My last post explained why we should help Ukraine defend itself. It shares the liberal ideals of the U.S. and other democracies. It wants to be free and independent. It is clearly willing to defend itself against foreign invasion.
But there is also another big reason For Western support for Ukraine. Russia, under Vladimir Putin, is a major threat to world order. He wants to roll back the major gains which European countries have made since WWII, by joining together in the European Union, and supporting the spread of freedom and democracy into Eastern Europe. The invasion of Ukraine has caused Europe to wake up and directly confront the Russian threat.
The whole world is now condemning Russia for this ruthless military action, including millions of Russian people themselves. “Russia has suffered a crushing moral defeat.”
It is likely that Putin has ensured his own downfall. “His hubris is predicated on a profound misunderstanding of the power of liberal democracies. He sees the West’s contention over key policy issues as weakness and harbors contempt for the democratic process. He fails to understand that these inefficiencies are the result of a real strength – a political system responsive to the will of the people.”
So what the U.S. and the West need to do, besides providing weapons and other supplies to the Ukrainian military forces, is to keep up the pressure on the Russian economy:
- The U.S. should stop buying Russian oil and gas, relying instead on other foreign sources as well as its own substantial domestic production. Also encourage Germany to stand by its exit from the Nord Stream 2 pipeline coming directly from Russia and develop alternate supplies from other sources.
- Continue imposing strict financial sanctions on Russian banks. Of course, this will directly hurt the Russian people as well as the Russian government. But this is what it will take to put strong pressure on Mr. Putin to reverse course.
- Encourage major multinational companies to exit or at least suspend operations in Russia.
Conclusion. By trying to restore the strength and dominance of the former Soviet Union, Vladimir Putin is a threat to the peaceful world order which has developed and spread since the end of the Cold War in the 1990s. He needs to be firmly resisted by the free world and the military invasion of Ukraine is an excellent opportunity to defeat his grandiose ambitions.