NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg just released a bleak warning about the war in the coming months
NATO’s secretary general just advised Ukraine’s allies to be prepared for “bad news” in the war against Russia.
Jens Stoltenberg, chief of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, had a rather pessimistic message for Kyiv’s supporters in the West, as the war against Russia’s invasion is likely to stall in the colder months.
“We should also be prepared for bad news.”
He noted Ukraine is currently in a “critical situation”, but stopped short of actually recommending any particular action.
“I will leave it to the Ukrainians and military commanders to make these difficult operational decisions,” he said.
His words follow months of deadlock on the frontline. Ukraine launched a much-anticipated counteroffensive in the summer but it made little progress, and triggered some dissent in the West about much more funding the war will need.
Meanwhile, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Friday to recruit an extra 170,000 troops – which would mean he had a total of 1.3 million serving in his armed forces, and an estimated 2.2 million military personnel overall.
Stoltenberg did also point to Ukraine’s recent attacks with cruise missiles to strike the Russian fleet in the Black Sea.
He said: “These are big victories even though they have not been able to move the frontline.”
During the same interview, he called on Nato to unite, saying the “fragmentation of the European defence industry” needs to be addressed.
He added that “we’re not able to work as closely together as we should” and that allies should send more ammunition to Ukraine.
“We know the more we support Ukraine, the faster the war will end,” he added.
Last week, Stoltenberg also claimed Russia is “now weaker militarily, politically and economically”, but it must still not be underestimated.
He said Russia has stockpiled plenty of missiles ahead of winter, and will likely try and target the country’s power grid and energy infrastructure once again, to “leave Ukraine in the dark and cold” during the winter.
There have been concerns from Kyiv that the Israel-Hamas war may pull Western focus away from the Ukraine frontline.
However, US secretary of state Antony Blinken said on Wednesday that there was “no sense of fatigue” among Nato allies with Ukraine.