After Russian military forces invaded Ukraine in February, support for the embattled republic swept across the West, as did condemnation of Putin's aggression—and the threat it represented to the whole idea of democratic sovereignty. Ukraine’s resilience since has won global admiration, and been a source of global inspiration, but that resilience hasn’t come without cost in the West: The protracted war that’s resulted has driven energy and fuel prices dramatically higher—and inflation to levels unseen since the 1980s. And the spike in energy costs, in particular, has provoked public protests in a number of European countries. Yet support among strong majorities in the European Union, the United States, and other democratic countries remains firm. Why is that?

Chris Miller is an assistant professor of international history at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and the author of the new book Chip War: The Fight for the World’s Most Critical Technology. To Miller, there’s a confluence of reasons: Ukraine’s battlefield success has won the confidence of global publics; Kyiv’s careful management of its allies has won the confidence of Western leaders; and Russia’s own leadership has meanwhile made so many mistakes, and suffered so many setbacks, that it no longer looks like the overwhelming imperial menace it appeared to be a year ago. All of which has supported a powerful moral consensus throughout the West. Russian elites, meanwhile, remain confused by this consensus, expecting it to have collapsed by now. The biggest question, to Miller, is how Moscow will adapt to a global reality it didn’t anticipate—through the end of the war and in its eventual aftermath.

Eve Valentine: Why do you think we haven’t seen any real signs of fatigue in Western support for Ukraine?

Chris Miller: It’s a pivotal question. A year ago—or even nine months ago—there were many, many predictions that the West would get tired of supporting Ukraine, and you’re right, that hasn’t really happened to any appreciable degree—in the U.S. or in Europe.

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