CNN reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin is believed to be prolonging efforts in Ukraine in hopes of a victory for former President Donald Trump or another Republican candidate in the 2024 election. While there is no concrete information about Putin’s intentions, national security officials and diplomats are closely monitoring the upcoming election. Some officials speculate that Putin is banking on a Trump-like politician who would potentially cut US funding and support for Ukraine, given Trump’s previous defense of Putin and his stance on the Ukraine conflict. However, Putin’s strategy of waiting for a candidate favorable to Russia may face challenges due to manpower issues, internal dysfunction in Russia, and Putin’s own decreasing influence following the Wagner Group uprising.
Although Trump is currently leading in polls as the GOP frontrunner, his legal troubles have raised doubts about his candidacy. Nonetheless, concerns persist that Russia could see an opportunity to weaken US support for Ukraine and attempt to outlast the United States if Trump wins. Despite a decline in public support for Ukraine, the Biden administration has stated its commitment to standing by Ukraine. US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan emphasized that Putin’s expectation of American resolve faltering or failing will not be rewarded.
Amidst these developments, ongoing US assistance to Ukraine remains vital. Officials stress the importance of continuing support during this uncertain period as the situation evolves.