No one in the West doubts Ukraine's victory. But no one understands what a russian defeat looks like. There is no picture of a post-war world, and no one wants to go into uncertainty, especially in the face of growing Chinese activity and other global factors of concern.
(That is why the belief that there will be democracy in russia after Putin and the awareness of the impossibility of democracy in russia are paradoxically combined in the Western discourse.)
I will repeat again: the war cannot end until a picture of the post-war world order appears. The Russian-Ukrainian war is not local, it is global both because of the involvement of dozens of world players and because of the destruction of the international system that developed after the previous major war (World War II). The world order for the next 50-70 years depends on how our current war ends.
It is Ukraine, no matter how strange it sounds, that is the only one in the world that can now offer a picture of the future. And it's not because we're so smart (in fact, we're a peripheral, economically backward post-colonial country that no one has ever reckoned with, that ranks last in any world ratings, that appeared on the front pages only a year ago, and billions of people learned about its existence for the first time, as we learned about the existence of Vietnam after the American defeat), but because we are closest to the edge. From our point, it is much easier to see everything. Now it remains to understand how to explain it to those who are farther away from the edge, whose opticsis inadequate to the situation, whose speed of internal changes is inadequate to the external ones (however, we ourselves are not keeping up with our internal changes).
The end of the war now depends on the extent to which Ukraine's voice will be understood by the West. The West started with appeasing russia, then moved to containment, then to weakening... and now it doesn't know what to do next. And we, at the state level, do not know either. This uncertainty slows down, gives russia a chance to slip. Time is now on our side, but this treacherous substance called "time" has already moved back and forth several times. There is only one way to make time your ally for a long time, forever – to be ahead of it.
Valerii Pekarrussia ukraine war