Security expert Christian Mölling believes that the West’s support for Ukraine is so stable and enduring that it will not be jeopardized even by a long war. Mölling said on Friday in the stern podcast “Ukraine – the situation”: “We are not dealing with foreign missions here, but with an extended defense of Europe. I think that will last for a long time.” The longer the war lasts, the more it becomes part of everyday life in western countries. “We will see that war becomes normal,” said the research director of the German Society for Foreign Relations. “War changes societies, but it is bearable – even for democratic societies.”

Mölling saw the announcements by Russian President Vladimir Putin that the dispute would continue for a long time as a message to the West. “It’s aimed at us,” he said. “And to the Kremlin’s hope that the German media might write letters again at Christmas, that we should finally negotiate now.” In his estimation, however, Putin’s strategy will not work.

Mölling referred to Finland and Sweden, which are headed for NATO membership after the attack on Ukraine. They would certainly not advocate ending support for Ukraine there. For these countries, the war really marks a turning point. There is a “grown fear of Russia,” said Mölling. Even if the people of the West had to pay a price for the war, he does not expect the current course to change: “I don’t think we will get out of a financial argument.”

According to the expert’s impression, Russia’s priority now is not to lose the war. However, the country had reached its limits in the production and procurement of supplies for its troops – and had to rely on difficult partners. “One is now in bed with North Korea and Iran,” said Mölling. “Russia is selling itself pretty hard right now so as not to lose what is actually a very limited war.” At least so far, Mölling has not seen the high number of deaths by the Russian army as a threat to Putin’s rule. “He can probably handle it,” he said.

There is no organized civil society in Russia and there is no discernible focal point for protests. Putin’s offer to his own population is that they should not be bothered by politics in their everyday lives. Therefore, the following applies to the regime in Moscow: “These deaths are tolerable as long as you can keep the war away from the reality in the big cities.”