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The Israeli war on Gaza has diverted focus and public attention away from the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, which had been garnering substantial political momentum and extensive media coverage since its outbreak in February 2022. This shift aligns with several factors and elements related to the nature of the conflict in the region and the key players involved.

The Western alliance, led by the United States and the European Union along with NATO, which significantly supported Kyiv politically and militarily, has started to wane for several reasons. One such reason is the inability to achieve decisive results on the military front, with the ensuing political and psychological implications. Standing in the face of Ukraine is Russia, which wields significant political and military might. Thus, this war is not just another fleeting conflict with a lesser or weak opponent.

Local political divisions within the United States have markedly contributed to the delay of aid for Ukraine inside Congress. This is relevant as it aligns with a presidential election year, and the competition is fierce between sitting President Joe Biden and his former opponent, ex-President Donald Trump. Most polls indicate that Trump is leading in securing the Republican Party’s nomination for a second term.

If there’s a political theory asserting that public support for wars and military conflicts wanes more rapidly in democracies than in dictatorships, this perspective could also be factored into the current analysis of ongoing warfare. However, this premise doesn’t fully align with the Gaza conflict, where Israel continues to receive backing from Western, mostly American, allies, despite being accused of genocide by the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Clearly, the Russian-Ukrainian war won’t come to an end without a political settlement that takes into account the military dynamics on the ground. Russia currently controls 18% of Ukrainian territory and hopes for even greater territorial influence.

Efforts towards a political solution to this conflict require reactivating international mediation, which has come to a virtual standstill. The ongoing strife has evolved into a protracted war of attrition for both sides and their backers. A deadlock looms large in this military standoff, one that won’t be easily resolved outside the realm of political and diplomatic frameworks.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have previously worked to keep channels of communication open with the Kremlin, especially during the early stages. However, this task has become more challenging amid increasing hostilities and escalating criticisms of Putin in the West. Nonetheless, to prevent further loss of innocent lives and curb the escalation of violence, both nations have the chance to bolster their mediation efforts before becoming more deeply entangled in the complexities of the ongoing conflict.

China, with its significant political clout and global stature, may be motivated to revive its diplomatic efforts, which had been initiated in a previous phase but eventually stalled. However, despite Washington’s inevitable disapproval of China’s intervention in resolving this conflict—in which hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested without yielding tangible results—the United States will also not overlook Beijing’s role in facilitating the Saudi-Iranian rapprochement after years of significant tension between the two countries. This development is especially significant as it was broken out in the Middle East, a region Washington regards as its geopolitical backyard, and where it aims to uphold its dominant influence.

Any political resolution to the Ukrainian crisis should abstain from regarding Russia as a crushed adversary, as such an approach would rule out viable solutions. What is needed instead are bold and innovative strategies that address Moscow’s security concerns regarding NATO expansion towards its borders. This would require a whole new foundation based on trust.

Trump’s return to the White House could undoubtedly change the political dynamics around this matter, especially given his relationship with Putin. One is deemed as “warmer” compared to both his predecessors and his successor. However, the key lies in the implementation.