A debate on mobilisation is raging and the government has been forced to revise a draft law intended to make it harder to avoid it.
“Our units are missing personnel. We need young people, under-40s. And the most important thing is that they should be motivated,” a battalion commander told AFP near Bakhmut in December.
In terms of arms, the situation is uncertain because of friction in the United States over continuing aid against the backdrop of presidential elections.
Europe has unblocked its latest aid package of €50 billion (US$55 billion) – not without difficulty – but is way behind on pledges of ammunition delivery.
Without assistance and with its own defence industry badly depleted, Ukraine will not be able to confront Russia, which has mobilised its economy for war.
Kyiv is counting this year on deliveries of F-16 fighter jets which it has been requesting for months.
These should make up for a lack of artillery in stopping Russian assaults and supporting offensives.
Ukraine is also multiplying production of drones – a weapon that has become indispensable in this war.
At the same time, Kyiv is asking for more Western supplies to bolster its air defences against almost daily barrages of Russian missiles and drones.
“In 2024, the priority will be chasing Russia from the skies,” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said.
“He who controls the skies will determine when and how the war will end.”