A difficult choice for Ukraine. What is the war plan for 2024, and how to procure arms?

If the United States decides that there must be a military defeat of Russia, then they will look for weapons for Ukraine.

Europe faces a tough choice. If we don't take drastic measures now, not only to increase aid to Ukraine but to increase our own defense resources in general, there is a prospect that when Trump becomes president, he will make another turn toward US autonomy. There are even horror stories that he may initiate a withdrawal from NATO. We remember what Trump did when he was in office. And if Europe does not take decisive steps now, then the situation could be very critical. The enemies of Europe and Ukraine are constantly at work, and they are also looking forward to Trump's arrival for such actions.

At the same time, we hear voices about so-called peace talks. This time, the former Supreme Allied Commander Europe, James Stavridis, says that peace talks between Ukraine and Russia can be discussed at the end of the year, as both countries will be exhausted by the war.

Yes, it is possible that at some point, there will be a situation when both sides of the conflict will be forced to sit down at the negotiating table.

Whether it will be the end of 2024 or 2025, even Stavridis can hardly predict. But it is clear that neither the Ukrainian nor Putin are satisfied with the deadlock. So for Putin to simply say that he is sitting on the defensive in half of the territories that he has already declared his own... Well, even the Russian people will not be happy about this for long, I'm sorry. So, of course, Putin will try to seize the initiative and demonstrate some success.

However, there is also a significant risk that Ukraine will face a very difficult choice.

Of course, we now have a particular vision of what Ukraine's strategy for 2024 should be. We cannot rule out that after a certain period of time, 6-12 months, the situation will change to the point where, ideally, we will be forced by Russia to negotiate.

What kind of strategy are we talking about? Now, there is a lot of information about certain signals, about some sources with insider information. It's impossible to sort it all out, but most likely, this is the strategy written about, as if the Americans were suggesting that Ukraine focus on holding the borders. We are not talking about positional battles of blind defense. This should be an active defense, but Ukraine objectively lacks resources and is not expected to have enough resources to move to an active offensive. That is why we are talking about primarily defensive actions on the part of Ukraine.

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But this does not mean this is a forecast for the next 12 months. After all, there is another side, and we have a rough idea that Russia will not be on the defensive. At some point, the balance may change so much that Ukraine will be able to repeat in some areas, take advantage of Russia's mistakes, and repeat its successes of 2022. Of course, all this can happen if we have sufficient assistance from our partners.

In this case, the United States has asked Greece to provide us with $200 million in aid in exchange for certain supplies from the United States. This amount - $200 million - is most likely the book value of the weapons that the Greek Armed Forces have and can be transferred to Ukraine. That is, it is a mutually beneficial deal for Greece and the United States to replace outdated Greek weapons, Soviet-made equipment purchased decades ago, with new American ones. For Ukraine, it is also easier. Unlike Western-style equipment, these old weapons can be delivered to Ukraine immediately, possibly with minor repairs and maintenance. For our military, this equipment is familiar; no additional training is required. It is interesting that two years later, we finally found another opportunity to at least temporarily solve the problem of delays in the supply of American weapons.

Are there any other opportunities to attract aid in this way, and how long can we hold out on this kind of replacement of US aid? Obviously, there are opportunities somewhere. For example, there were supplies of shells from warehouses in South Korea. I won't suggest where this can be found, but certainly somewhere in the world. As we know, even one of the African countries helped us. It was not so much a decision taken by the government of that particular country, but rather the mediation of our partners. The main factor is for our partners to resolve the political dilemma for themselves. The Biden administration must now clearly articulate the strategy - what the United States is trying to achieve in Ukraine. If there is this clear strategy - that it should be a military defeat of Russia - they will either look for stocks that have not yet been used or from their own stocks. It's no secret that most of the stockpiles in Europe are for repelling Russian aggression. As our minister said perfectly, why not use them to destroy the Russian threat now by giving these weapons to Ukrainians?

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