Here we go again: top officials in the West warning their populations against "Ukraine fatigue", saying that 'sacrifices' must be made for the long-term despite the 'high costs' in blood and treasure of continuing to ramp up support for Ukraine. This time it's NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg making unusually blunt statements, addressing the common masses.
"We must prepare for the fact that it could take years. We must not let up in supporting Ukraine," he began by saying in an interview published Sunday by Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper. He stressed this should be the case "even if the costs are high, not only for military support, also because of rising energy and food prices."
So it seems Western leaders who have been stoking what is now clearly a Russia-NATO proxy war in Ukraine are now increasingly content to say the quiet part out loud. And it's not even promised to be a momentary or short-lived "cost" for citizens of Europe or America, but years-long sacrifices must be made, we are told.
Stoltenberg explained, as if trying to preempt the expected majority of skeptics, that "the costs of food and fuel are nothing compared with those paid daily by the Ukrainians on the front line." He said further:
If Russian President Vladimir Putin should reach his objectives in Ukraine, like when he annexed Crimea in 2014, "we would have to pay an even greater price," Stoltenberg added.
This warning from Stoltenberg comes not only as Russian forces are steadily advancing over the whole of the Donbas, and amid a general shift in the media narrative strongly suggesting Ukrainian losses are much bigger than previously known, but as signs of popular pushback and anger among populations in Western countries begin to emerge, as billions of dollars are shoveled into Kiev while people suffer at home amid soaring food and gas prices.
In particular Stoltenberg is calling for more "state of the art weaponry" - and of course there's always the billions more from US taxpayers in Ukraine aid which apparently Washington is preparing to make indefinite. And yet last month The New York Times editorial board took note that "Americans have been galvanized by Ukraine's suffering, but popular support for a war far from U.S. shores will not continue indefinitely."
This also as there's concern among NATO leadership over "Ukraine fatigue" setting in...
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has expressed concerns "that a bit of Ukraine fatigue is starting to set in around the world" and has urged support for Ukrainian efforts to try to roll back the Russian invasion.
That means $54,000,000,000 to Ukraine in less than 4 months.— Assal Rad (@AssalRad) June 15, 2022
“How will we pay for it” never seems to apply to wars, just the basic needs of the American people. pic.twitter.com/2AcMUswzmp
Johnson made his second surprise trip to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev on Friday. The day after, he told reporters, "It would be a catastrophe if Putin won. He'd love nothing more than to say, 'Let's freeze this conflict, let's have a cease-fire.'" So a ceasefire is now deemed "catastropic"?
Johnson separately stated in the Sunday Times that "Time is the vital factor" as the West must ensure "Ukraine receives weapons, equipment, ammunition and training more rapidly than the invader."
But how long will the Western public be willing to 'shoulder the burden'?
They Plan On Repeating "Putin's Price Hike" Until People Believe It— Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ (@caitoz) June 11, 2022
"Westerners are paying more because of western policies chosen by western policy makers, and we're being trained to look at our shrinking bank accounts and yell, 'Damn you, Putin!'"https://t.co/WJwQCEhxWe
Interestingly, on Friday at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Russian President Vladimir Putin asserted that catastrophic 'blowback' is about to be unleashed on the West...
"We are talking about real processes, about truly revolutionary, tectonic changes in geopolitics, global economy, the technological sphere, in the entire system of international relations."
Putin said further according to a state-backed media translation:
The Russian president criticized the European Union over the decision to impose anti-Russia sanctions, calling it "crazy" and "not well thought out". Putin said that their goal was to crush the Russian economy in one go, but that they have failed to achieve this.
Instead, EU politicians delivered a serious blow to their own economies, prompting high inflation, the president stressed. He estimated the costs of the "sanctions fever" to be around $400 billion this year alone and noted that the measures will become a burden on regular people's shoulders.
The UK and US in particular have urged that Ukraine made no territorial concessions whatsoever for the sake of peace. Zelensky over the weekend reiterated, "We will return everything that's ours". This is indeed setting the stage for a protracted conflict, as leaders like Johnson, Biden, and NATO's Stoltenberg are still urging their populations not to be "fatigued" by the 'necessary' and "painful" sacrifices that have to be made.