Ukraine War, October 15, 2022: Bernard-Henri Lévy: The war will end with Putin’s capitulation

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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.


1) Tunku Varadarajan, “The Man Who Said Ukraine Would Win; ‘The real reason Putin has not succeeded,’ says Bernard-Henri Lévy, is that his opponents ‘know why they fight,’l Wall Street Journal, October 14, 2022 (3:14 pm ET);

2) Katrina vanden Heuvel, “The Cuban missile crisis was 60 years ago, but it’s urgently relevant today,” Washington Post, October 11, 2022 (7:00 a.m. EDT);


Varadarajan reports on his conversation with Bernard-Heri Lévy, a renowned French philosopher, war reporter, and human rights advocate.

Lévy was one of the first to declare clearly that Ukraine would defeat the Russians.

*”(T)the real reason Putin has not succeeded”—the reason Ukrainian morale has remained high even in the face of the most “stomach-churning” Russian atrocities against civilians—is that “they know why they fight.”

They fight not only for “their existence, their survival,” but also for “values which they believe are worth risking their lives for,” Mr. Lévy says. That’s what led him to conclude in March that the Ukrainians would win: “I said it very early on. And I never, absolutely never, doubted it.”*

Lévy is confident that the war will end in victory for Ukraine:

*How will we know that Ukraine has won? “It’s very simple,” Mr. Lévy says. “We’ll be able to celebrate victory on the day that Putin will capitulate. Not just lose, but capitulate.”*

What will capitulation mean? Varadarajan asks.

*”Bring back his army to where it was before this long war.” Putin must “evacuate his war dogs from the territories he claims absurdly to have ‘annexed,’ and also, of course, from Crimea.” Mr. Lévy is adamant there is no other solution that will afford a durable peace. “And no other solution, also, if we wish to end the energy, nuclear and even terrorist blackmail that the Kremlin has inflicted on us.”*

Regarding negotiations and “exit ramps”, Bernard-Henri Lévy has the following to say:

*He likens the present day to early 1945, when victory in World War II was approaching. “Did the democracies negotiate with Hitler? Did they look for compromises? Or offer him an exit ramp? No. They demanded his capitulation with no conditions. Well, it is the same with Putin.” The people of Ukraine don’t want to negotiate. They want justice, “not revenge.” And justice, Mr. Lévy says, “must be quick, must be fair, and must be severe.”*

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