It's Time to End the War in Ukraine
As someone who has been a vocal supporter of Ukraine’s fight for its sovereignty since the day it was invaded, I take no pleasure in writing this article. Indeed, I do so with a heavy heart.
But the time has come to end the war in Ukraine.
To be clear, none of what follows is to suggest that Ukraine was wrong to defend itself, that we were wrong to encourage them, that we were wrong to commit considerable financial and other resources to supporting them or anything of the kind.
On the contrary, with our support, Ukraine has achieved what almost no one could have predicted when Putin first invaded.
Most have, of course, forgotten this, but when the war first broke out, Russian formations had reached the outskirts of Ukraine’s capital, Kiev; Chechen death squads were hunting down Zelenskyy in his own city, and Kherson had been seized by Russian troops without a fight. Mariupol managed to hold out for some months before being encircled and taken. Kharkhov and Chernigov could easily have been overrun as well.
Attacked from three directions simultaneously, Ukraine was about to collapse. Again, most have forgotten that Vladimir Putin’s stated war aims were the “denazification” and “demilitarisation” of Ukraine. Translated from Russian propagandese, this would have meant the removal of Ukraine’s democratically elected leaders and their replacement with a Russian puppet – most likely Viktor Medvedchuk, whose daughter’s godfather is one Vladimir Putin. Territorially, the outcome could have involved anything up to and including annexation of the entire central and eastern part of Ukraine, to include Kiev.
The end result of this would have been the permanent loss of Ukrainian sovereignty, a huge win for Vladimir Putin and a humiliation for the West. The support we provided to Ukraine was instrumental in avoiding these terrible outcomes.
It was the provision of Western weapons, intelligence and advice – combined with the immense courage of the Ukrainian people and the skill of their political and military leaders – that allowed Ukraine to achieve what looked to be impossible in the first days of the war.
Using our help, the Ukrainians first repelled the attacks on Kiev, Chernigov and Kharkov, before recapturing huge swathes of land and even forcing Russia to withdraw from Kherson. As a result, Ukrainian sovereignty is no longer in question, Vladimir Putin has paid a heavy price for his invasion, and the West has discovered a unity few expected, myself included.
But all of these gains occurred many months and tens of thousands of deaths ago.
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