Ukraine’s defence against Russia has developed during the previous months, such that the contributions made by other countries in support of Ukraine, ended up involving all of Europa in this war.
None of the civilians living in Europe can ignore the actions of that man in the North. It was made clear, over time, that Vladimir Putin his words and actions could not be put aside as just some reliable one-man thoughts of a dreamer.
Several times he has lied about his plans and worse, to the Russian people, he has frequently distorted reality and given a totally inverted picture of what is really going on down below the Russian Federation. The West must be aware that it has to do with a very dangerous individual who shrinks for nothing. Even though the Americans had warned Europe of Russia’s possible plans to attack, no one in Europe could have imagined that the Russian President would entangle his country in a war with a country bordering the European Union.
Who knows, Putin may have turned his business completely differently for him than he had planned or hoped, and he has gradually ended up deeper in a hornet’s nest where he has now become stuck and sees no turning back. Putin was able to silence the West with several thunder sermons. In the long run, citizens could no longer see where things really happened or where propaganda was concerned because we also clearly saw that there is a propaganda war going on.
Putin is convinced that as a world leader he is in control and is entitled not only to make his threats known, but when it comes down to it, also will come out. That is certainly something we should not overlook in the West.
Almost one year after Russia invaded Ukraine, most western governments finally understand Kyiv’s war for survival is not only Ukraine’s war but has become their war, too. From the onset, several EU countries understood that they had to help Ukraine. First, they started by helping the refugees, then by providing food and medicines. As the war continued several saw the necesity to give Ukraine also weaponry. Tgey came to understand Putin should not be allowed to conquer Ukraine. It is clear that Europe’s democracy is in danger. It’s probably a fight to the death for Ukraine, but also for European democracy, rights and values.
Putin may have said he was going to liberate Ukraine and denazify it, but he uses Neo-nazi’s to do so. His Wagner group is not at all afraid to do inhuman justice. They deliver one atrocity after the other, leaving bloodshed behind them.
On January 19, a group of nine European states have pledged to deliver more arms to Ukraine in its war with Russia, saying they would send main battle tanks, heavy artillery, air defence, ammunition and infantry fighting vehicles. For a long time Zelensky had requested such help to be able to drive the Russians back.
Pressure was also growing on German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to lift his veto on sending the third generation German main battle tank (MBT) Leopard 2 tanks, to Kyiv. The Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has vowed to deliver Leopard tanks — whether Berlin agreed or not.
“Consent is a secondary issue here,”
Morawiecki told Poland’s public radio broadcaster Wednesday.
“We will either get this agreement quickly, or we will do the right thing ourselves.”
It became clear today that no European country should dawdle any longer. But this then means that basically, all European countries are also at war with Russia from now on. So one could actually also say that we have already entered that expected World War III.
Even when there is no battle going on (yet) in the individual countries, all members of the European Union are now totally involved in this ongoing battle up north. The U.S. “isn’t there yet” one could say, but it shall not take long before it also shall be delivering its own main battle tank designed by Chrysler Defense (now General Dynamics Land Systems), the M1 Abrams, to Ukraine, according to a Pentagon official.
European Council President Charles Michel is aware that Europe needs to be “very ambitious” to help Ukraine withstand a possibly imminent attack.
“The following weeks can be decisive in Ukraine, because of the military situation. There is a risk of a massive assault,”
Michel told the press, on his way back from Kyiv, where he had travelled to meet President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and deliver a speech at the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament.
Michel explained why it was important for him to draw attention, not only by bringing a very ambitious message of support to the Ukrainian people through his speech in Kyiv,
“but also this message to the European Union that we don’t give up and that we remain very ambitious to support Ukraine.”
From his saying we can conclude that many European leaders are convinced this debacle has gone so far that economic sanctions, diplomatic ostracism and nonexistent peace talks cannot by themselves end this war.
Generally, several leaders are also aware that they are dealing with a dangerous dictator who will not shy away from using even more unauthorised weapons and even turning to nuclear weapons. Fears of an escalating, even nuclear conflict, most often expressed by Germany’s government, are daily trumped by the horror of Putin’s relentless butchery.
By January 2023 the United States alone had already provided more than $25 billion of matériel, including 160 modern artillery pieces, 38 medium-range HIMARS rocket systems, hundreds of armoured vehicles, and tens of thousands of advanced munitions of all types.
Allies such as Poland and the Czech Republic have done even more (in relative, not absolute terms), supplying hundreds of Soviet-model tanks, an array of modern artillery systems, and all kinds of nonlethal support. Even Germany, at first hesitant to send modern tanks, has sent a score of advanced guns and missile launchers, some antiaircraft systems, and more. In total, the West in January had already sent more than 320 tanks, 2,400 other armoured vehicles, 450 artillery pieces, and more than 135 air-defense systems to Ukraine. And now many more are already on their way to the battlefield.
But it is known that to decisively defeat Russia’s forces, Ukraine shall need not only greater quantities but also different types of arms, including modern battle tanks, extensive air and antiballistic-missile defenses, and, above all, deep-attack systems such as the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) and long-range unmanned aerial vehicles. With such weapons, Ukraine can and will repeat and expand the disruption of Russian logistics that enabled its earlier counteroffensives.
Every time a kindergarten, school or hospital is bombed; every time atrocious war crimes, rapes and hideous acts of torture are uncovered; every time a family weeps over the grave of a loved one, killed in a struggle waged on behalf of all, Europe’s obligation to resist such brutalism is reinforced.
We are at a point where every European citizen’s eyes must have been opened and will have to admit badly enough that everything will have to be done to stop these inhuman practices.
No European country can remain on the sidelines without doing anything. Every country will now have to show how it wants to defend European values.
Even if dialogue would be quite a solution, we have to recognise that Putin is simply unwilling to engage in dialogue. And even if he wanted to reach an agreement, the past has shown that his promises are not worth much as he simply does not keep them. He simply cannot be trusted anymore.
We are aware that defeat would be disastrous and would only be the beginning of a next step southwards for the Kremlin regime. Europe in a way has no choice any more. It is pushed against the wall. In order to prevail, Europe must fight back with everything it’s got, even at the risk of national armed forces ultimately becoming directly engaged.
By offering a squadron of Challenger tanks last week, the UK gave Europe an important nudge.
“It will cost so much more in human lives and so much more in money if we allow this to be a long, drawn-out attritional war,”
foreign secretary James Cleverly said.
“We should look to bring it to a conclusion quickly, the conclusion has to be Ukrainian victory. And that dictates therefore that we need to intensify our support.”
Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Ukraine’s president, spelled it out for the hard of hearing with passion and panache in Switzerland last week. The allies must move faster and more decisively, he said, because
“tragedies are outpacing life [and] tyranny is outpacing democracy”.
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