Ukraine could “rise like a phoenix from the ashes” and expel Russia from its land once and for all if it has the “right investment” from the West, a former jet pilot claims.
The call to arms comes as Ukraine faces its gravest test yet on the battlefield.
Morale is said to be sapping more than 650 days into the war as the counteroffensive fails to make significant gains.
What’s more, Vladimir Putin is reportedly militarising the Russian economy, replenishing its army, and producing weapons at a faster rate than Ukraine.
And the flow of arms to Ukraine from the West has gone from a river to a stream, and could soon become a trickle due to political infighting and convoluted decision-making on both sides of the Atlantic.
However, history offers some important lessons for the present – and it could even help shape the future, says former RAF Air Vice-Marshal Sean Bell.
He explained: “If you look through history, people have to fight their own way to democracy.
“If you look forward 40-50 years, it’s quite possible that Ukraine will have a very powerful democracy because it’s paid a huge price.”
Here, Bell draws a parallel to Germany at the end of World War II, when the “devastated” country rose to become the “powerhouse of Europe”.
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He added: “So it’s quite possible, with the right investment, that Ukraine will rise like a phoenix from the ashes.”
But it depends on Western support – and there are concerning signs this could be waning.
The United States and European Union are struggling to provide enough funds to keep Ukraine’s war economy afloat.
The money is being held up due to political infighting and convoluted decision-making.
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And the prospect of another four years of Donald Trump as US president is making the Ukrainian elite and its European backers jittery.
Trump claims that even before he’s inaugurated, he will have settled the war between Russia and Ukraine.
That includes, he says, ending the “endless flow of American treasure to Ukraine” and asking European allies to reimburse the US for the cost of rebuilding stockpiles.
It’s unclear whether he would insist that Russia withdraw from territory in Ukraine it seized in the war that it launched in February 2022.
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