I hear that you’ve proposed negotiations with Putin to end the war. And that a guiding principle in your approach is that what solution is proposed be devoid of any sense of ‘humiliation’ for Russia.
Very considerate of you. Worrying about Putin’s feelings.
Given that he conceived and ordered the atrocities now going on in Ukraine. The massive destruction of property and infrastructure, the killing of men, women and children.
All because he felt threatened by a neighbor nation’s desire for freedom, something he will not offer to his own people. It’s just too threatening for him to see fellow Russians aspiring to such lofty state.
But just how are we to deal with a brute like Putin impersonating the president of a nation?
If he signed an agreement to cease hostilities, should we trust his word?
And why should we?
He invented that Ukraine is run by Nazis to justify the invasion, not that he needed an excuse. Just wanting to have his foot on Ukrainians’ throats was a good enough reason for him.
Oh, the virtues of having silenced his opponents. Dissident Alexei Navalny’s sentence just got extended and it is a safe bet that he will never go free so long as Putin is around.
But Putin has talents. Chiefly among them the talent to deceive.
He deceived the EU collectively, having said, ‘you can trust me on the energy supplies, I will always be there for you, so long – which he didn’t say out loud – so long as I’m allowed to do as I please’.
And the EU’s leadership bowed deeply, with much relief.
Understanding what happened to the EU’s leadership in dealing with Russia should be a top subject for discussion at centers that analyze international power relations. How was it that all those talented people failed to see the evidence?
Even a capable politician like you, at one point brought up the notion of ‘Finlandization’ for Ukraine. Echoes of WWII and after. Peace with the Russian bear in exchange for letting them have influence over Ukraine’s internal affairs. You caught flak for such proposal and quickly gave it up but the fact is you thought enough of the option to raise it.
I’m sure you’re wiser now.
Eventually the war will end yet Putin will not ask for forgiveness, will not apologize, will not acknowledge that he was ever in the wrong and forever believe, that those who sought to soften him up are weaklings. That is who he is. He simply does not get that freedom facilitates the development of our minds and spirits. He has not yet killed as many people as Stalin did but he is cut from the same cloth. Why should a man like that be exonerated in any way for the cruelties he’s inflicted?
Eventually, Russians will wake up. We all are hoping they do so sooner than later, but however long it takes, the wait will be well worth it if they come to realize how they lost their way, and how it took Ukraine to light up the path.
Oscar Valdes oscarvaldes.net, medium.com, anchor.fm, buzzsprout, apple and google podcasts