It’s time for the Western world to punish Russia with severe economic, territorial and military consequences to secure world peace. The world’s complicity has allowed Russia’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine by repeatedly failing to penalize Russia for war crimes, genocide and peace violations over the past 100 years.

Western countries should courageously follow the Baltic countries living perilously adjacent to Russia. Baltic citizens understand Soviet repression better than anyone, having experienced mass murder, genocide and Siberian exile. Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, known as “the Iron Lady of Europe,” offers words of wisdom: “The war cannot end with Russia getting richer, but instead should end in punishment.”

Those who advocate for an “Alice in Wonderland” peace with Russia – without retribution – are ambivalent with regard to history. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is the continuation of a century of aggression, and it can continue indefinitely – as an object in motion, according to Newton’s theory, will continue indefinitely. Beginning in the early 1930s, four million ethnic Ukrainians were deliberately starved to death by a genocidal man-made famine known as “the Holodomor,” engineered under the direction Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

In recent decades, Western nations have blindly watched Russia wage war and commit industrial scale human atrocities in Moldova, Chechnya, Georgia, Syria and Ukraine with impunity. Russia has also escaped punishment for peace agreement violations and Stalin’s terror. Russia’s imperialistic ambitions have become reckless to the point of Russian politicians claiming rights to Alaska. Now is the time to severely penalize Russia into submission, thereby deterring China, the greatest threat in the coming decades.

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Kyiv's Top Diplomat Urges 'Direct' Ukraine Peace Talks on China Trip

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So, when will Americans stop listening to news entertainers and learn the truth? Ukraine is fighting for world peace and America’s security as well. Granted, U.S. taxpayers provided roughly $24 billion in military spending for Ukraine in 2022 – a relative bargain representing 0.1% of U.S. GDP. A subdued and demilitarized Russia could bring American taxpayers trillions of dollars in future defense savings considering the Cold War (1948-1991) is estimated to have cost about 13 trillion dollars.  

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Western countries are now sending Ukraine a plethora of upgraded armored fighting vehicles. The ramped-up supply of military equipment aimed at pummeling Russian forces must continue unabated in order to thwart a potential Russian offensive. A decisive Russian defeat is the only pathway to a surrender, with demilitarization or denuclearization clauses critically important for stabilizing lasting world peace.

Western countries’ repeated mistakes stem largely from a misunderstanding of the Russian population’s mindset. They have never experienced a functioning democracy. Instead, their minds are bombarded with Soviet imperialistic propaganda. As a result, most Russians have become zombies that fully support Putin’s genocide.

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Meanwhile Russian President Vladimir Putin, who deludes himself with comparisons to “Peter the Great,” continues leading Russia’s genocidal conquest. When Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February, Putin absurdly proclaimed it was justified to de-nazify Ukraine and protect Russians living there. In his mind, the murderous displacement of Ukraine’s 43 million civilians is collateral damage, an acceptable price for rebuilding a grand Soviet empire.

At this point, fantasy negotiations with Russia’s mass murderers are implausible. A decisive Ukrainian victory is the only option that can force a Russian withdrawal from occupied areas in Ukraine, including Crimea. In addition, Russia should withdraw its troops controlling Transnistria, the internationally unrecognized territory inside Moldova, bordering Ukraine. While Transnistria purports to be a legitimate Russian enclave, it’s actually a mafia enterprise supported by dark Kremlin money. The same money was recently used to pay Kremlin supported protestors trying to overthrow pro-Western Moldova.

NATO allies should begin formulating a preamble independent war crimes tribunal for crimes of aggression. Those involved with war crimes and genocide must ultimately be held accountable. The initial formulation of a tribunal would signal an ominous blow to Russia. 

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In addition, the U.S. should designate Russia a “State Sponsor of Terrorism,” as this would bludgeon the Russian economy with more severe sanctions. All other existing sanctions should remain in force until the Russian government and its citizens repent current and past atrocities, and arrange reparation payments to compensate Ukraine.

Russia’s imperialistic dreams of conquest have shattered world peace and security. The question is where do we proceed from here? Will the U.S. and allies allow Russia’s genocide to spread worldwide and repeat the horrific transgressions of the last century, or will Russia be economically and militarily punished into submission, resulting in long-term world peace? Perhaps, the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

 David Root is currently a citizen advocate for US Ukrainian Activists in the Washington, D.C. area. Previously Mr. Root spent 15 years as a citizen activist and lobbyist on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., specializing in national security and immigration issues.

 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s and not necessarily those of the Kyiv Post.

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