Oleksii Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, went on a local TV station in Lviv yesterday, in which he warned that the days of large-scale Western support are over and that there was pressure for negotiations and a potential ceasefire with the Russians. He said, regarding these matters, that “discussions among certain partners have intensified.”
Otherwise he told his Lviv audience that, after a year and a half of support, it is running out. “The further [we go], the more difficult it will be. We have to acknowledge this.” There was no indication from Danilov that the much-vaunted mission of conquering Crimea and defeating Russia on the battlefield might have been misguided from the beginning.
This is coherent with an RT article yesterday, picking up on an anonymously sourced story by Germany’s tabloid Bild, that both the U.S. and Germany are pressing Ukraine to negotiate. Their scheme is to ratchet down weapons deliveries to Ukraine. A German government source said that they hoped that would convince President Zelenskyy that he had no other option but to negotiate. However, the office of Chancellor Olaf Scholz, asked by Bild to respond, simply insisted that it “will support Ukraine for as long as necessary.”
Regardless, scheme or no scheme, it is not clear that the West has a choice on ratcheting down weapons deliveries. Certain categories of munitions, such as the NATO-standard 155mm artillery shells, are simply no longer available in anything like what would be needed. ABC News said on Nov. 21, citing an unnamed Ukrainian official, that there were major shortages in the deliveries of those shells, that Ukraine was “in big trouble [as] basic munitions are not coming,” and that, consequently, Kiev could lose some of its positions on the battlefield.