A recent poll carried out in Ukraine by Wall Street Journal-NORC found that 89% of Ukrainians feel that it will be unacceptable to reach a peace deal with Russia by ceding territory occupied by Russian troops since the conflict between the two countries began this year. More than four months of war and its human cost have not weakened Ukraine’s resolve to keep fighting.
This poll, which used a sample picked from mobile phone users, has a bearing on the duration of the conflict. Given the collateral economic consequences of the conflict, there have been suggestions from parts of Europe about the need for a negotiated settlement. Particularly from EU’s economic heavyweights France and Germany.
Ukraine continues to receive strong support, including weapons, from other powers such as the U.S.
Into the fifth month of this conflict, if there’s a lesson that will resonate across the world, it’s that defending sovereignty cannot be outsourced. There will always be strategic alliances and armament support nations can count on, but the human cost will rarely be borne by any other country. As the Russia-Ukraine conflict showed, most countries are unlikely to bear the economic fallout of a conflict even if they clearly sympathise with one of the parties to it.
For India, which has an ongoing standoff with China on eastern border, the takeaway is that no alliance can substitute the national will to defend sovereignty.
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