The war in Ukraine has reached something of a deadlock in anticipation of the upcoming cold weather. According to security experts, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's visit to the White House demonstrates Washington's desire to send a message to the Kremlin, that it is prepared to support Ukraine for a long period of time.
Both the Ukrainian and Russian leaders are on diplomatic jaunts. Vladimir Putin visited Belarusian President Lukashenko on Monday, while Volodymyr Zelenskyy met US President Joe Biden in Washington on Wednesday.
The questions regarding whether Belarus will join the war and whether the US will provide military aid to Ukraine, are once again back on the agenda.
As part of its $1.8 billion (USD) in military aid, the US has promised to send Patriot missile defense systems to Ukraine. This is noteworthy as, up to now, the US has only given these systems to fellow NATO members.
"This Patriot story is being played up in connection with some other forms of aid (being sent) to Ukraine. The U.S. wants to send a clear message, that it is ready to support Ukraine in a long-term war - for as long as necessary and until Ukraine gets the result it needs," said security expert Rainer Saks.
EKRE MP and former military officer Leo Kunnas said, that in order for Ukraine to regain the territory it has lost, a lot more resources are needed. "(They need) weapons, but also money," said Kunnas, adding that Ukraine will need around €100 billion next year to cover its budget deficit.
This year, Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to skip his traditional end-of-year press conference. According to security expert Rainer Saks, Putin is struggling to explain his political goals to the Russian people.
"After all, he promised a short-term special operation. At the start, he said there would be no mobilization. Now it is clear that that will not be enough. He has cancelled this big event, which would have been a very long TV show to explain the war. He is trying, bit by bit, to change the narrative, which has existed up to now," said Saks.
In December, Russia has been building fortifications along the front line, including in those sections from which it is attacking. Leo Kunnas said, that there have been seven waves of cruise missile and drone strikes, as well as separate strikes on Odesa since October.
The threat that Ukraine could be left in the cold and dark throughout the winter has not disappeared. However, so far Russia has not succeeded in this goal.
"These strikes cannot be launched in (quick) succession. It takes a week or two to prepare for a new attack. During that time, Ukraine has always managed to fix its power grid well enough, so that, the grid as a whole, stands up," Kunnas said.
Leo Kunnas described the situation as "all quiet on the eastern front."
"The war in Ukraine is stuck in the mud, waiting for tank weather," he said.
Editor: Michael Cole