By unleashing a full-scale war of conquest against Ukraine, the Putin regime has brought bloodshed, suffering, and grief back to Europe, which it has not known since 1939-1945. The notions of the modern civilized world about the permissible and the impermissible, worked out at a high price, which served as a barrier to violence and cruelty, were overturned.
This is not a “regional conflict”. The aggression of Putin’s Russia is destroying the basis of the international legal order established after 1945 – the ban on annexations, that is, the forcible seizure of territories and the unilateral redrawing of borders. Violating this principle is fraught with plunging the world into chaos. Civilization will be thrown far back into barbarism.
Hopes to bring the Putin regime back to respect for international law through diplomatic efforts or concessions “taking into account its interests” are illusory. His aggressiveness stems from his very nature, from his ideology. A world built on the dictates of the strong, on domination and submission, is its lofty ideal and longed-for goal. The current international legal order, based to a large extent on the principles of the Western global liberal project, is for the Kremlin an obstacle to this goal and must be removed. Together with the Western liberal civilization that gave birth to it.
The challenge thrown to civilization by the Putin regime is of the same nature as the challenge previously thrown by fascism, thrown by Hitler’s Nazi regime. Strictly speaking, the Putin regime is the reincarnation of Nazism, adapted to the conditions of the postmodern era. It is impossible to compromise with him, and only force can stop him.
The rebuff that the Free World is giving to Putin’s aggression today is not decisive and consistent enough. The very main principle that guides the leading countries of the West is erroneous: to avoid “escalation of the conflict” and draw new participants into it at all costs.
Putin’s Russia cannot be allowed to secure the occupied Ukrainian territories. But if the task of their release is to be taken seriously, a significant expansion of military assistance to Ukraine is necessary. On the other hand, the prospect of losing the annexed lands will push the Kremlin to escalate, which at a certain stage may lead to a direct armed clash between the Russian Federation and NATO members. However, attempts by NATO countries to evade such a clash at any cost will only lead to the actual legitimization of the completed annexation of a significant part of Ukraine.
The only thing that can prevent the triumph of Putin’s “new world order” is the determination of Western countries to fight for a “peace without annexations” if necessary. This requires the realization that war is for the basic values that define the face of our civilization. And that the situation when Ukraine protects the entire Free World, sacrificing the lives of its best sons and daughters, and the Free World itself is limited to cautious deliveries — this situation is deeply immoral.
We call on the leaders of the West as a matter of priority:
- Make it clear that the overall goal of the Free World is the return of all annexed territories to Ukraine.
- To make it clear that any kind of “freezing” of the existing front line is unacceptable.
- Quantitatively and qualitatively expand assistance to Ukraine with weapons, including tanks, aircraft, and long-range missiles capable of hitting military targets deep in the Russian rear.
- Use frozen Russian assets to compensate for the damage caused to Ukraine.
- Initiate the creation of a special International Tribunal to try Russian war criminals. They must be held accountable.