What comes next in the war against Ukraine?

Nine months after the start of Russia's fullscale war against Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has praised the country's spirit of resistance in his daily video message. Even Russia's attacks on the country's energy infrastructure will "not break" Ukraine's will, he said. Europe's press analyses the situation as winter sets in.

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Aargauer Zeitung (CH) /

Things are looking good for Kyiv

Decisive weeks and months lie ahead, analyses Kurt Pelda, Ukraine war reporter for the Aargauer Zeitung:

“With the onset of winter, some experts in the West are predicting that the conflict will freeze. But as long as Russia is busy mobilising urgently needed fighters, the Ukrainians are almost certain to want to continue their series of victories. In winter much of the ground freezes, making it possible to deploy battle tanks on open terrain again after the muddy autumn. The Ukrainians have received hundreds of thousands of winter uniforms from the West, and supplies via Poland and Romania also seem to be getting through. The Russians, on the other hand, are struggling with logistical problems, low morale and corruption.”

La Stampa (IT) /

The moment of truth is coming

La Stampa also sees the war entering a new phase:

“The relative stalemate in the Donbass after the recent Ukrainian advances has been followed by the Russian attack on the 'brother nation' amied at weakening the Ukrainian resistance and forcing it to surrender. Temperatures are about to drop and in a few months, Putin reckons, Zelensky will be forced to surrender. Or he will be overthrown. Much depends on the decisions of the West on this point. ... But in recent weeks the signals from Washington aimed at convincing the Ukrainians to enter negotiations have multiplied. In the Pentagon's assessment, a complete victory, i.e. the reconquest of Crimea and the Donbass, is impossible.”

Die Presse (AT) /

Ukrainians will not give in

The Ukrainian people's resistance is not easily broken, observes Die Presse:

“The infrastructure attacks are viewed as a new phase in a prolonged war against which one must be prepared. ... No one is immune to the vicious missile attacks. That is why they mobilise everyone. Ukraine is facing very hard weeks and months. It is to be feared that Putin's ruthless warfare will claim many civilian lives. ... The Ukrainians have proven more than once in recent months that they can influence the course of events in their favour. So it's quite possible that the country will emerge from this winter even more unyielding than before.”

Mediafax (RO) /

World war three has already begun

The West has failed to grasp the seriousness of the situation, Mediafax fumes:

“Putin and his generals cannot afford defeat. For them, losing the war means losing their lives. So something worse must be behind the withdrawal from Kherson. Yet again, the naive West has no answer to the Russian attacks on Ukraine's energy infrastructure. ... As people in Europe get ready for the Christmas markets, they still don't realise that world war three has long since begun. For the 'special operation' has crossed the borders of Ukraine and is advancing at the speed of the current in the power lines.”

Andrey Loshak (RU) /

Darkness is Russia's number one export

Documentary filmmaker Andrey Loshak compares the dark streets of Kyiv with Russia's moral fiasco on Facebook:

“Russia's missiles are plunging Ukraine into darkness. Russia itself has long lived in darkness and is now stubbornly dragging the Ukrainians into this gloom despite their resistance. Since the start of the energy sanctions, darkness has become Russia's main export commodity. ... Russia has not a single idea how to make the world a better place. ... No matter how many bombs the Russian army drops on Ukraine's energy system, the country faces a bright future - while the Russians experience an endless bad trip, a long and agonising fall into the heart of darkness.”

Blog Damijan (SI) /

Give up maximum demands

Zelensky should make compromises, economist Jože P. Damijan demands in his blog:

“Zelensky insists on Russia's complete withdrawal from the occupied territories, including Crimea, and a return to the original state of affairs. With such pre-conditions, negotiations can't even be initiated. ... It is clear that Russia is the aggressor in this war (notwithstanding the fact that the conflict is in fact a proxy war with the US). But is it really necessary for Zelensky to sacrifice millions of innocent lives for a goal that cannot be achieved under any circumstances?”