Europe won the energy war with Russia. The worldʼs leading media about the war on January 23

Anton Semyzhenko


A few months ago, the Kremlin hoped to "freeze" European support for Ukraine with high energy prices and increased demand due to cold weather. However, this plan failed, The Wall Street Journal reports. EU countries have managed to diversify their energy sources and build up reserves, generous government aid has helped the population withstand rising tariffs, and global warming has ensured mild winters. And the threat of becoming dependent on a criminal country at a critical moment prompted European countries to invest in infrastructure, fuel production and new supply chains ― as a result, there may not be a jump in prices for consumers next year with the onset of cold weather. Putinʼs loss can be seen from the results of opinion polls: in almost all EU countries, even in Hungary, the majority of the population supports the continuation of sanctions against Russia and armed aid to Ukraine. In response, the leaders of European countries stepped up their aid to Kyiv, especially against the background of a likely Russian counteroffensive in the coming weeks. "Even French President Emmanuel Macron is now saying that the goal of the EUʼs participation in the conflict is the victory of Ukraine, and not simply the prevention of Putinʼs victory," the publication writes. Under such conditions, Germanyʼs hesitation to provide Leopard 2 tanks leads to its isolation on the general background and to the irritation of the allies. The WSJ hopes that, thanks to external pressure, Berlin will still do what most countries on the continent expect from it.

It is obvious to the Russian dictator that neither Kyiv, nor Brussels, nor Washington have yielded to his pressure. Whatʼs more, the recent decision of Ukraineʼs allies to provide Kyiv with significant amounts of offensive weapons means that Moscow will face further large losses, both human and economic. It is obvious that Europeʼs tactic is a gradual increase in pressure, which will eventually force the Russian dictator to curtail his land grab plans. Why hasnʼt he done it yet? According to Olga Chyzh, an assistant professor at the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto, who published a column for The Guardian, Putin and the Russian regime simply live in a different coordinate system. For European leaders, the adoption of another package of sanctions can be considered a victory and a cause for joy. At the same time, Putin, first of all, is actually not accountable to his people: elections in Russia donʼt decide anything. He may ignore the fact that Russians have become worse off or that another 50,000 of its citizens have returned to the country in the form of corpses. For Western leaders, such results could mean the end of the rule, but the position of the dictator will not change. He may pay attention to the elite, but Putinʼs entourage remains those for whom the return of the USSR will ultimately bring more benefits then the current loss of Western villas and fortunes. These are representatives of the top of the army and special services who are ready to endure. Therefore, Putin is quite ready to wait a few years until, as a result of the elections in several important Western countries, support for Ukraine does not decrease. For example, in 2024, another American presidential election will be held in the USA. If it is not Joe Biden, but the newly elected president even slightly reduces the amount of aid to Kyiv, this may tilt the scales in Moscowʼs direction. And even if the Armed Forces are able to repel the invaders back to the state border, this will not prevent the Russians from shelling Ukraine with missiles, organizing terrorist attacks or raids on the border territories. In order to be safe from such an enemy, it is necessary to saturate Ukraine with advanced weapons and have a large army always ready to fight back. In Kyiv, according to Chizh, they understand this. And as long as the West still hopes to resolve the conflict diplomatically, Ukraine is betting on the development of its own weapons production and "replenishment of the arsenal with the largest guns that can be obtained." Only this approach, as long as Russia exists, can bring lasting peace.