Alas, the West still lacks a strategy in this war. The decision to take away cars from Russians at the entrance to the EU at the same time as lifting sanctions on Russian oligarchs is a prime example of this. The free world is still looking for half solutions instead of fundamentally recognizing that Ukraine must win this war and Putin’s regime must be dismantled. This is the only chance for a civilized future for Russia or what remains of Russia. But there is no such solution. In the absence of a unified strategic line, the bureaucracy lives by its own laws. Decisions are made, often based on immediate needs, and often these decisions contradict each other. Some decisions come from the Baltic States, others from Brussels, others from Washington…
The attempt to make it as difficult as possible for Russians to enter Europe is largely due to the belief that Western politicians have developed under the influence of our “oppositional philosophical thought”: if everyone leaves, who will protest? In fact, this is the idea presented to the West by those who live on its grants, because the need to submit reports and justify getting money to work inside the country has not been canceled. Partly for this reason, it is difficult for us to promote the idea of creating a “virtual South Korea” in the West. We get the following response to our proposals: but then who will oppose Putin inside Russia if everyone leaves?
It is time to give the answer: NO ONE! Today’s Russia is the fascist Germany of 1943-44. Under such conditions there can be no protest, and anyone who says that there is, that something is about to ripen, is lying! Someone – by stupidity, someone – proceeding from mercantile interests, but all of them in one way or another lie and deny the historical truth. For 19 months there is a war, people in Russia are thrown into camps for any disagreement with it. And it is ridiculous to demand any kind of protest from those inside the dictatorship.
Special attention should be paid to the topic of “elections” and “work inside the country,” which is promoted by the political bogeyman in the hope of holding on to grants for as long as possible. The West spends tens of millions of dollars a year on absolutely vicious policies that create this absurdity and allow decision-makers to think: “Why should Russians leave, let them stay in Russia! Look at how many respected people say that they are dialoguing there! We have spent so many resources to make this work happen, it must bring results at some point!”. But the results will never come.
The West should not wait for results from funding “the development of civil society in Russia,” but help people who do not agree with the regime to leave. Give them the opportunity to build a free Russia, like the free France in 1940 that General de Gaulle declared.
The war is dragging on, which means Putin will use all resources. There should be no illusions about this. To the last soldier, to the last dollar, Putin will fight. All that can be done is to deprive Putin of resources. Mainly human and intellectual resources. Every engineer who can get out of Russia is minus one missile. The fight must be fought to deplete Putin’s resources. This is the only way to bring Ukraine’s victory closer and, as a consequence, Russia’s return to the family of civilized nations.