Spread the love

Concern and anguish in Ukraine in the face of the Trumpist unknown

Photo: Mandel Ngan Agence France-Presse Le président ukrainien Volodymyr Zelensky et son homologue américain Joe Biden tiennent une conférence de presse conjointe à Washington, DC, le 12 décembre 2023.

Ce texte est tiré du Courrier des élections américaines. Pour vous abonner, cliquez ici.

On the banks of the Dnieper, 7,000 kilometers from Washington, Ukraine at war is observing with some anxiety the looming American presidential election. Because the outcome of the November face-to-face between Donald Trump and Joe Biden could well decide the fate of the country, whose situation is deteriorating on the Eastern Front.

“All my family, my friends and I are very worried about Donald Trump being re-elected,” admits Diana Kudrytska, a 26-year-old young mother I met on a train to kyiv and who lives in the suburbs of the capital.

His fear of a clear end to American support, kyiv's main lever of resistance against the Russian invader, is shared by many Ukrainians.

The former American president, known for his complacent remarks towards Vladimir Putin, boasted more than once of being able to resolve the Russo-Ukrainian war “in 24 hours”. However, the Washington Post revealed at the beginning of April the populist's true intentions in the event of victory in the presidential election, intentions with serious consequences for Ukraine: the forced cession of territories occupied by Russia, notably Crimea and Donbass, in return for 'a ceasefire. A scenario that irritates in a martyred Ukraine, where Russian war crimes have multiplied.

“If Trump pushes us to accept this, then we will lose our territories and the population living there, because the Russians have no use for human life, they who use torture,” fears Diana .


A return of Donald Trump to the White House would plunge Ukraine into “uncertainty”, recognizes Volodymyr Fessenko, director of the Penta political studies center in kyiv.

Doubts remain about his policy towards Ukraine, which is more unpredictable and ambivalent than one might think. “In 2016, even though Trump made many anti-Ukrainian statements, when he became president of the United States in January 2017, he never recognized Crimea as Russian. […] Ultimately, US-Russian relations only deteriorated under his presidency, and Ukraine received lethal weapons from the United States [Javelin anti-tank missiles] for the first time under Trump. »

A paradox which could well recur, according to the analyst, in the event of the return to power of the candidate of the Grand Old Party. “It is very likely that he will push Ukraine to enter into peace talks with Russia, but he will also demand concessions from Russia, particularly in its relations with China. It is very unlikely, on the other hand, that [Moscow] will take such a path, in return for which Trump could make gestures in favor of Ukraine. »

kyiv, anxious to preserve its neutrality, is preparing for the return of the populist. Also, Ukrainian leaders maintain “certain contacts with influential representatives of the Republican Party, with members of the former Trump administration,” says Mr. Fessenko. “Which is not obvious since the Republican Party has both supporters and opponents of support for Ukraine. […] There are therefore considerable risks for Ukraine in the event of a new Trump presidency,” analyzes the expert.

His country “will, however, continue to fight for its future and for maintaining its partnership with the United States,” he said. However, if the American billionaire were to stop arming Ukraine, the European Union alone would not be able to replace Washington's military support, which remains vital.


kyiv was able to breathe a sigh of relief on April 20, when the military aid plan for Ukraine was passed by the US Congress. A crucial release, of more than $60 billion, as the specter of defeat began to torment those in power. “If Congress does not help Ukraine, Ukraine will lose the war,” declared President Volodymyr Zelensky in early April.

The adoption of the aid plan was preceded by several months of paralysis due to a infiltrated assembly of Trumpist forces, perhaps giving a foretaste of a possible re-election of Trump.

It is this American delay, coupled with the slowness of the Europeans in getting their arms industry back up and running, which explains the Ukrainian debacles of recent months. The situation on the Eastern Front has never been so difficult, by kyiv’s own admission. After the town of Avdiïvka in February, it is Chassiv Yar, a decisive outpost of the Ukrainian defense of the Donetsk region, which threatens to fall into the hands of the Kremlin forces.

Louba, an elegant Kievan with white hair, knows nothing of Trump's desires. What she does know, however, is that her son Ihor, a 50-year-old fighter on the Avdiikka front, is suffering from a lack of ammunition. “I pray for him every day… He doesn’t tell me everything, so his mother doesn’t worry,” confides the woman, who receives us in her cramped apartment.

“We’re exhausted”

Faced with repeated assaults, Ukraine deplores a tenfold increase in fire ratio in favor of the enemy. It has difficulty mobilizing fresh troops to replace deceased, injured or exhausted soldiers. As for the defense of cities in the hinterland, shelled daily, the deficit of anti-aircraft missiles is also glaring.

“We are exhausted, but we remain positive, we do not complain,” says Viktor, a soldier from the 103rd Brigade who has been fighting on the front since the beginning of the invasion, as the sound of background the crackle of a walkie-talkie. Joined by Le Devoir, this combat doctor said he preferred to keep silent about the number of losses within his unit. “But what I can tell you is that we have a lot of work,” says the man, laconic.

Mariia, a 59-year-old resident of Lviv, also hopes for a decisive defeat for Moscow. But his voice full of concern betrays the delicate moment his country is going through, while Moscow prepares to launch a new offensive by June. “Last summer’s counter-offensive did not succeed because we did not have enough weapons. Europe has not acted enough. As for the United States, I had faith in their support at the start of the invasion, but when we see that even Biden was not able to act…”

His bitterness echoes the criticism of analyst Volodymyr Fessenko: “Joe Biden’s indecision and inconsistency on military assistance to Ukraine are no less problematic than those of Donald Trump. »

Given the inadequacy of current military support, in his opinion, “Ukraine has little chance of achieving complete victory over Russia, that is, liberating all occupied territories “. Many Ukrainians nevertheless continue to believe in it, despite flagging optimism. Like Diana, who is about to set foot on the platform of the kyiv station. “Our army will succeed in driving the Russians out of my country. But that won't happen anytime soon, unfortunately. »

This report was financed with the support of the Transat-Le Devoir International Journalism Fund.

This text is taken from the American Election Mail.

The American aid plan, a turning point in the war in Ukraine ?

Washington's military aid plan adopted on April 20 will, at best, stabilize the already fragile front, according to political scientist Volodymyr Fessenko. “This will not be a turning point in the war. […] This aid will not give Ukraine the tangible advantage it needs to launch a counter-offensive. And since this aid will be fragmented, it may not even be enough to ensure an effective defense. To have results, [Western] aid must be faster and more regular, and compensate for current defense problems, he believes. To defeat Russia, Ukraine must receive the most advanced Western weapons. Unfortunately, the United States is not ready for this today. Given the logistical challenges surrounding the delivery of military hardware, the new plan likely “won't begin to have an impact on the front line for several weeks,” said the Institute for the Study of War, a research group. American think tank, in a note dated April 20.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116