The war changed everything. Our lives, thoughts, actions, habits, motives, dreams, fears and much more have changed. But there is one fundamental factor that is inextricably linked to all change. It's a sense of time. It has changed radically. Some Ukrainians have lived another life for the last month and a half. For others, the whole time of the war flew by in a second. We have a lot of evidence about this. Both were knocked out of their comfort zone by the war as if by knockdown. We were shocked. As a result, we began to waste time on a massive scale. But this war cannot be won by wasting time, because perhaps it is our only undoubted basic resource. And a month and a half of war confirms this in several planes.
The first plane is military. In the first days of the war, Russia wanted to throw hats at us. At the same time, the degree of readiness of Ukraine was pleasantly surprised. The result is huge losses for the Russian army. The Kremlin's self-confidence and the effect of surprise on our readiness led to the fact that time played for us: every day Muscovites suffered huge losses. The consequences of this fact are unbelievable: the West's rethinking of its positions, the fear of Russian citizens who will later thwart mobilization plans, queues at Ukrainian military enlistment offices, and so on. If Ukraine had used the resources of the first days of the war differently, we would probably have lost a long time ago. But we stand very confidently.
When the advance of the Russian army stopped, the Kremlin began to cunningly swear: to negotiate without purpose, meaning and no progress, to regroup military units, to mobilize reserves, to adapt propaganda to work in new information realities. Instead of launching a more active counterattack and killing the enemy, Ukraine believed that negotiations could be effective, but eventually lost time. Maybe it was objective, because we did not have enough equipment for a massive counteroffensive. There may have been other reasons. We do not know everything. But time was lost and he started playing against us. Russia has regrouped and is now advancing on Donbas with new forces, awareness of the first mistakes and conclusions drawn. Everyone expects that this offensive will be much hotter and more brutal than in the first days of the war.
There are two points that give hope that we will make time play for us again. First, it is a visit to Kyiv by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, timed to supply Ukraine with anti-ship missiles that could unlock Mariupol and Black Sea ports. Secondly, it is warming, spring, which will green the forests, which will increase the safe mobility of the Ukrainian army (perhaps this is one of the reasons for the withdrawal of the remnants of Russian troops from the northern part of Ukraine, densely forested). But so far these points are rather theoretical. Because in the near future the degree of war may be such that many will be startled.
The second plane is foreign relations. In this context, in the first days of the war, time clearly played on our side. The skepticism, hidden superiority, and tendency toward balance inherent in the West have changed to its fascination with Ukraine, unity, and effectiveness. Russia has received unprecedented sanctions that it did not expect, blinded by contempt for the West and disbelief in the effectiveness of democracy. In terms of information, Ukraine also used this time very well: thanks to large-scale rallies in the Ukrainian diaspora and the resettlement of Ukrainian refugees, as well as a focused, systematic information campaign organized by the Ukrainian authorities, we captured the hearts of developed countries. to the fact that hundreds of international companies are closing or reducing their activities in Russia. As a result, we have achieved that developed countries are supplying us with weapons in advance, although so far only within its red lines, which pass through the supply of aircraft to Ukraine or the closure of the Ukrainian sky. The financial component of their assistance is so large that the NBU is recording an increase in gold and foreign exchange reserves, and the humanitarian component is so large that many military units and hospitals are provided with many positions in the coming months.
However, our victories on the diplomatic front are not enough to win or stop the war. The West may get tired of Ukraine. Theoretically (this scenario cannot be ruled out), it could suspend or limit arms supplies or funding when we are ready to go on the offensive. Or it can supply exactly as much as it needs to deter the Russian army's offensive, inflicting heavy losses on it, but not enough to launch a counteroffensive. It is difficult to expect anything unambiguous here, but we must understand that we are critically dependent on the West in the war on which our existence depends. Until Ukraine leaves the TV screens in the West, the people of developed countries will remember us, support us, and their politicians will be forced to respond to this public demand. It is therefore extremely important that Ukrainian refugees and the diaspora continue to hold weekend rallies in European and American capitals and major cities. Then time will play for us under any circumstances.
There are two other factors that indicate that time is on our side. First, the embargo on Russian energy. Unfortunately, it has not yet been introduced, as many countries are critically dependent on their supplies. But there is some progress in this direction: developed countries are increasingly looking for alternative energy sources and supplies and are getting closer every day to the fact that the embargo will be imposed. The main thing is that the issue of the Russian-Ukrainian war does not leave the Euro-Atlantic agenda. This is a very powerful step, the preparation of which is already terrifying the Muscovites. Secondly, sanctions against Russia. Many analysts criticize them as insufficient. On the one hand, yes, there are not enough of them, because the war continues, people continue to die. But let's look at them from another angle: these are unprecedented sanctions, which have no analogues in history. That is, technically, there is no document ever written from which you can automatically copy the text in a few minutes, change the name of another country to Russia and publish it as another restriction for Russia. All this must be invented, legally recorded and implemented. It takes time and resources, and developed countries use them as quickly as their bureaucracy allows. In both cases, time plays for Ukraine, because both trends are moving in the direction we need. It may be doing it slower than we would like, but it is definitely on our side. We just need to let it do its job, while maintaining the degree of information space of developed countries, so that they are not tempted to slow down.
The West's inertia stems from the fact that Western politicians are looking for a balance that Ukraine has unexpectedly upset in a heroic way. But it seems that the West does not see or underestimate one nuance: when you are big at least in size, not to say omnipotent, sometimes it is worth just showing intention. Just as an angry lion's roar repulses its rivals from any desire to oppose its will, so Europe and America could avoid many problems by simply demonstrating a principled determination to overcome them under any circumstances.