came to Kyiv. Reuters writes that during her visit to Kyiv on Monday, the minister stated that Ukraine's place was in the European Union, and promised additional financial aid.

A review of the international press shows that international support for Ukraine is only growing, and Ukraine's membership in European institutions, as well as victory on the battlefield are close. The EU's solidarity with Ukraine and its people remains unwavering. Not only the future of the Ukrainian people, but also the future of the entire European continent is at stake. I am sincerely grateful to our Western partners for their firm and consistent support of our country.

Still, it is critical that the E.U. and especially its most powerful members, Germany and France, fix Ukraine’s eventual E.U. membership as a goal. Equally critical, no player will be more important in advancing that goal than Ukraine itself.

That means, first and foremost, that President Volodymyr Zelensky demonstrate that he is more than the inspirational wartime leader by dint of his gift for astute domestic and international messaging. He will also have to prove — to Ukrainians and to the outside world — that he has the managerial chops and determination to implant independent, trusted and enduring systems and public institutions.

Ukraine’s ferocious resistance to Russian aggression — and the empathetic response of other European nations — is testimony to what Kimmage calls “the pull of national belonging.” Made vivid and noble by Ukraine’s tenacious self-defense, this pull is not just continuing; it is intensifying. And it is infectious for other nations that admire what they are watching.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression is an assertion of an imperial entitlement to possession of Ukraine as a satrapy. Ukraine’s incandescent rejection of Russia’s asserted right to extinguish Ukraine’s sovereignty has compelled the world to see Russia’s war on the idea of nationhood. Kimmage:

“As much as Europe has changed Ukraine since 1991, drawing it away from its Soviet past, Ukraine will shape Europe. The nature of its postwar nationhood will change the idea of Europe.”

Kyiv can achieve even greater gains next year — runs counter to the assumption among some U.S. officials that it’s 2023 or bust for the Ukrainian advance. “We built up this mountain of steel for the counteroffensive. We can’t do that again,” one former U.S. official told the Wall Street Journal. “It doesn’t exist.”

But is that really true? The West is ramping up production of ammunition: The U.S. Army expects that its output of 155mm artillery shells will increase from 24,000 a month this year to at least 80,000 a month next year. At that time, the Ukrainians should also have M-1 tanks and F-16 fighter aircraft. Moreover, the Ukrainian troops who have taken part in this counteroffensive — and survived — will emerge much more experienced and adept at offensive operations.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken signaled Washington’s long-term support for Ukraine’s fight to expel Russian invaders, traveling to Kyiv in an effort to reassure the country’s leaders as they pursue a slow-going and difficult counteroffensive against entrenched enemy forces.

Blinken’s visit, the most high-profile trip by a U.S. official since President Biden went in February, appeared designed to buoy Kyiv and Western allies and to send a message to the Kremlin that Washington doesn’t intend to back down.

Blinken used the unannounced visit to pledge more than $1 billion in additional aid for Ukraine. The financial package includes funds for equipment to clear mines laid by Russia, obstacles that have impeded Ukraine’s progress, as well as $203 million to root out graft in Ukrainian institutions.

Denmark will donate a package worth 5.8 billion Danish crowns ($833 million) to Ukraine, including tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, tank ammunition and anti-aircraft guns, the ministry of defence said in a statement on Tuesday.

The full amount is distributed over three rounds - 4.3 billion this year, 1.4 billion in 2024 and 52 million in 2025, the ministry said.

"After more than a year and a half of war, we have almost exhausted our defence stocks. Therefore, we are now looking into more targeted joint procurement and international cooperation, tailored to Ukraine's needs here and now," foreign minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen said in a statement.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said during a visit to Kyiv on Monday that Ukraine's place was in the European Union, but urged it do more to fight corruption.

On her fourth visit to Ukraine since Russia's invasion over 18 months ago, she said Germany would provide an additional 20 million euros ($21.44 million) in humanitarian aid, bringing the amount provided by Berlin to 380 million euros this year.

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