Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky told G7 leaders in a video address this afternoon that war with Russia is unlikely to be over by the end of the year.
Former UK joint forces commander General Sir Richard Barrons has also admitted that it is “very unlikely” the war will have concluded by the onset of winter.
He told BBC’s Radio 4 World at One programme today: “I think the only way this war is over by winter is if one or other side gives up and that seems to me very, very unlikely.
“A far more likely outcome is that there is something of a stalemate where Russia can’t get any further forward and Ukraine can’t throw the Russians out and then we are into a different phase of this war while Ukrainian capability is rebuilt over the winter and into next spring.”
“We don’t know the size of the Russian stockpile of either precision or dumb munitions. What we do know is that every single precision missile that Russia fires into Ukraine only arrives at its target courtesy of US and European technology that is inside it.
“So by cutting off that technology and the supply of further components we will be limiting the Russian ability to refill its stockpile but it will find ways around it through supplies from other parts of the world.
“But Russia knows very well that without mobilisation, without declaring a war and mobilising its society and its industry, its capacity to continue this war in Ukraine is looking a bit thin now and that is likely to lead to the sort of stalemate we discussed earlier.”
However, UK prime minister Boris Johnson has urged Europe to “stay the course”, stressing that Russia could not be permitted to succeed in its attempted invasion of its neighbour.
Speaking to the BBC at the G7 summit ongoing in Bavaria, Johnson said: “I think strategic endurance in this is very important. I would just make a couple of points though, just to sort of reassure people at home.
“I think that the economic impacts on the UK will start to abate, we’ll find ways around things and some of the cost pressures will start to come down.
“But just in terms of staying the course, imagine if we didn’t. Imagine if we allowed Putin to get away with the violent acquisition of huge chunks of another country, a sovereign, independent territory, the lessons for that would be absolutely chilling.”
He said that it was ultimately up to Ukraine if it would only settle for pre-war borders if a peace with Russia should be broached.
“You can’t be more Ukrainian than the Ukrainians. I think it’s for Volodymyr Zelensky and his people to decide what they want,” he said.
In a joint statement released ahead of today’s meet, G7 leaders say they will provide backing to Ukraine “for as long as it takes”.
They explained: “We will continue to provide financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support and stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes.
“As we do so, we commit to demonstrate global responsibility and solidarity through working to address the international impacts of Russia’s aggression, especially on the most vulnerable.”