Ukraine and Playing with Fire

Jun 7, 2024 - 20:10
Ukraine and Playing with Fire

By  Amin Mahdavi


Since the start of the Ukraine-Russia war, Mr. Zelenskiy's government has sought to procure advanced military equipment from the West. A lot of travel and pressure on European leaders and the United States has gradually made the West more flexible towards Ukraine, leading to the escalation of the conflict in Europe and potentially the starting point of World War III.


What is Ukraine looking for?

Mr. Zelensky has been seeking advanced Western weapons since the beginning of the war. He tried to persuade Western leaders to provide long-range and advanced weapons to pressure Russia and bring them to the negotiating table. However, the promises of Western leaders were not very strong, and Ukraine had to negotiate with them for almost a year for every agreement. An example of this can be seen in the delivery of F-14 fighter jets to Ukraine, where Russia was able to increase its defense capabilities due to extended delivery times and negotiations with the United States.[1]

Furthermore, Ukraine has adjusted its approach to the supply of weapons to some extent after realizing these failures. In some cases, Ukraine acted against the wishes of Western leaders, like using the Patriot system against Russian Avax, which received criticism and threats from the West. Despite opposition from America, Ukraine has taken steps to pressure the West to meet its demands, with some success. Obtaining permission to use Western equipment to attack Russian territory is significant for Ukraine, especially since France and Britain have allowed the use of long-range weapons. Ukraine has been able to challenge or redefine Western red lines step by step, prompting Mr. Blinken to admit that America will adapt to the situation as needed.[2]

Regarding Germany, the situation is different due to fears of direct confrontation with Russia and the lack of nuclear weapons. Germany has been cautious and has not allowed Ukraine to use long-range weapons. Ukraine understands that using these weapons without Germany's consent would have severe consequences.

It appears that Ukraine has achieved some of its demands, though experts believe these actions were taken too late. It is essential to consider all aspects of the issue, as the broader interests of the United States and its allies are more important than supplying weapons or defeating Russia.

Mr. Zelensky, with a better understanding of his allies' conditions, aims to position Ukraine as an important pillar within the West. However, the West may have already obtained what it needed from Ukraine.


what are the Reactions to crossing the red lines?

In response to the Western permission for Ukraine to use weapons, Russia has taken several measures. Russia has condemned the action, warning Western governments, especially smaller European countries, that this is playing with fire and could have extensive consequences for them. Russia has also threatened to arm enemies and opponents of the United States worldwide as a justified retaliatory measure. Additionally, Russia has established warmer relations with European countries opposed to this action, like Hungary, which may benefit Russia in the future, particularly in financing Ukraine's budget within the European Union. Hungary's opposition serves as leverage for Russia to use.[3]


Russia has not ruled out the possibility of using nuclear weapons, challenging the United States and its allies to be aware of the consequences of an attack on Russia. This demonstrates Russia's ability to fight a final battle and serves as a warning to the West.