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Zelenskyy intransigent despite west’s exhaustion

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“There will be an understanding of peace and security in the future only if Russian troops are not on our territory,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said during an interview with international media organizations in Kyiv. By sticking to his demand for a complete Russian withdrawal, Zelenskyy, in effect, stated that the possibility of peace talks or a ceasefire remains remote.

But, the fact is, Kyiv is on shaky ground. The much-touted counter-offensive, planned for spring and finally launched in the summer, has been “unsuccessful,” according to prominent Ukrainian figures and Western analysts. With another winter upon the fighters, many agree that the war is now at a “stalemate.”

With Kyiv’s biggest ally, the Biden administration, embroiled in a domestic crisis trying to stave off government shutdowns and distracted by the Israel-Hamas war, Zelenskyy is beginning to feel the heat of a “Ukraine fatigue.”

Across the border, Moscow has boosted the production of some of its military hardware as much as ten times. Reports suggest that factories are churning out more missiles, drones, combat vehicles, and artillery for its troops fighting Ukraine. By some estimates, Russia will likely hike its military spending by as much as 67% in 2024. That would account for almost 30% of the Russian GDP.

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Meanwhile, Ukraine is still waiting for arms and weapons promised to Kyiv by the EU. Only 30% of the one million rounds of ammunition pledged to be delivered by next March has reached Ukrainian soldiers. During the interaction with the international media, Zelenskyy acknowledged that his forces were “still not fully equipped with the brigades, with the weapons we needed…There is simply not enough air defense equipment.”

The EU’s defense manufacturing sector is struggling to meet Ukraine’s needs as the war enters its twenty-second month. The European Defense Agency (EDA) stated that the bloc’s defense spending had increased 6% over the past year, touching €240 billion in 2022. Six countries’ military budgets have increased by 10% year-on-year, while Sweden saw a more than 30% hike.

Notably, France did not augment its military coffers significantly – increasing spending by just 0.7% in 2022. Despite the substantial increase, the figure hovers at 1.5% of a country’s GDP, well short of the 2% target proposed by NATO.

The Ukraine war has shattered the relative sense of security on the continent. Countries are shoring up their defenses, partly in response to the wild claims that Russia may attack other nations now that it has invaded Ukraine. But, with many EU countries reeling under high inflation and slow growth, Europeans may soon grow tired of the “as long as it takes” war. Calls for a ceasefire are growing, and more leaders want Kyiv and Moscow to give peace talks a chance.

The third installment of the Ukraine peace summit held in Malta last October did not make significant progress, unsurprisingly, as Russia was absent from the table. Zelenskyy opined, “The next meeting, we believe, will be the first summit at the level of leaders.” Getting China to participate in peace negotiations and cease its military support to Moscow will be critical to a breakthrough.

The war has directly cost Western taxpayers over $200 billion, displaced nearly 13 million Ukrainians, impoverished parts of Europe, and brought parts of the world closer to famine. The conflict brought the world dangerously close to a nuclear confrontation with Russia and has deeply divided it. All of these events were eminently avoidable.

Kyiv is banking on a distracted Biden administration and struggling EU members to keep its troops supplied with arms and ammunition. Countries are diverting critical funds to defense spending to support a war that should never have been.

Related tippinsights articles

Only 60% Of Ukrainians Back The War To Continue – 10/30/23

Media Stories On Ukraine Point To War’s End – 11/05/23

America’s Deficit Hits $2 Trillion; Yet, The Uniparty Wants $74 Billion More For Wars – 10/24/23

Biden’s Oval Office Address On Ukraine Won’t Budge The Needle – 10/06/23

Majority Of Voters ‘Not Satisfied’ With Biden’s Efforts On Russia-Ukraine War:  – 10/18/23

How Is Ukraine’s Counter-Offensive Going? It Depends – 07/18/23

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TIPP Takes

Geopolitics, Geoeconomics, And More

1. Israel Says Fighting Has Resumed – BBC

Israel says it has resumed fighting with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. In a post on X, the Israel Defense Forces said that Hamas had opened fire at Israel, therefore violating the terms of the truce agreement.

Zelenskyy Intransigent Despite West's Exhaustion

Talks are continuing about extending the truce – with the U.S. saying it’s working “by the hour” with Qatar, Egypt, and Israel to try and do that. Top U.S. diplomat Antony Blinken – who is in the Middle East – says he told Israel it must take “more effective steps” to protect civilians’ lives.


2. Hamas ‘Willing To Extend Truce’ With Israel: Source Close To Group – AFP

“The mediators are currently making strong, intense, and continuous efforts for an additional day in the truce and then working to extend it again for other days,” the source said anonymously.

Zelenskyy Intransigent Despite West's Exhaustion

The seven-day pause has seen dozens of Israeli hostages exchanged for more than 200 Palestinian prisoners and aid entering the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.


3. Russia Issues Ominous Warning About War With NATO – Newsweek

Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy FM issued an ominous warning about a possible armed conflict between Moscow and NATO member states during an interview published Wednesday.

Zelenskyy Intransigent Despite West's Exhaustion

Russian officials have routinely insinuated that Russia could attack NATO members for providing Ukraine with assistance in the ongoing war. Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said in December 2022 that such countries could be “legitimate military targets.”


4. Zelenskiy Discusses Need To Fortify Ukraine’s Defenses Along Front – RFE/RL

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy traveled to the southern region of Zaporizhzhya for meetings with military leaders, saying afterward that the fortification of frontline areas should be accelerated.

Zelenskyy Intransigent Despite West's Exhaustion

Zelenskiy also said he spoke with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov and thanked them for their support.


5. Russia Limits Women’s Access To Abortion, Citing Demographic Changes – Al Jazeera

Abortion is legal and widely available procedure in Russia. Still, recently, a flurry of new laws appeared to limit abortion access amid fears of population declines and a push towards conservatism.

Zelenskyy Intransigent Despite West's Exhaustion

Two Russian regions – Mordovia and Tver – have passed laws to punish anyone found to “coerce” women into abortions. Lawmakers approved legislation restricting access to abortion drugs, measures that could also affect the sale of some contraceptives.


6. Russian Court Bans ‘LGBT Movement’ – BBC

Russia’s Supreme Court has declared what it calls “the international LGBT public movement” an extremist organization and banned its activities across the country.

Zelenskyy Intransigent Despite West's Exhaustion

The ruling was prompted by a motion from the justice ministry, even though no such organization exists as a legal entity.


7. Hungary Will Not Agree To Start EU Membership Talks With Ukraine, Minister Says – AP

Gergely Gulyas, the chief of staff to Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán, said that it was premature to begin formal talks with Kyiv on Ukraine joining the EU and that Hungary would not consent to opening the discussions when EU leaders meet in mid-December.

Zelenskyy Intransigent Despite West's Exhaustion

“We are dealing with a completely premature proposal,” Gulyas said, adding that Hungary “cannot contribute to a common decision” on inviting Ukraine to begin the process of joining the bloc.


8. Japan Urges U.S. To Ground Ospreys After Fatal Crash – Kyodo

Japan has urged the United States to ground Osprey military aircraft operating within the Asian country following a fatal crash on Wednesday, the Defense Ministry said.

Zelenskyy Intransigent Despite West's Exhaustion

The Osprey, which crashed near a small island off the coast of southwestern Japan, made an emergency call to seek permission to land at a nearby airport about 10 minutes before the accident, the transport ministry said Thursday.


9. China: U.S. Arms Sales Turning Taiwan Into ‘Powder Keg’ – A.P.

China’s Defense Ministry said that the U.S. should stop interfering in Taiwan, arguing that American arms sales to Taipei were making the situation more dangerous.

Zelenskyy Intransigent Despite West's Exhaustion

The island’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party is “turning Taiwan into a weapons depot and a powder keg,” said Senior Col. Wu Qian, the ministry’s top spokesman.


10. China Investment Bank Enforces Strict Measures On Analysts Amid Regulatory Crackdown – WION

China International Capital Corp. (CICC), one of China’s largest investment banks, has issued internal directives prohibiting its analysts from making bearish calls on the economy or markets.

Zelenskyy Intransigent Despite West's Exhaustion

The memo warns analysts against revealing compensation and restricts the wearing of luxury brands. This clampdown comes from Beijing’s efforts to align the financial industry with President Xi Jinping’s “common prosperity” initiative and curtail ostentatious behavior among bankers.


11. China Begins Lockdowns Following Surge in Mysterious Respiratory Illness Cases – The Foreign Desk

Reports from Beijing revealed that China is rapidly enacting lockdown policies as hospitals continue to fill up with children and adults experiencing a new strand of acute respiratory virus.

Zelenskyy Intransigent Despite West's Exhaustion

The Chinese National Health Commission called for the return of COVID-19-era lockdown measures to help curb the outbreak, which, according to officials, is a result of influenza, rhinovirus, mycoplasma pneumonia, respiratory syncytial virus, and adenovirus.


12. Hong Kong Reporter Missing In China, Japanese Outlet Says

An award-winning South China Morning Post reporter has gone missing following a work trip to China at the end of October, Kyodo News reported, citing unidentified people close to the issue.

Zelenskyy Intransigent Despite West's Exhaustion

Minnie Chan, who covers defense and diplomacy in China, has become unreachable after traveling to Beijing to report on the Xiangshan Forum. The three-day international security forum concluded on October 31.

Chan’s last story, about China’s response to the Israel-Hamas war, was published on November 1.


13. Cop28 Opens With Historic Launch Of Loss And Damage Fund – RFI

The announcement came as the Emirati host of the Cop28 talks declared that fossil fuels must be part of any climate deal negotiated over the next two weeks.

Zelenskyy Intransigent Despite West's Exhaustion

The formal establishment of the “loss and damage” fund long sought by climate-vulnerable nations provided an early win at Cop28, where sharp divisions over the phasing out fossil fuels were immediately apparent.


14. OPEC+ Agrees Voluntary Oil Production Cuts – Al Jazeera

OPEC+ producers have agreed to voluntary oil output cuts for the first quarter of next year to boost the market, but crude prices fell after the move.

Zelenskyy Intransigent Despite West's Exhaustion

Saudi Arabia, Russia and other members of OPEC+, who pump more than 40 percent of the world’s oil, met online and issued a statement summarizing countries’ voluntary cut announcements.

OPEC+ is expected to convene again in June, and Brazil, one of the world’s 10 largest producers, could be among them.


15. Iranian Drone Trails U.S. Aircraft Carrier In Arabian Gulf – Al Arabiya

An Iranian drone flew within 1,500 yards of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier as it was conducting flight operations in international waters.

Zelenskyy Intransigent Despite West's Exhaustion

Iranian drone surveillance has become common when American aircraft carriers enter the Gulf.


16. U.S. Slaps Sanctions On North Korea In Response To Spy Satellite Launch – Kyodo

The United States on Thursday imposed additional sanctions on North Korea in the wake of its launch of a spy satellite last week.

Zelenskyy Intransigent Despite West's Exhaustion

In coordination with Australia, Japan, and South Korea, the U.S. Treasury Department said eight individuals who facilitate sanctions evasion to assist North Korea’s weapons development and one hacking group that gathers intelligence for Pyongyang will be targeted.


17. Myanmar’s Junta Cuts Off Aung San Suu Kyi From Son – VOA

Myanmar’s military junta has blocked communication between detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her family and her lawyers, according to her younger son.

Zelenskyy Intransigent Despite West's Exhaustion

Suu Kyi’s son Kim Aris told VOA via phone that the Myanmar junta has not allowed him to communicate with his mother “at all,” despite concerns about her health.


18. Inflation In Europe Falls To 2.4% As Interest Rates Pack A Punch. But The Economy Has Stalled – AP

Inflation dropped more than expected to 2.4% in November, the lowest in over two years with declining energy costs. But higher interest rates squeeze the economy’s ability to grow.

Zelenskyy Intransigent Despite West's Exhaustion

Inflation for the 20 countries using the euro currency fell from an annual 2.9% in October, according to numbers released Thursday by Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics agency. It’s a far cry from the peak of 10.6% in October 2022, as an energy crisis left Europe’s households and businesses struggling to make ends meet.


19. UN Confirms 2023 Set To Be Hottest Year Ever Recorded – AFP

As the Cop28 climate conference opens in Dubai, the United Nations weather agency has warned that 2023 has broken several climate records and is set to be the hottest ever recorded.

Zelenskyy Intransigent Despite West's Exhaustion

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the record heat findings “should send shivers down the spines of world leaders.”


20. Meta Says It Disrupted Chinese And Russian Political Influence Operations – UPI

Meta reported Thursday that it had disrupted Chinese and Russian covert influence operations designed to influence politics in the U.S. through deceptive social media practices.

Zelenskyy Intransigent Despite West's Exhaustion

Meta warned that “foreign threat actors are attempting to reach audiences ahead of next year’s various elections, including in the U.S. and Europe, and we need to remain alert to their evolving tactics and targeting across the internet.”


21. Metallica Set To Make History As First U.S. Heavy Metal Band To Play In Saudi Arabia – Euronews

The U.S. heavy metal band is heading to Saudi Arabia in December to play for the first time at the Soundstorm Festival.

Zelenskyy Intransigent Despite West's Exhaustion

Public appearances by heavy metal musicians in Saudi Arabia are rare. In 2022, melodic death metal band Immortal Pain from Saudi Arabia became the first heavy metal act to perform at a major public event when they performed at Comic Con Arabia.


22. Fentanyl-Laced Pills Are Causing Fatal Overdoses In Kids And Teens – Yahoo Life

According to a recent UCLA study, fentanyl-related overdoses have risen 50-fold since 2010. Moreover, this crisis is having a strong effect on children and teens.

Zelenskyy Intransigent Despite West's Exhaustion

Dr. Ashley Saucier, a pediatric emergency medicine physician said:

Parents need to educate themselves on this epidemic and have candid conversations with their children. I tell my kids to decline candy from friends unless they are a trusted friend and they see them open a new bag — Skittles, for example.

Saucier says sometimes it’s as simple as a toddler touching a fentanyl-laced substance and then putting their hands to their mouths.


23. Faster Walking Speed Associated With Slower Risk Of Diabetes – UPI

People who walk at least 2.5 miles an hour appear to have a significantly lower risk of Type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Zelenskyy Intransigent Despite West's Exhaustion

The study said that that’s the equivalent of 87 steps per minute for men and 100 steps per minute for women. And the faster above that threshold, the better – every half-mile per hour you add to your walking speed is associated with an additional 9% reduction in risk, results show.


24. Stanford Twins Study Exhibits Vegan Diets’ Rapid Heart Benefits – UPI

A new trial utilizing identical twins suggests that a vegan diet can improve cardiovascular health in at least eight weeks.

Zelenskyy Intransigent Despite West's Exhaustion

The more plant-based options someone chooses, the more strides they will be making toward better cardiovascular health, Dr. Athena Poppas, a professor and chief of the cardiology division at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, R.I., told UPI in a telephone interview.


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