What observers have long expected has happened. Following a request from the Duma – even dictators like to act as if there were a democracy – Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the independence of the two Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk and is now officially sending troops to these regions. Anyone familiar with the map of Ukraine knows that these two areas mean far more than the part of eastern Ukraine occupied by Russian mercenaries. The tactic is known from many other Russian invasions (e.g. Georgia 2008).
Based on past experience, Putin can of course expect that the free world will only react to his war with empty words. That would be like an invitation to let his tanks advance further into Ukraine.
Frantic political trips to Moscow allow the Russian President, through his propaganda media, to show the Russian people that their country is once again a world power and that he, Putin, is the man who accomplished this feat. They all talk to him like they did during the Cold War, when the USSR was also a world power.
The EU is now called upon to demonstrate its ability to act in foreign policy. This requires targeted sanctions aimed directly at the Russian President and his immediate environment, which is causing this war. They all have their mansions in Europe, their accounts in western banks, their yachts in western waters, and their businesses in the free world. They must be cut off from these luxuries. Former Western leaders who work for Russian companies should now have the decency to resign from the Putin system.
Ukraine itself is ready to defend itself. To do this, however, the country needs support from the EU, specifically military equipment, i.e. weapons that increase its defense capability. Because we must be clear about one thing: Ukraine is not only defending its own freedom, it is also defending the freedom of Europe.
Published: 23th February 2022.
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