It is a cliche, but an unavoidable one when faced with the tragedy of Ukraine: the West is about to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
By failing to supply all of the military equipment Volodymyr Zelensky has begged his Nato friends for, it makes it all the more possible – if not likely – that the war in Ukraine which has cost so much in lives and human suffering, will, in the end, be lost. With the fall of Ukraine, the security of Europe and the world will also be ceded.
It is unthinkable that Vladimir Putin should succeed. The danger is clear, and further highlighted by the recent minor successes of Russian and Wagner Group mercenary forces: backed as it is by 150,000 troops, the Russian offensive is capable of making significant progress. A renewed assault on Kyiv – better prepared than the one last February and, as weather allows, supplemented by a drive from Belarus – might be more successful than the first, futile attack. So far, the Russians have mostly embarrassed themselves in combat, and the military leadership seems chaotic and unstable. But that state of affairs may not last indefinitely.