‘War Fatigue’ Is a Big Problem for Ukraine Now – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday. The leader of the embattled nation called for Russia to be removed from the Security Council, while he criticized the group for failing to prevent the conflict. However, Zelensky may have also seriously damaged his standing with some of his staunchest allies after suggesting that some nations in Europe were engaged “in a political theater – making a thriller from grain.”
That was a reference to the ban on Ukrainian grain imposed by Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia, which Zelensky suggested was helping Russia.
“Alarmingly, some in Europe play out solidarity in a political theater — turning grain into a thriller. They may seem to play their own roles. In fact, they’re helping set the stage for a Moscow actor,” Zelensky said in his address.
Polish leaders have responded by comparing Ukraine to a drowning person hurting his helper and threatening to expand the ban on food products from its neighbor. Yet, Warsaw had been among the staunchest supporters of Ukraine, supplying weapons as well as humanitarian aid, and even opening its borders to refugees.
Military aid from Poland has included fourteen MiG-29 jet fighters and 320 Soviet-era tanks.
Poland to Focus on Internal Needs
It is now clear that Kyiv shouldn’t expect additional military hardware from its neighbor, and on Thursday, it was reported that Poland will cease supplying such aid. Instead, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said his nation’s focus will be on defending itself with more modern weapons.
Poland has made deals with the United States to supply M1 Abrams main battle tanks, while it is also buying a number of MBTs and other military hardware from South Korea.
“We are no longer transferring weapons to Ukraine, because we are now arming Poland with more modern weapons,” Morawiecki said, while he added he would not agree to Poland’s markets being destabilized by grain imports.
Despite this shift, Warsaw will still maintain its supply hub that is used to transfer Western-supplied military hardware to Kyiv.
“Our hub in Rzeszow, in agreement with the Americans and NATO, is fulfilling the same role the whole time as it has fulfilled and will fulfill,” added Morawiecki.
However, news broke before publication that Poland would indeed continue to send aid to Ukraine.
Zelensky Must Fight War Fatigue in the U.S.
Following his visit to New York to speak at the United Nations, Ukraine’s president also traveled to Washington where he sought to urge U.S. lawmakers to continue their support.
Congress has provided more than $100 billion in aid to date, including $43 billion in military hardware. Some hard-right Republicans have sought to end further support for Kyiv, and have taken the stance that Washington cannot send another blank check to Zelensky – while others have asked for greater accountability on how the money already sent has been spent.
However, it did appear that Zelensky will not return to Ukraine empty-handed.
“I asked what do you need? What’s your plan for victory?,” Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told AFP, adding that Ukraine is “going to get” the $24 billion aid tranche wanted by the White House.
Buffett to the Rescue?
U.S. businessman and philanthropist Howard Buffett also warned on Wednesday that public interest for the Ukraine war could wane, and said he would step up his own support to set an example.
“I do have a concern about whether people can maintain the level of interest in (Ukraine). Particularly, in the U.S. one of the drawbacks will be the political campaign that we’re going into,” Buffet told Reuters in an interview in Kyiv, and added that war fatigue could make it hard for Ukraine to achieve victory. “It’s a tougher fight, but I think it goes to the point that letting the war drag on is a huge mistake. I think the U.S. and Europe have to step up even more and help Ukraine win this war and put it to end.”
Author Experience and Expertise
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.
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