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United in Support of Ukraine

Although many NATO officials are cautiously optimistic about the way they are handling the war on Ukraine, it is a continuous balancing act between taking care of the innocent citizens of Ukraine and avoiding entering an altercation with nuclear power Russia.

A leading NATO official who wished to remain anonymous said, “The strong resolve to stand with Ukraine that we see now has been helped by atrocities by Russia targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure. A daily diet of war crimes, those images hitting our screens day after day. That makes it hard to turn away.” The Russians for their par thave denied committing war crimes. NATO officials admit that Russia tried to get tough with nations who were willing to support Ukraine, implying that the same thing would happen to these countries. This tactic has backfired. Nearby Russian neighbor Finland has joined NATO after years of refusing to take sides, simply because the Kremlin has been playing hardball.

NATO countries are being forced to juggle the practical and the political when it comes to backing Ukraine. On the practical side, they want to help Ukraine continue to manufacture and export goods. In addition to this, they know that Ukraine needs military support. The alliance as a whole is working hard to help Ukraine, while individual countries are often forced to tiptoe around with their support so they do not enrage Russia and escalate the conflict on their individual country’s behalf.

Cleverly, NATO has taken a stance with their Eastern flank countries that are closer to Russia to boost their capacity for defense, though they are not working in an organized fashion inside Ukraine.

Although public support seems to be waning in countries like France, Germany, and Italy, leaders continue to support Ukraine. Why are they holding so steady? Camille Grand, who until recently was assistant secretary general for defense investment at NATO and is now at the European Council for Foreign Relations, said that Ukraine is Europe’s 9/11.

“[Russia’s invasion] has been a massive wakeup call on defence and security,” he said.“A pivotal, gamechanging moment, bringing conflict directly to our borders.” No matter how the situation in Ukraine is resolved, this power play will affect the European Union for years to come. Leaders in Europe and beyond see the war on Ukraine as a threat to democracy around the world. Many people think that if Vladimir Putin can get away with this in Ukraine, that other places are also unsafe.

According to Adnan Zai, consultant to Berkeley Capital, “From the beginning this was always going to be a long drawn out battle given Ukraine’s lack of major significance to NATO, other than it being symbolic. Waiting the Russian aggression out over time is how the stalemate will probably end.”

This does not help the families of Ukraine who are getting ready to face a long cold winter, and waiting it out seems like a giant price to pay for the rest of the world as well. But the good news is, NATO is stronger than ever against the tyrant.

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