The West must prepare for a long war in Ukraine as Russia makes incremental gains in a furious battle to control the country’s east, the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson have both said, CNN reports.
In separate comments published Sunday, Stoltenberg and Johnson also reiterated that Western governments must continue to support Ukraine to deter future actions by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Stoltenberg told the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag that nobody knew how long the conflict would last but “we need to prepare for the fact that it could take years.”
“We must not cease to support Ukraine. Even if the costs are high, not only for military support, but also because of rising energy and food prices.”
Boris Johnson, writing in the Sunday Times after his second visit to Kyiv on Friday, said Western allies must “steel ourselves for a long war, as Putin resorts to a campaign of attrition, trying to grind down Ukraine by sheer brutality.”
Johnson said that seizing all of Ukraine’s Donbas, which covers much of eastern Ukraine, had been Putin’s objective for the last eight years “when he ignited a separatist rebellion and launched his first invasion.”