By XHABIR DERALA
The world is watching while Putin is waging a total war on Ukraine and conducting a genocide. It seems that everything in the international politics is set to see a fall of a nation and an unspeakable human suffering and bloodshed. Strong statements and speeches, even stronger tweets are issued every hour of the day.
With surprising speed, Europe has moved to block bank accounts, cancel businesses, and bar aerospace from Russian planes. It has also moved quickly to open borders to a flood of Ukrainian refugees, who are fleeing for their lives (a policy of openness and support towards refugees that was never seen in response to the Syrian crisis, we might add). But this is not enough. Far from it.
The world that calls itself “free” needs to wake up and stop to the looming genocide against Ukrainians. It is not enough to wave a finger, saying Putin will bear consequences. Because, in the end, it is the Russian citizens who will bear consequences the most. As we have seen, Putin is deeply committed to amassing power, and to his own terrifying brand of totalitarian regime. As we know, he will dig in even deeper, in search for the former glory of the Czarist Russian Empire. His oligarchs will lose a few billion dollars, but their immense power of controlling money and people will remain intact.
All measures taken by Western administrations so far seem to affect Russians people, who themselves have long been the victims of constant misinformation, manipulation, and unspeakable human rights abuses. They are not and should not ever be the target. Hundreds of thousands have, in fact, risked their lives to stand in the streets to say no to their tyrannical dictator. It is these brave Russians – our comrades in a war against tyranny that is global in nature – who need our support the most, so that they may finally sack the militant tyrant in the Kremlin.
Putin may be many things, but he is not stupid. He was well-prepared for the Western response. He has the cash, the cryptocurrencies, and the financial reserves. His internal financial system is also relatively intact. Putin and his clique have the power, the weaponry, and most of all the inhumanity they have shown again and again to unleash their raging war machine and to turn the death and suffering of civilians into a weapon of war.
Putin’s Nazi style onslaught is leveling resident buildings, hospitals and schools, committing unspeakable war crimes. The international response is “devastating sanctions” in a form of statements, resolutions and financial measures.
Are the measures taken by the West enough? No. Is a military response feasible? Also, no. Could the West do more in order to help Ukrainians defend themselves? Definitely, yes. Is it still possible? Also – yes, although the window of possibilities is getting narrower by the minute.
Putin is doing whatever he pleases, not only to the Russian people, and not only to the neighboring Ukraine, which is on the verge of being wiped away, but also to the whole world. Western political and business elites are somehow caught up in the web of interests, bureaucracy and – fear, above all.
Immediate steps to prevent further destruction of Ukraine include granting it EU membership, instituting the total blockade of Russia, and the heavy involvement of NATO, and the EU in meeting the needs and providing protection for refugees who are flooding over European borders. Putin has already, through his ally Belarus, attempted to destabilize Poland through the use of refugees waiting at the border. Europe must not allow the suffering Ukrainians to become reason for further radicalization in Poland, Hungary, and other EU countries.
We must also do all that we can to keep Russians informed of what death is being wrought in Ukraine, and let them know they are supported not only by European nations, but by all peace-loving people, should they bravely march on the Kremlin to topple the Mad Man.
This all must be done, before the Mad Man turns the world into a living hell.
With thanks to Heather Roberson Gaston for her great editing.