The war in Ukraine has slowed down.
It’s winter, they say.
But should it?
Russian missiles keep falling on Ukrainians, killing them and destroying their infrastructure.
Should this not be a time to press on, to give Ukraine better weapons,
the kind that may unsettle Putin and draw him to, once again, threaten us and the world with his nuclear weapons?
With the help of China he has managed to circumvent many of the sanctions the West has imposed. So China is clearly an accomplice in this confrontation. The help they provide Putin leads to more Ukrainian lives lost and more destruction of property.
In 1994, three years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, we signed the Budapest Memorandum, along with Britain and Russia, guaranteeing Ukraine’s sovereignty in exchange for the surrender of their nuclear weapons. If they had those nuclear weapons today,
there would have been no war. The thousands of lives lost would have been spared.
The billions of dollars spent would have been put to other uses. The misery would not have happened.
Somehow, the West, exulting that the Soviet Union had been dissolved in 1991, miscalculated.
We trusted that there would be respect for agreements made.
But 20 years later, in 2014, Putin chose to invade Crimea and the Eastern section of Ukraine.
Obama was president and he let it happen. Yes. Let it happen. Whatever he was doing, he said, ‘Oh well, Russians will be Russians. It’s just Crimea.’
Given that, why not take the rest of Ukraine, reasoned Putin. The West can be pushed around, he thought. Plus I have managed to trick all of Western Europe into thinking they can depend on my supplies of oil and gas. Of course, there will be a price for such largesse, reasoned the exemplary human being that Putin is.
And so on February 24th 2022, he marched into Ukraine expecting the population would welcome the annexation of their country. For the glory of a greater Russia!
Ukraine, of course, having endured enough Russian oppression, could read them better than anyone else.
They knew exactly what his highness Vladimir had in mind. Subjugation. Destroying their language and identity. Devaluing them.
It was the courage of Ukrainians that woke up the West. Otherwise, we would still be in la la land. And so we owe it to them that Russia is not now pushing on the border with Poland and the Baltic countries and Finland and Romania and Hungary and saying, we need some extra space, for our empire demands it. Give it up or we’ll bomb you because I have nuclear weapons, cried that divinity that Putin has managed to become – with the consent of the West.
Ukrainians have fought with exemplary courage. When was the last time the world saw such valor and determination?
They deserve our determination, in turn. Which means that we, the global West, should be willing to better arm Ukraine so they can better fight Putin and his supporters.
By now we know that the Russian people are not willing to revolt against their leader. Fear has induced such passivity in them that they will do whatever the great Vladimir asks them to do.
To better arm Ukraine means giving them weapons Putin may consider an escalation of the conflict on our part.
We must go there.
We need to be willing to look Putin in the eye when he reacts by threatening to use nuclear weapons and say to him, ‘We’re ready for you. And beware that if you fire a nuclear weapon in our direction, Moscow and St Petersburg will go up in flames. And let your accomplice Xi Jinping know, also, that Beijing and Shanghai will burn, too, because they have enabled you and don’t deserve any better fate.’
We need to use that language because we owe it to Ukraine and the cause of freedom.
We signed the Budapest Manifesto and let Russia violate it.
We then let Crimea be taken over and also the eastern section of Ukraine. And yet we still worry that we might displease Putin if we give Ukrainians the right to defend themselves?
Ukraine is part of us.
Ukraine is a land of freedom.
We must step up now and back them all the way.
Let us take our chances.
We will survive whatever happens.
Freedom rests on the commitment to what is noble in us.
If we don’t step up now we degrade ourselves.
Short of nuclear weapons, we should give Ukraine all the weapons they need.
We need to do it now before Putin uses the Winter to rearm.
To President Biden. This is your moment. Do what needs to be done. Don not hesitate.
Action now will help liberate not only Ukraine but Russians and Chinese, who endure the atrocious repression of their leaderships.
Push for victory.
Dare, Mr President. Dare.
The war in Ukraine has slowed down.