For two days now, people have been talking about how Ukraine can be rebuilt. Marshall Plan-style reconstruction; That was the name of the plan which, among the European states, helped not least Germany to rise from the rubble after the Second World War. Converted to today’s times, a good 140 billion dollars were given back then, 1948 to 1952.
At the conference now in Lugano, Switzerland, it will be clear to the participants that an even longer period of time and significantly more money will be at stake: Hundreds of billions are in the room for devastation in Ukraine. The government in Kyiv says it needs 720 million euros to rebuild.
Devastated also because the course of the war is currently changing. The Russian army has reoriented itself, regrouped, and that’s not good news.
Because their leadership, especially the one in the Kremlin, led by Vladimir Putin, doesn’t care whether 30,000 or 50,000 soldiers died. If only she wins at the end. Here nihilism combines with imperialism to produce this poison: that of contempt for human beings.
It’s getting harder and harder for Ukraine. The people there give everything, even their lives, and they do so voluntarily because they cling to their country and hold on to their dignity. That is touching and admirable.
Positive reports are due to the situation to keep morale high. But the forces are dwindling, the casualties are increasing, at least the reports about it. The material is no longer enough. The tragedy is evidently taking its course. The Donbass looks lost, especially since the Russians are doing everything they can to win it. At least that.
It takes more than morals to persevere. Hence the repeated question about weapons and military hardware; Ukraine won’t give up. Because she needs a lot, actually everything from hand grenades and detonators to tanks, the ones for the fight. Self-propelled howitzers can decide a battle, not a war. Everyone can see and know that. The British share their very good “intelligence”.
Against this background, the question of morality will soon be raised daily in the states that say they want to help Ukraine. If they really want that, it’s high time to take stock of what they’ve achieved so far; to be clear about what should be achieved in the end: that Ukraine either didn’t lose or that it won. Even the green German foreign minister is demanding this: Ukraine should win. A question of definition becomes the touchstone of seriousness.
In one respect, Ukraine has certainly gained: respect from those allied with it. The beckoning EU accession is a sign of this. But that’s not what is meant. Or is it? Militarily, victory required something very different. Or should it be one when the Russians stop at the Donbass? That would be a stale victory.
The states, led by Germany as a European power of orientation, are at a crossroads. To win or not to lose – now what? The answer determines the action. Then it will be clear, also to Ukraine, whether everything that is needed will be delivered and whether the West is ready to ultimately contribute itself. It’s about nothing less these days. Reconstruction will come afterwards, and it will take decades.