“There may be some beginnings of negotiations next year, as developments do not indicate that the Ukrainian side could gain military superiority. Time is now in favor of Russia, which has a stronger mobilization base for human resources. By gaining time, he will be able to supplement the material that they have been missing for a long time. We see massive deliveries from North Korea, we see efforts to circumvent sanctions,” President Pavel, former Chief of the General Staff of the Army of the Czech Republic and former chairman of the NATO Military Committee, assessed the development of the war conflict in Ukraine.
According to him, it is evident that Russia is trying to prolong the conflict as long as possible. The president believes that the country can also wait for the outcome of the presidential elections in the USA, which will be held next year and could shake the willingness to help Ukraine and supply it with weapons.
The West must persist in its support
“The situation is clearly not positive. What should be positive for Ukraine is that we are on their side and should support them in achieving their goals. From our side, we have no other choice but to persist in support,” Pavel added, adding that the West will have to do so until the Ukrainians themselves decide on the next step.
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At the same time, Pavel repeated at the conference what he had already said several times in the past in different forms, i.e. “that any success of Russia will mean our failure”. “The bigger the failure, the more we will have to devote to ensuring the safety of our neighbors,” he added.
The view of an ex-soldier
In an interview with the Austrian newspaper Die Presse am Sonntag already in June of this year, Pavel pointed out that the plans for the Ukrainian counter-offensive being prepared at the time were “very ambitious” and unusually optimistic, and therefore he did not count on its full success.
Ukrainians are still ready to fight, they have little choice, said the former ambassador
“However, the result will probably look different,” he said, adding that negotiations could begin after the counteroffensive’s capacities are exhausted. The Czech president said at the time that the key will be what the Ukrainians manage by autumn.
Pavel, who was the chairman of NATO’s military committee until 2018, previously stated that if the Ukrainians did not succeed with the counteroffensive, they would not have another opportunity this year. Ukraine is dependent on arms and ammunition supplies, which are constrained by both political circumstances and insufficient production capacity.
Pavel does not count on the full success of the Ukrainian counter-offensive
“Ukrainians are dying and will continue to die. And a situation may arise when they themselves will evaluate that the price for liberating the so far unliberated part of the occupied territory is too high and the resources insufficient,” Pavel outlined a possible change in Ukraine’s determination to liberate all territories occupied by Russia, including the Crimean peninsula. He added at the same time that this decision must always be up to the Ukrainians themselves and they cannot be forced to make any concessions.
“But as a former soldier, I don’t want to be guided by hope or faith. I prefer a realistic view, analyzes based on facts. I’m used to thinking in terms of options and being prepared even for the worst,” explained Pavel at the time.