Op - Ed, Opinion

Putin’s evil, Ukraine’s heroism

By Angelo Lynn

To adjust from last Tuesday’s Town Meeting concerns to the dizzyingly complex world stage is mind-numbing. Putin’s increasingly brutal invasion of Ukraine has shocked our collective senses. The personal stories of survival and death, of fear yet determination, of heroic acts and national resilience among the Ukrainian people have reawakened the hearts of democracies around the world and spurned them to collective action.

There is hope in such passion and their righteous cause.

But Russia’s military muscle is sobering. Its overwhelming size and firepower foretells its own story unless Putin can be convinced that enormous bloodshed is not in his best interest. Already he has lost any favorable narrative. He has isolated Russia, economically and politically; and he has run into a foe willing to fight and inflict significant damage on Russian forces for weeks or months, not the few days he had expected. Moreover, he has united NATO and other neighboring countries in ways no one imagined.

He also has revealed his true self: a lawless, ruthless dictator with a crazed vision of recapturing Russia’s former territorial might. NATO’s and the West’s resolve to punish Putin with all the resources it has for as long as it takes is the task of today’s world leaders. President Joe Biden has demonstrated the behind-the-scenes patience needed to unite our allies, the insight to be a step ahead of Putin and to deny him a false narrative, and the no-nonsense rhetoric used to exercise force while not bringing the world into nuclear war.

The clear strategy is to pressure Putin to take an off-ramp soon and avoid a potential years-long siege that crushes prospects for peace. The question the West must determine is how much stronger a show of force is needed, and how great are the consequences of imposing it.

Angelo Lynn is the editor and publisher of the Addison County Independent, a sister publication to the Mountain Times.

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