Introduction. Main trends

  1. Geopolitics The situation around Ukraine.

1. "The United States is retreating into itself": the confrontation between the Democratic and Republican parties in Congress. Changing the political balance in the United States after the parliamentary election.

2. Allied assistance to Ukraine: the volumes provided, the accumulated difficulties and contradictions, and the significant risks of reducing the current levels of aid.

3. Initiatives of peace negotiations. Zelensky's peace formula and new ultimatums of the Russian Federation.

4. Prospects for Ukraine's accession to NATO.

5. The impact of other global and regional conflicts on the situation in Ukraine: the confrontation between the United States and the People's Republic of China, the Second Armenian-Azerbaijani War, the Israeli-Arab conflict, aggravation on the Korean Peninsula, etc.

6. Beginning of negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU.

  1. The course of the war. Warfare

1. Anticipation period for the "big" Russian offensive and fighting in the Donbas: the capture by the Russian Armed Forces of Soledar and Bakhmut in the Donetsk region (from January to May 2023).

2. The period of preparation of a large Ukrainian counteroffensive (from March to June 2023).

3. The initial phase of the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the South of Ukraine. Bombing of Kakhovska HPP. Mutiny of the curator of Wagner PMC Prigozhin. (June-July 2023)

4. The pace of the Ukrainian counteroffensive has slowed down, and hostilities have turned into the "war of attrition" phase (August-October 2023).

5. Stoppage of the counter-offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the transition of the military initiative to the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (November-December 2023).

6. Risks of nuclear escalation.

  1. Domestic Policy

1. Dropping popularity of the government and the formation of an alternative center of political trust (unused chances of V. Zelensky's team).

2. Personnel rotation and corruption scandals.

3. The situation around the elections.

4. Disagreements within the military-political leadership.

5.Social policy. Changes in fiscal policy and other tools to replenish the budget against the backdrop of reduced assistance from Western partners.

6. Mobilization.

7. Sociology.

8. Changing humanitarian policy (from pressure on the UOC to the adoption of the EU law on national minorities).

  1. Economic situation

  1. Main economic indicators

  2. Financing of the State Budget of Ukraine. The impact of assistance from Western partners and international financial institutions, the conditions for the provision of assistance.

  3. Budget for 2024

  4. Russian strikes on critical infrastructure and readiness for the winter season.

  5. The situation around the export of Ukrainian agricultural products. (Stopping the grain deal. Blockade of the Polish border).


During 2023, the political and military processes in Ukraine underwent very serious changes.

In the first half of 2023, Ukraine managed to maintain a relatively stable situation at the front, as well as strong expanding support for the allied countries, which were in positive anticipation of a large-scale counteroffensive of Ukrainian troops in the South of the country (following the example of Kharkiv and Kherson in the autumn of 2022). At the same time, the country had a leadership model of governance, in which real and nominal power was consolidated in the hands of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, President V. Zelensky and his team, and V. Zelensky's popularity was in the range of 70% - 80% of public support, and his Servant of the People party – 40%-50%.

But the failure of the Ukrainian counteroffensive, together with the results of the formation of a conservative Republican majority in the House of Representatives of the US Congress and the aggravation of internal confrontation inside Ukraine's main ally, led to a decrease in external political, military and financial assistance and an increase in uncertainty around Ukraine; a fall in the ratings of the government and the President within the country, the formation of alternative centers of popularity and an increase in political conflict, public fatigue and frustration. The series of serious corruption scandals in Ukraine and examples of ineffective public administration against the backdrop of monopolization of power only aggravated the situation.

Other international conflicts and confrontations also negatively affected the situation in Ukraine. First of all, between Israel and Hamas, and between China and the United States, which did not allow to fully isolate the Russian Federation from international markets and achieve high efficiency of the sanctions policy.

The EU stabilizing decision for Ukraine to start negotiations on the country's accession to the union was adopted at the end of the year and has so far a limited effect due to the complexity of the procedure and EU requirements, accumulated fatigue and disappointment within Ukraine and the deteriorating situation at the front, refusal to get accepted by NATO

By the end of the year, the Ukrainian state and society approached the brink of exhaustion of human, military and economic resources for the continuation of high-intensity hostilities, and their fate increasingly depends on external support and geopolitical conjuncture.

By the end of the year, two key turns had taken place in Ukraine:

1. After the failure of the counteroffensive and the decline of Western assistance, the military initiative at the front passes to the Russian Federation. Ukraine and its Western allies (led by the United States) decide to move to strategic defense. A plan has been announced for the construction of a large defensive line, which should begin with the front line between Ukraine and the Russian Federation and end on the Ukrainian-Polish-Belarusian border. But defense also requires significant resources and a new mobilization, which is extremely unpopular in Ukrainian society.

2. There is a decrease in the ratings of the government: President V. Zelensky (50-40%) of the Cabinet of Ministers and Parliament. The process of elevation of the alternative leader - Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine V. Zaluzhny begins. V. Zaluzhny's rating (40%) actually caught up with V. Zelensky's rating (42%), and his conditional party (36%) is ahead of V. Zelensky's Bloc (26%) by 10%. That is, the political system is conditionally divided into two camps (V. Zelensky and V. Zaluzhny). The ratings of other competitors of the government team are also growing, and an active political struggle is unfolding. At the same time, the demand for an end to the war is increasing in society: half of the population will already be in favor of stopping or negotiating it.

5. Conclusions and forecasts for 2024.

It can be assumed that in the winter-spring next year (the period before the elections in the Russian Federation in March 2024), political consultations or negotiations on the future end of the war may begin between the parties to the conflict. Edit the probability of their success remains low. Ukraine's Western allies are entering a period of political instability and elections - the United States, Britain, EU countries – the consistency of support for Ukraine may be violated. Against the background of the fact that Ukrainian troops have not achieved significant success at the front, discussions will intensify inside the United States (within the framework of the presidential election campaign of 2024) regarding further support for Ukraine at the current level and the need to ensure political control over the course of the war. At the same time, Ukraine's dependence on this support is increasing. The Russian Federation is also in a situation of serious sanctions pressure and a desire for stability during the presidential elections of 2024.

During this period, the situation in Ukraine will be characterized by an increase in internal political conflicts, a decrease in the level of international assistance and new Russian offensives.

This is due to the fact that the issue of assistance to Ukraine is becoming an instrument of pre-election confrontation in the United States, as well as a subject of political bidding in European countries.

The budget crisis in the United States demonstrates that Ukraine in any case will not be able to receive more funding, without which the development of a counteroffensive at the front will be impossible. If current funding is maintained, Ukrainian troops will only be able to conduct local operations or even be forced to switch to strategic defense.

If the US Congress does not solve the problem of allocating assistance to Ukraine, this may cause a significant deterioration in the economic situation, even if the Ukrainian Government will have to delay payments to state employees or return to the practice of issuing hryvnia, which will lead to an increase in inflation, and a political crisis.

President V. Zelensky and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine V. Zaluzhny were equal in ratings, as a result of which the entire political system "sprawls" potentially into two parties – V. Zelensky and V. Zaluzhny.

In March 2024, elections will be held in the Russian Federation, after which President Vladimir Putin will "unleash his hands" to escalate the situation: conducting new mobilizations and intensifying attacks on Ukraine.

Even if the leadership of the Russian Federation does not believe in achieving new victories over Ukraine, the seizure of new territories can play a key negative role in the American presidential election, depriving the incumbent President D. Biden of the chance to win. It will also create additional arguments and conditions for the Russian Federation to start negotiations with the new US Administration. Therefore, the Russian window of opportunity in this regard, in the period from March to November 2024 (before the US presidential election), or a little longer, is likely to be characterized by the maximum military escalation at the front. Also, Russia's attempts to destabilize the internal situation in Ukraine are not excluded.

The elections in the United States (November 5, 2023) will be of great importance for the situation in Ukraine. If the Republican candidate D. Trump wins, the financing of Ukraine will be significantly reduced or terminated, since D. Trump's policy is more focused on the domestic agenda.

Ukraine will try to speed up the negotiation process as much as possible before the elections to the European Parliament in 2024 (09.06.2024) and the presidency of Hungary in the Council of the EU from 1.07.2024. President V. Zelensky said that in the spring it is expected to develop a framework for negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU. And in the coming days, together with the European Commission, Ukraine will officially begin the process of assessing Ukrainian legislation for compliance with EU legislation – the screening process. In general, the situation at the front (which in turn directly depends on the financing and supply of weapons) will influence the prospect of further European integration. If the Russian Federation continues its offensive, the issue of Ukrainian European integration may be removed from the agenda due to increased military and political instability.

Therefore, in the period of 2024, Ukraine is likely to experience the most crisis moment in its history comparable to February 2022, during the beginning of the Russian invasion.


Political calendar of 2023


  1. Formation of a republican majority in the House of Representatives - January 2023.

  2. Fall of Soledar – January 2023

  3. Death of the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine -January 18, 2023

  4. Decision on the delivery of tanks – January 20, 2023.

  5. The fall of Bakhmut - early June 2023.

  6. The beginning of the Ukrainian counteroffensive - June 6, 2023.

  7. Bombing of Kakhovska HPP - June 6, 2023

  8. Granting Ukraine candidate status in the EU - June 23, 2022

  9. Prigozhin rebellion – June 23-24, 2023

  10. NATO's refusal. Vilnius Summit - July 10-14, 2023

  11. The White House made a final decision to transfer ATACMS long-range missiles to Ukraine on August 30, and sent them as part of a military assistance package announced on September 21.

  12. Decision on the delivery of aircraft - August 2023.

  13. Arrest of Kolomoisky - September 2, 2023.

  14. Dismissal of Reznikov - September 5, 2023.

  15. The beginning of hostilities in Gaza - October 7, 2023.

  16. Parliamentary elections in Poland: the return of the Polish son to the EU - October 15, 2023.

  17. Dismissal of the Commander of the Special Operations Forces of Ukraine – November 3, 2023.

  18. Adoption of the Law on the State Budget of Ukraine - November 9, 2023.

  19. Completion of the Ukrainian counteroffensive -November 2023.

  20. Failure of negotiations on the allocation of a new US aid package – December 2023.

  21. The beginning of negotiations on EU membership – December 14, 2023.

  22. "Hungarian veto" on the EU aid package - December 14, 2023.

Ruslan Bortnik, Oksana Krasovskaya, Andrey Timchenko


© UIP, 2023