For sure a Russian missile on the territory of Poland scared NATO. Even though an explanation for the attack was found quickly enough and convincing comments were given, many European leaders wondered what next steps to take. It is worth noting that there are not many options to choose from: supply Ukraine with more anti-aircraft missiles and place anti-aircraft missiles on the Polish-Ukrainian border, or admit that this was a deliberate attack by Russia and act.
The main thesis of Europe and NATO now: we do not want the escalation of the conflict. And there is the point. But the fact is that silence for Russia is a sign of consent. Green light for further attacks. An important thing to realize now is that terrorists do not need negotiations or a peaceful resolution of the conflict. Terrorists need terror. Did we want to listen to al-Qaeda’s excuses after 9/11? Is the world interested in the dogmas of the Taliban? Does the world agree with Jihad (holy war in Islam, the main purpose of which is to spread Islam)? Was Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait considered fair? What did the world think about the bombing of the maternity hospital in Syria? And now the main question comes. Do Ukrainians see the difference between the terrorist acts of Al-Qaeda and Russia? No. We don’t see any difference.
There is no doubt that Ukraine needs more air defense systems because superiority in the air is currently Russia’s only advantage. NATO will not close the sky over Ukraine — this is a fact that must be realized. «Patriot» systems on the border of Poland and Ukraine will not protect NATO — this is a fact that should also be realized. From a tactical point of view, this is a really good decision. Long-range systems with long-range radars can make it much easier to shoot down enemy missiles at the current stage of the war. Is it possible given the position of neutrality that the alliance is trying to maintain? This is a more complex question. Stoltenberg’s recent statement that similar decisions should be made at the national level by NATO member countries confirms that Europe is not ready for a confrontation with an aggressor country.
At the same time, Ukrainian reality is tough. «Cold winter», «Winter will be difficult», and «Ukraine must prepare for a hard winter» — while for Europe and the USA these are just news headlines in daily newspapers, for Ukraine, this is a real threat of an aggravation of the energy crisis. Ukrainian intelligence says that Russia is preparing new massive attacks on critical infrastructure facilities, and this means that there is not much time left for the transfer of long-range systems to Ukraine. This will make it possible to strengthen protection and protect not only specific objects of critical infrastructure, but also guarantee a certain level of inaccessibility of Ukrainian energy infrastructure.
The illusion that there is a shortage of missiles in Russia is, unfortunately, only an illusion. Yes, there are really few new missiles left, but air-launched missiles were produced in thousands during the Soviet Union and are currently owned by Russia, which will allow the aggressor to continue shelling strategic objects and terrorist acts against the civilian population for a long time.
«Now the air defense of Ukraine is dealing with extremely complex targets that can fly an unpredictable route from any direction. And it does it on long-outdated equipment from the times of the USSR. And the fact that Ukrainian anti-aircraft fighters manage to destroy cruise missiles in these conditions is a manifestation of great skill,» — says Serhii Zgurets, a military expert and director of the information and consulting company Defense Express.
Increasing the supply of air defense by NATO allied countries is currently a critical issue for Ukraine to deter the aggressor. After all, as we already know, terrorists do not need peaceful ending the conflict. Terrorists need terror.