Stand With Ukraine...to the Point of Entering the War?

Is the West heading for direct war involvement in the Ukraine conflict? Statements by politicians and military officers can certainly be interpreted in this direction - even if they themselves would reject this interpretation. Time and again, messages of unwavering solidarity with Kiev come from Great Britain in particular. On August 24, 2022, on Ukrainian Independence Day, it was outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson who promised Ukraine military assistance.


"I have never doubted that Ukraine will win this fight, because no power on earth can defeat the patriotism of 44 million Ukrainians," Johnson said in a video. "And however long it takes, the United Kingdom will stand by Ukraine and provide whatever military, economic and humanitarian support it can." Johnson's successor is likely to be former Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who is also seen as a big supporter of Ukraine.



 

Physically fit for the war effort?


Most recently, after the bombing of Russian journalist Darya Dugina, statements by the highest-ranking non-commissioned officer in the British Army, Paul Carney, circulated. He called on his comrades to prepare for war against Russia. In a soldier's magazine, he wrote that it was time to talk to his relatives about a possible deployment to Eastern Europe. "I want us all to check that we are physically fit for deployment," Carney made clear.

That does not mean the British Army will actually go to war, stressed Gen. Richard Dannatt, former Army chief of staff. "In the face of war in Europe, an aggressive Russia and concerned countries on Russia's borders," however, he said it was "sensible for British soldiers to be realistic about what might happen."

The tone in Germany is also getting harsher. Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced the delivery of more weapons to mark Ukraine's Independence Day. And FDP defense expert Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann calls on Germans to be ready to make sacrifices in the conflict with Russia. "We must resolutely oppose Putin and the dictators of this world who hate and want to destroy our democratic life," she says. "This will also require personal sacrifices from all of us, but despite all this we should not become weak."

 

Pacifists: Vladimir Putin's "fifth column?"


Meanwhile, her party colleague, former MEP Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, who has frequently attracted attention with pithy remarks since the war began and for whom peace activists and pacifists like the Easter marchers are a "fifth column" of Vladimir Putin, warns of war fatigue in the West. Lambsdorff is a member of the U.S.-affiliated Atlantic Initiative, the Atlantic Bridge and the Transatlantic Policy Network.

Ukrainian Independence Day is always celebrated on August 24. The national holiday commemorates Ukraine's independence from the collapsing Soviet Union in 1991, but this year it coincides with a different event: Exactly half a year ago, the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. Accordingly, the national holiday this time is all about the war.


"No concessions or compromises whatsoever".


In a speech, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Selenskyi now rejected all already vague hopes for peace. There would be a fight "to the end" against the Russian aggressors. Ukraine will not make "any concessions or compromises.“


 

Putin orders increase of the army.


Russia's President Putin wants to strengthen the military - by 137,000 more soldiers. From 2023, more than two million people will then belong to the Russian army. It is unclear where the additional soldiers will come from. Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the enlargement of the Russian army by decree. According to the decree, from 2023 the army strength should exceed two million people. As of 2017, the Russian army has 1.9 million personnel with 1.01 million soldiers. The remaining military personnel are civilian personnel - for example, in the administration. Now the number of soldiers is to be increased by 137,000 to 1.15 million. This includes both contract soldiers and conscripts.
 
Stand With Ukraine...to the Point of Entering the War?

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