Have Western attitudes toward Russia-Ukraine war shifted? - ABDULLAH MURADOĞLU

Have Western attitudes toward Russia-Ukraine war shifted?

The Russian-Ukrainian war will soon be five months old, and it doesn’t seem like it will end any time soon.

The United States expected the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv to fall into the hands of Russian forces quickly. The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden also offered Ukrainian President Zelensky to evacuate him from the capital, Kyiv.

According to the analyses of military strategists, the Putin administration also expected the fall of Kyiv within days and the formation of a pro-Russian government in place of Zelensky's. Perhaps this is why Russia has indicated that it is carrying out a "special military operation."

Military strategists point out that the best war plans can fail and collapse as a result of the facts imposed on the field.

And if the allegations that we mentioned above have any merit, then Russia had to change its plan and direct its compass towards the Donbass region and southern Ukraine.

Of course, Ukrainian forces continue to resist, but in return Russian gains on the ground are also increasing with every passing day.

The United States and Britain have never welcomed the Ukraine-Russia negotiations. They expect the war to continue for as long as possible, and Ukraine to become Russia's second Afghan trap.

Meanwhile, they promoted optimistic views that Western sanctions against Russia would lead to regime change. However, there are no known examples in the world that sanctions can actually topple any autocratic regime.

Even the regime in Cuba, a small island nation, has been resisting the U.S. embargo for 60 years.

In this context, Russia's revenues did not fall as a result of the rise in oil and gas prices, despite the drop in energy exports.

Yet energy prices were impacted in the United States and Europe, and the gas crisis began to pose constant threats to many industries. Inflation levels increased, commodity prices soared, and food supplies became hard to secure.

Similarly, numerous countries that need Russian commodities are affected by these sanctions. The countries that impose sanctions against Russia are in fact doing themselves a disservice, as a result of the adverse effects of those sanctions.

In this context, countries are linked to each other in one way or another within the global economic system. Weakness in one link of the chain extends to the rest.

Certainly, sanctions run counter to the liberal norms of the world order by prohibiting the free movement of goods and capital.

The tug of war between the United States and Russia is based on the principle of energy and endurance of the people holding the end of the rope. Thus, the peoples of Western European countries, accustomed to prosperity, are subjected to a test of their endurance as a result of the adverse effects of those sanctions.

The prolongation of the war, the lack of a serious quest for peace, and the increase in sanctions on Russia, lead to the emergence of adverse results that harm the interests of Europeans.

Meanwhile, public opinion polls that were conducted in the United States and Europe show that the economic endurance of the American and European people is gradually weakening.

There are significant discrepancies between opinion polls conducted in the first months of the war and the ones conducted in recent months.

According to those surveys, the percentage of people who believe that Russia should be held accountable by imposing sanctions on it is gradually decreasing, as a result of the increase in energy and food expenditures, which is causing a lot of pressure on average families' budgets.

An opinion poll conducted by the European Council on Foreign Relations in April and May of this year indicated that there is a large gap between the positions taken by the governments of the European Union countries against Russia and those held by the general public.

The poll revealed that there is a split between those who want the war to end as quickly as possible and those who believe that the war should continue and Russia be punished and defeated.

According to the study, most Europeans see the European Union as the biggest loser in this war.

The study also pointed out that the transformation of the conflict in Ukraine into a protracted war of attrition may risk becoming a major dividing line in Europe.

Accordingly, political leaders' failure to carefully address these differences could lead to growing divisions within the EU.

The Russian occupation of Ukraine has led to an increase in defense spending in the European Union, and this spending has even increased in Germany, which advocates good relations with Russia based on trade.

Western Europe was united against Russia. These changes in attitudes received enthusiastic support.

It seems that these feelings will be replaced by pessimism due to the negative effects of the sanctions that the West weaponized against Russia.

And herein lies the next question, as things continue to get worse, can the shift in public mood compel European governments (independent of the United States) to engage in more effective diplomacy to establish an armistice or a cease-fire and thus establish peace?


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