Ukraine War, May 17, 2022: Standing firm with Garry Kasparov against Putin and Russia

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To see a list of previous articles, enter “Ukraine” in the Search Box on the upper right, on The Trenchant Observer web site, and you will see a list in chronological order.

Dispatches

1) Garry Kasparov, “This Is No Time to Go Wobbly on Russia; Appeasing Putin has cost the free world dearly. We have an opportunity to rediscover our values,” The Wall Street Journal, May 16, 2022 (5:58 pm ET);

Note: As of May 18, it was not possible to find this article through the Search function on the Wall Street Journal’s website. The easiest way to find it is to do a Google search.

Commentary

Garry Kasperov has first-hand experience. He reminds us who Vladimir Putin is, and of the grave mistakes we have made over the years, which amounted to appeasement, and how our failure to hold him to account after Georgia in 2008, after Ukraine in 2014, and after Syria beginning in 2015 contributed to the situation we find ourselves in today.

“This is no time to go wobbly on Russia,” Kasperov argues, persuasively.

There are still signs that some Western leaders haven’t yet learned that isolating Mr. Putin and responding to him with strength is the only way to make lasting progress. French President Emmanuel Macron spoke last week about the need to negotiate with Mr. Putin, to give him face-saving off-ramps. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin called his Russian counterpart Friday to urge a cease-fire, potentially leading to the sort of “frozen conflict” Mr. Putin loves because he simply ignores the restrictions while consolidating and rearming.

I’ve long said that Mr. Putin is a Russian problem and must be removed by Russians. But the West needs to stop helping him. Every phone call that legitimizes his authority, every cubic meter of gas and every barrel of oil imported from Russia is a lifeline to a dictatorship that is shaking for the first time.

Kasperov warns against those who would strive for a “ceasefire” at any cost, to save lives:

If the goal is to save Ukrainian lives, as Western leaders say, then the only way to do it is to arm Ukraine with every weapon President Volodymyr Zelensky wants as quickly as possible. A cease-fire that leaves Russian forces on Ukrainian soil would only allow Mr. Putin to continue his genocide and mass deportations under cover, as he’s been doing since he first invaded in 2014.

Will the West have the staying power to defeat Putin? Kasperov concludes,

We will see how committed Ukraine’s allies really are as the war moves into a new phase in which defense is not enough. Will they help Ukraine win, to destroy Mr. Putin’s war machine, and to restore all Ukrainian territory? Will they keep sanctions in place to increase domestic pressure on Mr. Putin and to let his mafia know that there is no way back to the civilized world for them and their families while Mr. Putin is in power?

These are questions that should remain front and center until the last Russian soldier leaves the territory of Ukraine, and appropriate arrangements are made for Russia to pay reparations for the damages it has caused to Ukraine and Ukrainians through its unprovoked war of aggression.

The Trenchant Observer

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See also,

Only force can stop Putin

“Ukraine War, April 5, 2022 (II): Force must be used to stop Putin,” The Trenchant Observer, April 5, 2022.

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