There is no doubt that Russia is feeling the pain of Ukraine’s strong resistance, combined with the concerted efforts by Ukraine’s friends and allies to help militarily for “as long as it takes.” Recently augmented Western sanctions are also kicking in to punish Russia’s genocidal war, but Russia is now beginning to celebrate the misbegotten decision by US Congress to continue horse-trading democracy for immigration.

This can and must change. Democracies must stop Russia’s determination to trample over international law to establish its perverted “Russkiy Mir” (Russian World).

The free world’s mission must be to stop Russia’s intentions to inflict a reign of terror akin to what it exercised in Soviet times. But timing is everything. And there is danger to waiting much longer for the US et al to end Russia’s global terror-spreading from Anglia to Zimbabwe.

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Victory in Ukraine is essential. And Russia’s defeat in Ukraine will vastly reduce its potential future threat to the Western world. Moreover, Russia’s defeat is doable. The US just needs to resolve the on-going political paralysis and lead again, while friends and allies need to step up.

Below are five key crucial steps needed to delivering victory for Ukraine.

  • Strong financial aid could help Ukraine overcome Russia’s weaker military

Some $90 billon has been provided by Western friends and allies. It would have been much better had a robust military policy been in place to nip Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in the bud, but even a trickle helps. The recent uptick from Europe’s allies to deliver more is uplifting, with Germany and Italy having committed to providing indispensable airpower. 

23 European Parliaments Unite in Open Letter Urging US House Speaker to Provide Aid for Ukraine
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23 European Parliaments Unite in Open Letter Urging US House Speaker to Provide Aid for Ukraine

The speakers of parliaments across Europe urge their US counterpart to adopt the historic decision to provide Ukraine with the necessary funds to continue its fight against Russian aggression.

However, forthcoming decisions by Congress will be crucial to Ukraine’s victory. Does it want Ukraine to lose the war by denying a $60 billion military assistance package?  Some say it does; that it is afraid of Russia’s “escalation” just as it was when the USSR was collapsing.

Escalation is unlikely. If Russia were up to the task, it’s victory would have already taken place. 

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The ball is with US President Joe Biden, and a victory in Congress would be a personal one too. Besides, victory is urgently needed to cement US leadership of the democratic world.  Its prestige and reputation are on the line. Friends and allies must push hard for this outcome since it is a matter of global security.

  • The West must deal with a bully when he’s down

Russia’s “three-day” war on Ukraine is now into significant overtime. Its ground, sea forces and equipment have been depleted. It is begging for military assistance from China to Cuba. Its conscription efforts are also lagging.

Forced to advertise for officers, Russia uses civilians from occupied Ukraine – forbidden under international law – to fight. Russian front-line soldiers’ recorded messages complain about the lack of command, ammunition, equipment and pay. Many are refusing to fight the Russia has now lost over 315,000 soldiers. 

The second-best army in the world is second best only in Ukraine.

German experts say that, should it go undefeated and with a treaty on its terms, Russia will revamp its military industrial complex and return to fight Europe within a decade.

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  • Discriminatory EU and NATO standards must be changed

Standards set for Ukraine to join the European community and NATO have been largely influenced by what Russia wants.

Indeed, Russia’s objections to Ukraine’s membership undermines NATO, turning it into a passive spectator rather than a defense force. Meanwhile pro-Russia members get louder.

Both institutions need updates to favor Europe and the Alliance, not Russia. Members set up the rules and can change them.

  • Western sanctions need to be strengthened and enforced

Recently, the US added some 200 names of entities providing “significant contributions to the invaders’ military and/or defense base.”

This is already having an impact. Canada is under pressure to sanction two of its electronic companies on the enhanced US list – CPUNTO Inc. and Electronic Network Inc. – while Greece refuses to carry Russia’s energy across the Black Sea. 

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was denied from flying over Bulgaria’s air space to attend the recent OESC Conference because a wanted criminal from the sanctions list was onboard. 

  • Russia must be squeezed out

Russia’s overstaffed embassies need to be reduced, and Russians’ entry to democracies blocked to stem the endless flow of lies from influencing policies. At the OESC Conference, Luxemburg said it would no longer listen to Lavrov’s propaganda and walked out.  

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All global democracies should determine a policy of victory for Ukraine and deliver. Or will they let Russia win?

Oksana Bashuk Hepburn’s consulting company spent years working for the governments of Canada and Ukraine. She is proud to be part of the Russian Embassy Protestors bearing daily witness to Moscow’s atrocities. She comments on international affairs for the global media.

The views expressed are the author’s and not necessarily of Kyiv Post.

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