How is Russia’s war against Ukraine changing the EU? Interview with S. Kahn

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By  Pierre VERLUISE , Sylvain KAHN , October 22, 2023   

Doctor in geography, associate professor of history at Sciences Po, Sylvain Kahn is a researcher at the Sciences Po History Center. Author of “History of the construction of Europe since 1945”, PUF, 2021. Co-author with Jacques Lévy from “The country of Europeans”, Odile Jacob, 2019.
Comments collected by Pierre Verluise, doctor in geopolitics, founder of . Author of the Masterclass “What are the fundamentals of power?”

There is nothing worse than believing that “nothing changes, everything continues as before.” » S. Kahn helps us understand how the relaunch of the Russian war in Ukraine has – also – notable and structuring geopolitical effects on the European Union. Once again the EU is reinventing itself. Because Ukraine’s candidacy for the EU has relaunched those of the Western Balkans, S. Kahn also offers a bold reflection on a possible framing of the envisaged enlargements. He answers questions from Pierre Verluise for .

Pierre Verluise (PV): Were the Member States of the European Union taken by surprise by the relaunch of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022?

Sylvain Kahn (SK): Yes. The member states of the European Union did not envisage this scenario at all. This is why, for the EU member states, the Russian war in Ukraine is primarily a shock. Ukraine and the EU were already close. Ukraine is a country bordering the EU; it is a country with which the EU has an association agreement – which promotes economic exchanges, the mobility of people and progress in the rule of law. It is a country in which certain member states, such as Poland, campaigned for it to join the EU, while a majority of Ukrainians declared themselves Europeans and for integration into the EU. The EU was finally involved in mediation – the Minsk process – between the Ukrainian and Russian states since the latter had conquered Crimea (2014) – in violation of the Budapest Memorandum (1994) – and fomented a war of secession in Donbass, two regions of the Republic of Ukraine which became independent in 1991  [ 1 ] .

The relaunch of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 renders this EU Ukraine policy obsolete. She signed the failure of this EU Ukrainian policy, but also the failure of the EU’s Russian policy. Even if we cannot conclude from this that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was “written”. Within the European Union, this dual policy was certainly debated, but many people considered it relevant because it was realistic. It was a matter of anchoring Ukraine to the EU while maintaining pressure on Russia (through targeted and measured sanctions) in the expectation and hope of its democratization and a renunciation of its policy of accomplished fact. The energy supply of some EU countries with Russian fossil fuels was considered by them as an interdependence: the Russian state needing these exports as much as several EU member states need these imports, the Russia would not take the risk of pursuing a policy that the Europeans would directly oppose. Its elites would end up returning to a less neo-imperial and more partnership-based policy, as under B. Yeltsin (1991-1999) and during the first mandate of V. Putin (2000-2004) because it was, “objectively”, their interest. …as we understood it.

The Russian policy of the EU member states as a whole aimed to contain the interference and influence of the Russian state in the countries that belonged to the USSR, to limit the attempts of the Russian state to distort the democratic political life of EU states through corruption, manipulation of information and data and also ideological convergence, and to increase economic interdependence between the EU and Russia. It was a bet on time . A bet which was also explained by the fact that relations with Russia and the policies of the Russian state were one of the problems among several others of great importance on which the Europeans had to act at the same time.

Sylvain Kahn
Doctor in geography and graduate in geopolitics, associate professor of history, normalien and researcher at the Sciences Po history center, he has notably published “History of Europe since 1945” at the PUF.
France Info

EU member states were not happy with the situation. But they made do. And they did not imagine that Putin would revive the Russian army in the invasion and conquest of Ukraine .

PV: How can we characterize the reaction of EU member countries to the resumption of the Russian war in Ukraine?

SK: This relaunch of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, on February 24, 2022, awakened a feeling of fear among EU member countries . The expression “ war is back in Europe” was used a lot in the public and media space in the first months of this invasion. In the public opinions of several EU member states that had previously been incorporated (or failed to be incorporated) into the Soviet empire, the fear of being invaded on the heels of Ukraine was there. In several EU Member States of the former Europe of Twelve  [ 2 ] , the fear of being threatened with being or being threatened with an unconventional attack by atomic weapons has manifested itself. The EU shares more than 2700 km of borders with Russia; Kaliningrad Oblast, with its military base and nuclear arsenal, is a Russian enclave in the EU on the Baltic Sea; and Russian leaders present Russia as the heir to Soviet power.

The Member States of the EU realized that the territory of the European political entity (ECSC from 1951; EEC known as “common market” from 1957 to 1993; European Union since) had been inviolate for almost 80 years – or three generations. At the same time, its members have never waged war among themselves. The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012 also recognized this reality of the EU which marks a notable break in the contemporary and modern history of Europeans.

EU member states have abandoned war as a way of relating to each other and as a way of public action. They are faced with the fact that this way of seeing things and acting is far from being shared by this very large state which is on their border, Russia. This invasion of Ukraine – a country associated with the EU and possibly likely to join it – leads the EU countries to realize, in the sense of becoming fully aware, what characterizes them and what radically differentiates them from the Current Russia.

By relaunching the war against Ukraine just after declaring unilateral recognition by Moscow of the separatist territories of Donbass, the Russian regime is demonstrating that it is based on values ​​opposed point by point to those of European construction  : pluralism, law , exchange, critical thinking, negotiation, compromise. This stark distinction was compounded by war crimes committed by the Russian army from the start of the invasion.

Faced with Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine , the leaders of EU countries and institutions decided quickly and over time to impose sanctions on the Russian regime to make them very costly and very restrictive. its war effort, and to support the Ukrainians through hospitality, solidarity, energy sobriety and the delivery of increasingly powerful and sophisticated war equipment.

EU member states no longer want to finance the imperialism and militarism of V. Putin’s Russia.

EU member states punished the aggressor very severely, including to their detriment. They are committed to freeing themselves from the interdependence they have established with Russia for more than twenty years, particularly in the food and energy sectors. They no longer want to finance its imperialism and militarism  ; and they no longer want to be dependent on this neighboring country which sees in their existence an obstacle and a rival as it is true that the EU exercises a strong power of attraction on the societies of the countries of the so-called post-Soviet space. However, Putin’s Russian regime resolves this type of competition through violence.

Also, two of the neutral EU member states – Finland and Sweden – decide to join NATO with the agreement of all EU member states also members of NATO. The EU therefore decides to open accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova. Therefore the EU establishes a European Political Community, the EPC, through which more than 40 countries recognize that the EU polarizes and organizes geographical Europe while Russia is a problem and a hegemonic state.

PV: Are there any ongoing developments within the EU that would be caused by this conflict?

By reading the Eurobarometer surveys, we understand that the majority of citizens of EU Member States have expressed a demand for a European defense and foreign affairs policy for several years, and that, in a high proportion, they support the policy of support for Ukraine, as well as Russia’s sanctions policy. This majority ranges from massive to clear depending on the country. However, de facto , support for the Ukrainian war effort and sanctions aimed at weakening the Russian war effort are, in history, the first manifestation of a policy of defense of European territory  [ 3 ] . The fact that it elicits the agreement of a majority of Europeans is therefore a life-size test: it validates in practice the expressed desire for a European defense policy.

It is notable that, despite maintaining the rule of unanimity in this area as in that of foreign policy, the EU countries are pursuing a Russian and Ukrainian policy that is both very coherent and very firm. For many observers, this is unexpected. Without waging war on the battlefield, the European Union is very involved in supporting Ukraine which is defending itself against the Russian state which attacked and invaded it. In doing so, European countries are concretely shaping a European foreign and defense policy .  [ 4 ]

One of the consequences of this Russian war in Ukraine is that the European Union, which was built in indifference to power  [ 5 ] and in the collective preference for influence, exchange and interdependence, is wondering how to be powerful enough to remain not only influential, but free and independent .

We can consider that this is an evolution initiated by the response to Covid-19 (2020-2021) and accelerated by the relaunch of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (2022) .

P. V: What does the pragmatic use of the European Peace Facility teach us to finance Ukraine’s armaments efforts by reimbursing them through an extra-budgetary fund?

SK  : The European Union is mobilizing the European Peace Facility  [ 6 ] to finance donations of military equipment to Ukraine by those Member States which have decided so. This facility represents 1/8th of the total military aid provided and budgeted by the 27 to Ukraine – or, as of July 31, 2023, 5.6 billion euros. This is the first time since its creation in 2021 that this instrument has been used. The leverage effect is much greater than this proportion: it is in fact a shared public policy – decided together by 27 with execution entrusted to the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy , the official name of the “EU Foreign Minister”, a position held by Josep Borrell , who heads the European External Action Service (EEAS), the official name of the “EU Foreign Ministry”. It is indeed the EU which is committed as such to supporting Ukraine’s war effort. Several lessons can be learned from this. First of all, the EU as a whole positions itself as an entity with sovereign capacities. This is the third manifestation of this capacity in two years  : the recovery plan for the European economy to deal with the consequences of the pandemic is the first . By adopting this extraordinary budget financed by European treasury bonds and distributed between the different EU countries, all the actors in the European political system have tasked the European Commission with being like a finance ministry of a European state; the future will tell whether this disruption is an exception or a precedent. The second manifestation was more subtle: it is the EU’s anti-covid vaccine policy. The European Commission has pre-purchased doses of the vaccines currently being developed in considerable quantities, so as to give equal access to vaccine purchases to the 27 national governments and in sufficient quantity to vaccinate all their citizens. On the same note, the Commission, again with the agreement of the Member States, has issued orders for group gas purchases to the new suppliers to whom European countries have turned to replace Russian gas.

EU member states, without fighting a war, take sides in a war by mobilizing their defense industry and military capabilities.

Secondly, the EU has decided to use one of the instruments not only of sovereignty but also of power: waging war. EU member states, without fighting a war, take sides in a war by mobilizing their defense industry and military capabilities . They deliver weapons of war, they train the fighters of the Ukrainian army  [ 7 ] , they share military intelligence with the Ukrainians  [ 8 ] .

Third, this mobilization by EU member states of their military resources for the benefit of an associated country at war – Ukraine – signals a strategic political will of its own. If we add on the one hand the valuation of the military aid already carried out and the commitments announced by the EU countries together as the EU and individually as Member States, and on the other hand all forms of In terms of civil aid, the total aid provided by Europeans to Ukraine is almost twice that provided by the United States of America. In this total, the military aid of the Europeans (resources of individual member states and EU resources) and the Americans are equivalent. That of the Europeans includes multi-annual commitments over four years. If we add the effort made by the Norwegians and the Icelanders, outside the EU but members of the EEA, European military aid is greater than American military aid  [ 9 ] .

If we consider aid by state, Federal Germany is the second state providing military aid to Ukraine, after the United States. The UK – which is neither in the EU nor the EEA – comes third.

If we consider aid to Ukraine in relation to GNP, Germany is the 9th largest provider of military aid. Neither the United States nor the United Kingdom are in the top 10, which are: Norway, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Denmark, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany and Finland.

PV: The war in Ukraine has also raised awareness of the EU’s vulnerabilities and dependencies beyond military issues: energy, raw materials, space, digital/cyber, maritime security. What responses have been provided in terms of industrial policy?

SK  : It is important to understand that the representation of an EU as “dependent” is recent. Until 2019, and for many years, EU member states have relied on interdependence. This representation  [ 10 ] is a recent version of comparative advantage and specialization on a global scale. EU countries bet that the size of their market would make their suppliers dependent on them, while the globalization of value chains diluted the risk of dependence on a supplier country as on any type of monopoly. The fact that this bet, with the parameters available to the Europeans in the 1990s, was far from inconsistent. It is on the strength of this representation that the Europeans promoted what is somewhat inaccurately called free trade, by first promoting the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO, which was born in 1995) then bilateral agreements with countries or regions of the world. Today, nearly 40 agreements of this type insert the EU into the global space and spread a certain way of seeing, producing, consuming and living in the world. These agreements relate as much to the lowering of tariffs and customs barriers as to environmental, public health and consumer safety standards for the production of goods and services covered by the trade agreement. In doing so, the EU has sided with the international division of labor and interdependence.

Covid-19 and the revival of the Russian invasion of Ukraine have changed the situation by transforming interdependence into dependence . Already in 2019, the European Commission noted on behalf of the EU that the People’s Republic of China , basing its global policy since 2012 on ideological criticism and rivalry of European and Western policies, was no longer just a very important partner. commercial but also a systemic rival, not to say a threat.

EU leaders, spurred in particular by a few European commissioners, have agreed for several months now on the idea that Europeans must succeed in being as autonomous as possible, that is to say, relying as little as possible on suppliers located in States which do not aim for interdependence but for polarization, the increase of their economic power and the monopolization of resources. The expression strategic autonomy covers this awareness. The objective of strategic autonomy is embodied in new public policies and in a change in the trajectories of public policies in place for more than 30 years.

EU Member States are thus adopting a relaunch of public support policies for industrial sectors at EU level . They do this in particular by easing the strict framework for state aid to businesses put in place to build the single market; by extending the rules and standards that guarantee fair competition between companies to non-European companies; by a suspension of the rules of the Economic and Monetary Union which govern public spending (so-called Maastricht criteria); by strengthening control of company buyouts and FDI by non-European investors.

Since 2023, the EU has even gone so far as to return to the establishment of a proactive industrial policy, which fell into disuse in the 1980s, when the Europe of Twelve and the Delors Commission focused on the equalization of working conditions. competition, the end of national monopolies and structural funds to establish the single market and promote business competitiveness and economic development. This policy has notably taken the name of “industrial green pact”. It takes note of the scale of public subsidies for industry in China and the United States. At the same time as the European Commission authorizes exceptions to the ban on state aid, it has the States and the European Parliament accept a European investment program (Invest EU), a financing program for energy production . renewable energy in Europe ( Repower EU ), a financing program to boost the production of electronic chips (semiconductors) in Europe (the European Chips Act ); a financing program to revive the mining industry – this Critical Raw Materials Act aims to extract 10% in EU countries and refine and transform 40% of the rare metals consumed there while diversifying with countries deemed safe The bulk of supplies even though they still come largely from China.

It is not enough to adopt legislation and program public subsidies for a society, its universities and its companies to engage in innovation, risk,…

The future will tell whether this new course of European public policies will contribute to freeing the European economy from the geoeconomic and geopolitical dependencies which partly characterize it, while maintaining the competitiveness of its industrial companies. The case of the solar panel industry, abandoned in favor of goods imported from China and the automobile industry, whose leaders were unwilling or unable to take the turn towards electric cars and battery production altogether. by cheating on a large scale on GHG and fine particle emissions, without even mentioning here the insignificance of European companies in the digital and Internet fields, reminds us that it is not enough to adopt legislation and to program public subsidies so that a society, its universities and its companies make innovation, risk, the development of new sectors or industrial goods and the competitiveness of companies a collective preference and a priority .

PV: What are the strong and weak points of Ukraine’s EU candidacy?

SK: The first problem we will face is the standard of living in Ukraine. I tend to be optimistic: Ukraine is a major agricultural power  [ 11 ] of the world – one of the five largest world powers in grain exports . Consequently, there is very strong room for progress for this country economically. By activating different levers, including European investments, adapting the EU budget, which is very low, I believe that the EU will manage to have a positive effect on the Ukrainian economy and benefit from the strong points and of its dynamism.

PV: The political dynamic created by the granting of candidate country status to Ukraine and Moldova has put the Western Balkan candidates in a position to strengthen political pressure on the EU in order to relaunch their membership, including for a country, Serbia, culturally close to Russia. Half of the 13 countries that have joined the EU since 2004 have weaknesses in terms of the rule of law, including Hungary and Poland, which has just changed its majority it is true. For political reasons linked to the strategic context, does the EU not risk lowering its requirements in terms of the rule of law with regard to candidates (Ukraine, Moldova, Western Balkans)?

SK  : Russia’s war with Ukraine pushed EU leaders to a change in doctrine: faced with Russian aggression, they decided in June 2022 to establish the European Political Community (EPC) , to give Ukraine and Moldova candidate status at high speed, and to declare that it is time to finalize the accession of the Western Balkan countries which has been negotiated for around fifteen years and the end of the war in former Yugoslavia .

Russia intends to prove that imperialism and violence remain structuring and effective in Europe. The EU’s challenge is to demonstrate the opposite.

We can interpret Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a bloody but rearguard attempt by the Russian state to test the depth and solidity of the state of mind which drives European construction, to challenge it. and demolish it , and prove that imperialism and violence remain structuring and effective in Europe.

Quite the opposite happens . The reaction of Europeans testifies to the depth of their paradigm shift in international relations between Europeans. They care so much about their interdependent, mutualized, pacified and a-imperialist territorial system that they invent new and imaginative policies and actions to defend it by engaging their economic and industrial forces with the Ukrainians and against the Russian state. By this yardstick, the current accessions and the concomitant formation of the European Political Community tell us that the European Union has won and that Russia has lost.

The Europeans are now deciding to integrate six more countries into their Union due to a new rational calculation: because of the imperialism and militarism of the Putin-like Russian state, it is more costly, more risky and more dangerous not to enlarge the EU to its countries but to include them in the EU . Indeed, outside the EU, the societies of the six countries in question are much more sensitive to the activities and political culture of this Russian state based on violence, corruption and authoritarianism as a way of living together. Outside the EU, these countries are much more exposed to plans by the Russian state to limit or violate their sovereignty, control their territory and subjugate them in various ways. To the extent that these six states are already closely linked to the EU economically, demographically and legally, this Russian policy has the effect of destabilizing, intimidating or threatening the EU itself.

Compared to the four previous waves of enlargement, the current enlargement of the 2020s is a different, particular and specific scenario. Indeed, the European Union is choosing this time to expand to countries whose societies are largely structured on the one hand by war or the post-war period of conflicts which have difficulty overcoming; and on the other hand by nationalism. However, European construction is fundamentally characterized by the disinterest of its members both in nationalism and in war. The latter is no longer part of the repertoire of political solutions of EU member countries both internally (with rare exceptions, such as for thirty years in Northern Ireland, more than twenty years ago now) and in their relationships with each other. Certainly, in two countries (Hungary since 2010 and Poland from 2015 to October 2023), parties have held power for a long time by mobilizing nationalism, but this is very watered down, is neither imperialist nor militarist, and remains very constrained by the overwhelming majority of companies’ desire to belong to the European Union.

The six countries of the current enlargement of the 2020s are also, to varying degrees, failed states, or very vulnerable, or very corrupt, or partially amputated. Finally, these are countries where part of the political and social forces are under the influence of the Russian state. These problems may have been present in the wave of enlargement of the 2000s, but marginally and in a spread out manner: Cyprus entered the EU in 2004 having lost a third of its territory invaded by the Turkish army in 1974 ; Romania experienced significant corruption in 2007; Croatia entered in 2013 and is affected by the end of the war and nationalism.

It is therefore a question of being inventive  : this time, enlargement is characterized secondarily by an increase in the number of co-decision makers (at the Council of the EU, at the European Council, at the Commission) and of deputies in Parliament; it is secondarily that it is characterized by the classic economic and financial problem of differential wealth and standard of living. This differential is there and it is very important: Ukraine is at the same time much less rich than the countries of the fourth enlargement, larger than France in surface area, and with a number of inhabitants between that of Spain and Poland. It is both much more rural than the EU, and a world-class agricultural exporting power. This new enlargement will therefore lead Europeans to significantly change their budget, their common agricultural policy and their structural funds. But, since the Treaty of Rome and the creation of the EEC, Europeans have had experience of this type of challenge. And these types of problems are less central this time than in previous enlargements: this time, in fact, the choice is being made to enlarge to societies which are primarily affected by war and nationalisms . This is why the EU will not prepare for this enlargement by only mobilizing its political culture and its proven experience of the past half century.

How would gradual accession to the EU work?

It will do this by giving breadth and depth to the conditioning of access to European funding on respect for the rule of law and pluralism . It will do this by deciding to replace the final exam and the transition from nothing to everything (from candidate to Member State) with progressive (gradual) adhesion of the continuous control type  : we do not wait until we have opened and closed the all chapters of the membership negotiation to declare the candidate suitable for integration. States integrate the EU progressively (gradually), by groups of chapters corresponding to sets of public policies. As soon as they integrate an EU public policy, one of their ministers sits on the Council of the EU (the “Chamber of States”) in the formation which decides on this policy and when the Council’s agenda is dedicated to the conduct and evolution of this policy. More generally, when a candidate state is integrated into the EU to a certain degree (for example 25%), their head of government will take part in the discussions of the European Council, a body which brings together heads of state and government and directs EU policies without executing them or creating legislation.

When it is integrated into the EU at 50% (for example), the MEPs that the candidate country has been offered to elect with observer status will cease to be observers and will become legislators. When the candidate country is 65% integrated into the EU, it will appoint a commissioner approved by the European Parliament within the Commission. When the candidate country is 100% integrated into the EU, its commissioner will be able to occupy one of the three positions of executive vice-presidents.

In short, gradual accession will decline the following principle: when a candidate state is integrated up to 25% into EU policies and programs, it participates up to 25% in the political institutions of the EU. When it is integrated up to 50% into EU policies and programs, it participates up to 50% in the political institutions of the EU. And so on. It’s quite easy to deploy.

Furthermore, we have to deal with reality. Opening up to a growing number of societies influenced by nationalism and sovereignism, the EU will benefit from maintaining the right of veto while developing it .

In this situation of residual veto (budget, taxation, foreign and defense policy are the policies where decisions are still taken unanimously), we propose to maintain the right of veto and to replace the veto with the “ veto +” . The veto + can take two forms. In both, it is a question of reinforcing the value of the veto, of ensuring that it is not brandished lightly, but in a very significant way. It is a question of giving it all the weight it deserves in the light of what it means in a post-nationalist supranational political system.

Veto + form 1  : in unanimity areas, the veto will in principle no longer be imposed by a single country; it will be done by two countries. The EU accession dates of these two countries will be separated by a certain period of time – ten years apart for example. In this way, France and Germany will not be able to block a decision alone; nor Hungary and Poland; nor Serbia and Albania (for example and hypothetically).

Veto + form 2  : for the reasons indicated above , it would be wrong because it is rigid or idealistic to completely remove the possibility for a single State to exercise its residual veto right. This right will be maintained by making its exercise truly valuable: it must correspond, not to ease or convenience, but to the intimate conviction (if we can say so in the case of a nation-state) that the decision taken in the name of the general European interest which we are preparing to oppose really jeopardizes the national interest or supposed such. This is why Veto + form 2 is in the very serious and very serious world of politics what the number of lives is in the childish world of games: a rare faculty. Concretely, with Véto + form 2, each Member State has the right to a number y vetoes in x years. For example, each Member State will be entitled to 3 vetoes per period of two rolling years.

With this Veto + forms 1 and 2, the value of the vet is increased . The vet becomes precious, rare and therefore expensive. It becomes a distinctive sign: it is made to be taken seriously and therefore little used, even in 33 Member States.

Copyright October 2023-Kahn-Verluise/

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1 ]  Editor’s note: The historian Michel Heller declared in December 1991: “A coup d’état marked this day (December 8, 1991), from the point of view of Soviet laws. For what ? Because the leaders of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus proclaimed the dissolution of the USSR. They now form a community of independent states. » Interview with Michel Heller by Pierre Verluise, published on December 13, 1991 in Le Quotidien de Paris . Text available online on at the address In other words, Russia was – in agreement with Ukraine – a of the three countries behind the dissolution of the USSR.

2 ]  Europe of Twelve: Federal Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland, United Kingdom, Greece, Spain and Portugal.

3 ]  Until now, the ESDP has been characterized by OPEX (external operations) as projections of forces in a civil-military framework to maintain a fragile peace and build a State (case of the former Yugoslavia) the operation military Atalanta to put an end to piracy off the Horn of Africa.

4 ]  Editor’s note: This is also why Russia is increasing informational attacks on EU countries in order to weaken this support for Ukraine, via relays which may belong to various parts of the political field. The important thing is to split, to hysterize, to divide and weaken.

5 ]  Laïdi, Zaki. “Europe facing the challenge of the Gaullian moment”, Le Débat , vol. 206, no. 4, 2019, pp. 48-59.

7 ]  Editor’s note. Michel Goya wrote on October 8, 2023 on “The Ukrainian army is now the most powerful and experienced European army. There are many more soldiers who have experienced fire in this army than in all the countries of the European Union combined. I am therefore always surprised to see, for example, Ukrainian units trained by German instructors, whose first instruction in external operations is to avoid combat at all costs. I have the impression that in fact it should be about mutual training, with Western armies taking advantage of their training infrastructures sheltered from combat and their mastered know-how, for example in the techniques of staff, but in cooperation with Ukrainian executives coming from the front bringing their experience to recruits and Westerners alike. To put it another way, the entire training process offered to the Ukrainians, but also to our own troops, must be fueled by feedback from the Ukrainian front. »

8 ]  Editor’s note: We must hope that the sharing of intelligence between EU countries and Ukraine goes both ways, as many EU countries have had mediocre, not to say biased, knowledge of Russia for several years. decades, even in intelligence circles…

9 ]  See: Kiel IFW, Ukraine Support Tracker Data | Kiel Institute Ukraine support tracker data , September 2023.

10 ]  Editor’s note: It would be interesting to consider the part of ideology at the origin of this representation. Obviously the ideology has missed some of the realities.

11 ]  Editor’s note: However, a significant proportion of Ukrainian agricultural land is mined and/or polluted by the remains of Russian weapons. This risks hampering cultivable areas for several years.



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