The New Europe Center defined West`s biggest mistakes and achievements during the two years of big war
23 February 2024, 10:00
author: Центр "Нова Європа"

The New Europe Center has prepared a series of analytical infographics assessing Western support over the past two years, following the large-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. Specifically, the Center’s analysts address three questions:

  1. What were the biggest mistakes of the West during the two years of the large-scale war?
  2. What were the main achievements of Western support?
  3. What initiatives from international partners will bring Ukraine closer to victory?

The goal of these latest infographics from the New Europe Center is to encourage Western partners to work on their mistakes, to take decisive steps that can bring Ukraine and the entire democratic world closer to victory over the aggressor.


The West’s 7 biggest mistakes during the two years of the large-scale Russo-Ukrainian War

  1. Lack of a sense of urgency. Extraordinary slowness, sluggish bureaucracy, and hesitation among partners have allowed Russia to seize the initiative: adapting to sanctions, establishing large-scale arms production, and mobilizing a significant number of soldiers.
  2. Absence of strategy. While many countries have advocated for providing Ukraine with all the support needed to liberate its lost territory and defeat Russia as quickly as possible, others persist in a policy of measured assistance aimed solely at preventing the collapse of Ukraine as a state.
  3. Weak sanctions. The sanctions’ mechanisms were implemented too slowly and are not targeting the most vulnerable areas of the Russian economy. Various third-party countries have been exploiting loopholes to circumvent restrictions.
  4. Insufficient amount of weaponry. Partners have proven themselves incapable of providing Ukraine with the necessary volume of weapons in a fast time frame. They have also failed to bring arms production to the demanded level.
  5. Self-defense restrictions. Western governments have imposed a ban on the use of their weapons on Russian territory.
  6. Failed communication. Western leaders have made a series of strategic communication mistakes by making statements about allowing Putin to “save face,” taking certain elements of strategic ambiguity off the table, such as stating that western militaries will not be fighting alongside Ukraine.
  7. NATO membership blockade. Ukraine’s membership in the Alliance is the only reliable factor guaranteeing the security of our state. However, some partners have rejected the possibility of inviting Ukraine into NATO until the war’s end, thereby encouraging Putin to prolong it.


Top 4 achievements of the West during the two years of the large-scale Russo-Ukrainian War

  1. Candidate status for EU membership. EU countries have taken the historic step of granting Ukraine candidate status for EU membership and decided to open accession negotiations, a development that had seemed unrealistic before the war.
  2. Lifting restrictions on critical types of weaponry. Under pressure from the Ukrainians, Western governments agreed to provide the Armed Forces of Ukraine with effective artillery systems, air defense systems, armored vehicles, aviation, and more. Presently, Ukraine is expecting American ATACMS missiles (with a range of over 300 km) and German Taurus missiles.
  3. Prevention of economic collapse. Thanks to significant budget support, Ukraine has proven itself resilient in maintaining a relatively stable financial and economic situation. Over the first two years of the war, Ukraine has received Western loans and non-repayable assistance totaling $31 billion.[1]
  4. Preservation of public support. Putin expected Western societies to quickly tire of supporting Ukraine. Instead, 72% of surveyed citizens of EU countries still advocate for financial assistance to Ukraine, and 60% approve of EU arms purchases and supplies for Ukraine.[2] Moreover, a relatively high level of public approval in support of Ukraine is persisting in non-EU nations such as the United States, United Kingdom, and Japan.

[1] RBC-Ukraine. Interview with Minister of Finance Serhii Marchenko. December 28, 2023:

[2] Eurobarometer. The survey was conducted in October-November 2023:



Top 8 Potential Game Changers

What initiatives from international allies will bring Ukraine closer to victory?

  1. More, newer, and timely provision of armament. Timely provision of the latest developments to the country is critical. Long-range missiles, such as the American ATACMS (with a range exceeding 300 km) and the German Taurus, are indispensable for Ukraine.
  2. Expanding arms production. A significant increase in arms manufacturing, including through collaborative efforts with Ukraine, will send a robust signal regarding the resolve of democracies to confront aggressors.
  3. Confiscation of funds in favor of Ukraine. Confiscation of Russian assets (the at least $300 billion frozen by Western countries) will significantly enhance Ukraine’s prospects of victory in this war of attrition.
  4. Invitation and initiation of NATO accession. Inviting Ukraine to the Alliance will be a decisive geopolitical step, demonstrating that Ukraine will never again be part of the “Russian Empire” or “Soviet Union” in any of their present or future This will send a loud message to Putin on the futility of continuing military actions.
  5. Intermediate security guarantees. The security guarantees between partners as per current agreements are insufficiently robust. As a minimum standard, allied countries might  adopt the so-called “strategic ambiguity” approach (similar to the guarantees provided to Sweden and Finland before their accession to NATO; or the model of guarantees provided by the USA to Taiwan).
  6. Formation of a resolute coalition. The establishment of an anti-aircraft shield over a portion of Ukraine (for instance, the western region) by Ukraine’s partners and the potential deployment of troops from partner nations within Ukrainian territory.
  7. Right to self-defense. The West should lift the taboo on the right of Ukrainians to strike with Western weapons at targets on the territory of Russia. Self-defence is the inherent right of a country, as provided by the UN Charter (Article 51).
  8. Enforcement of sanctions compliance. Partners should establish reliable monitoring and control mechanisms to ensure third-party countries’ compliance with the sanctions already in place.

The analytical infographics is also kindly published by European Pravda (Ukrainian) and Ukrinform (Ukrainian).

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