I feel enormous frustration, seeing how the West is letting Ukraine down. Tens of thousands of brave Ukrainians have been killed and millions have been forced to flee. Meanwhile, the West drip-feeds Ukraine with out-of-date arms, though a few hundred courageous foreign volunteers have fallen in Ukraine. 

To begin with, the West (the United States!) should not restrain Ukraine but encourage it to hit hard in the whole of Russia. How can Russia's terrorist bombing of the whole of Ukraine be tolerated? The West must support Ukrainian bombing of any military target in Russia.

Shockingly, we read about how various countries, notably the United States, are keeping large volumes of functioning but somewhat old arms in storage and decommissioning, i.e., scrapping them rather than giving them to Ukraine. All surplus arms in the whole West should not be decommissioned but sent to Ukraine at no cost.

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At each turn, Donald Trump has proven that he is a loyal supporter of Vladimir Putin. Trump called Putin a “genius” when he launched his war in Ukraine. Since the Mueller investigation was not allowed to look into Trump’s finances, we have no evidence that Trump is paid directly from the Kremlin, but he has received plenty of money from prominent Russians in his real estate business. The GOP had better prove that it is not a Putin party and vote through the $61 billion package of support for Ukraine.

When that has been done, the United States should deliver all its best, most relevant arms to Ukraine, from ATACMS to F16s, so that the Ukrainian military can bomb the Russian bases that are bombing Ukraine. The US tying Ukraine’s hands behind its backs must finally end.

US Secretly Shipped ATACMS Missiles to Ukraine, Reportedly Used in Crimea Airfield Strike
Other Topics of Interest

US Secretly Shipped ATACMS Missiles to Ukraine, Reportedly Used in Crimea Airfield Strike

The Biden administration had long debated whether to supply extended-range ATACMS to Kyiv. However, Russia’s use of North Korean missiles played a decisive role in changing Washington’s stance.

The eminent retired generals Ben Hodges and Philip Breedlove have repeatedly emphasized that Ukraine's seizure or cutting off of Crimea from Russia is the critical war goal. Before the Crimean war of 1853-56, Admiral Pavel Nakhimov stated “Who controls Sevastopol controls the Black Sea.” Indeed, after the Crimea War, the Black Sea was demilitarized until a Russian victory in 1878. Crimea must not be accepted as a Russian red line – there are no such lines – but as an evident Ukrainian right.

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In recent days, one Russian cruise missile passed over Polish territory and another landed far into Romania, and NATO said nothing. When Russia makes incursions into NATO countries, NATO must respond. 

All the talk about Western military expenditures is of little or no consequence. The United States spends more than $800 billion a year on its military, and Europe about $400 billion. These are big numbers. Incredibly, the United States accounts for 40 percent of all global military expenditures according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and it has military bases in more than 80 countries, so don't say that the US does not have enough military resources. There is no better opportunity to use them than now. Generously, the Ukrainians only ask for arms, not for NATO soldiers, as yet. But the situation may change, as French President Emanuel Macron has warned.

In a recent book, “The Blindsided,” former Le Monde editor Sylvie Kauffmann showed how Germany and France have got everything wrong about Russia. Instead, we should listen to the Poles and Balts, who have persistently been right. If Ukraine would be defeated, Western countries will be the next victims. Recently, they have all stated that if Russia is not stopped in Ukraine, it will proceed, and as Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has emphasized it will utilize concurred Ukrainian assets. Russian hybrid war can hit anybody. Ukraine’s cause is ours! (I am writing as a Swede, American and European.)

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Repeatedly but falsely, the West has claimed that it has woken up. Hopefully, this highly desired event has finally happened. Yet, the Biden White House expresses fear (which the White House should never do) of provoking three phenomena: nuclear war, World War III, and Putin.

Nothing could be more misconstrued. There is no reason to fear a nuclear war because that will kill Putin, so it won't happen. World War III is only likely if the West fails to stand up to Putin. Putin appears to have opted for eternal war, which will not end until he is finished, so that must be the Western aim. Thus, the West should do everything it can to help Ukraine to defeat Russia in Ukraine as soon as possible.

We must not forget finances (I leave reinforced sanctions to a future article), but the West, the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Japan, should adopt legislation to confiscate all Russian Central Bank assets in the West, $285 billion that has been “immobilized” since late February 2022 and use them for compensation to Ukraine for Russia's war damage as soon as possible.

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After all the international crimes Russia has committed in Ukraine, it cannot claim any protection under international law, and in November 2022 the UN General Assembly adopted a strong resolution calling on member countries to pursue Russian war reparations to Ukraine. Sadly, the West has been deplorably slow at acting on this important UN resolution.

The West needs to finally wake up and realize that Ukraine’s cause is ours!

Anders Åslund is the author of “Russia’s Crony Capitalism: the Path from Market Economy to Kleptocracy.”

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of the authors and not necessarily of Kyiv Post.

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Comments (8)

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Thomas
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Looking at the group standing on the podium is enough to make anyone sick. What a pathetic bunch of losers. Where do they find these fucking idiots?

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Don Nottz
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The argument being made is that we can help Ukraine win if we give it hundreds of billions in military equipment, along with the trillions in R&D of technology that went into the development of that modern equipment, while simultaneously making ourselves vulnerable to attack and then finally, the expense of replenishing those supplies. It is in Ukraine's best interest to convince those with advanced military technology that if they do not cough it up, they will "be next". Russia is going to attack the united states? No. Russia is going to attack Germany? No. European Union? No. Putin is aggressive and a bully. He isn't stupid.

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Wilfred
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If the comments prior are questionable. Consider what the US defense funds are ear mark? Lots of Naval procurements. Countering Chinas Hyper Missiles and Long range missiles all for carriers target. Air force new fighter and companion drone craft. Lots of Navy missiles and new ships with greatly enhance missiles launchers. Submarines. Remote anti-aircraft guns/missiles. New Marine landing craft. New smaller lighter tanks and the new FPV.

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Will
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Good Article. America is polarizing towards isolation and nationalism. Her open borders and invasion is causing fear among her citizens. The riots in 2016 showed on TV just how vulnerable we are. We have given up our Constitutional freedom for safety, yet safety is not being seen. The Pentagon has 900 foreign bases, most will be closed under President Trump. The so called MAGA Republicans are representing the majority not the minority. NATO needs to arm itself with Nuclear Missiles, not bombs, and do it soon. You shouldn’t count on America for nuclear deterrent. America is trying to upgrade and modernize its Nuclear capability, which takes time. China is what scares us more than Russia. WWIII has two major theaters. Europe and the Pacific. We are no longer capable of fighting two fronts like in WWII. We have to chose one and we have, it is China and the Pacific Ocean.

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Coach John
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Anders Åslund has used these talking points here and speaking on Times Radio about his criticisms of Joe Biden. An example from the article: "Yet, the Biden White House expresses fear (which the White House should never do) of provoking three phenomena: nuclear war, World War III, and Putin."
Where is this 'expression of fear' Mr. Åslund? There is no published policy or official statement from the White House expressing that sentiment. No need to ask for your public sources for this conclusion because there are none.
Mr. Åslund does not prioritize the obvious fact - that this is all Trump's doing. His minions are doing two things - denying Biden the freedom to act in order to deny him a political victory before the election, plus punishing Ukraine's President Zelenskyy for not going along with the fabricated setup to incriminate Biden in 2019.
Meanwhile GOP reps are leaving, shrinking the GOP majority to only one vote as of today. Speaker Johnson is at the point of being ousted by his own party and soon may be forced to trade a Ukraine up-or-down vote in order to receive political cover from the Democrats.
What Mr. Åslund sees as weakness from Biden is in fact a man deftly keeping Germany and Slovakia on-side in this war.

John
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@Coach John, Good points. I usually learn from Mr. Aslund, but share your concern that he failed to prioritize dwelling on the core of the problem: putinrump and his MRGA minions stalling additional aid.

I suspect like many, the authors frustration is that the Biden admin & the bipartisan Ukraine supporters seem so impotent in stopping Johnson's continued stalling of new aid. Also it is true many allies timidly did let putin draw the red lines up until recently. This unnecessary caused delay in provision of more effectively weapons to Ukraine. Still no one can accuse the Biden admin of not giving Ukraine the full measure of funding available to date; and also helping to unify allies.

Putin would have beaten Ukraine by now had putinrump been in office preventing a penny of aid.

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David
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@Coach John, I do hope President Biden is fully on side with Ukraine winning and defeating Russia, if and when the US House approves Ukraine aid. We will know this if long distance ATACMS and F-16s are included in the new package. If they are not, we will know that the US is still too diffident to confront Russia, and ensure a Ukraine win.

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T Sanders
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Agree completely with the sentiments expressed in this article. It is obvious to any intelligent observer of the unjust war initiated by russia on ukraine that, aid to Ukraine has deliberately been drip fed in an effort to force Ukraine to either accept the loss of substantial territory (an in the process abandon many of its citizens to russia) or freeze the war along the current front line. In my view, American influence has and is being used to achieve these goals.

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David McHale
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It's true we have to wake up in the West it dosnt cost alot to help Ukraine and its for the greater good

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Eumeo
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I agree with everything said above. But can I suggest something else to what the author has mentioned? There's a lot of talk about money, weapons... but I feel like there's something missing in this issue, that Ukrainians haven't asked for from the West, and sadly need, and that's a good Plan. Because simply "resisting" is not a winning plan, it's just following Putin's plan and inevitably giving him the victory over time. Nowhere, no one, neither in America, Europe, nor in Ukraine, have I heard of anyone preparing right now a long-term, thorough, and detailed plan to drive the Russians out of Ukraine. Ukrainians are proud, which I respect, but if they're not shy about asking for the weapons they need to fight, wouldn't it be wise to also ask the West to put all their military experts to work on this task? If Americans are hesitant for some reason (...?), in Berlin, Paris, Brussels, London, Stockholm... there are more than enough professionals who have the time and resources to do this work that will require a lot of man-hours; work that Ukrainian military, overwhelmed trying to resist the Russians day after day, could hardly handle.

John
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@Eumeo, Its a far ask for the west to have a plan to win. I don't get the feeling anything cohesive exists even at NATO

I do suspect Ukraine has a number of plausible plans to defeat russia's illegal invasion. But they need the right weapons, in the right quantities and at the right time with no usage restrictions Without this our allied leadership is needlessly wasting Ukraines lives and our resources. Many feel there should have been a 'shock and awe' allied response on day one, but instead its more like they still let criminal putin set the rules. Only recently are some nations sharing Macron's recently stated 'no red line' sentiment.

So Ukraine does what they can with whats been publicly crowdfunded, developed internally or donated from allies our old stocks. They survive for now in a game that putin ramps up to outlast us all at. Many allies have not even started to ramp up their weapons production.....my nation canada embarrassingly being one of them....I write my leadership frequently on this topic

Some allied leaders will not be flattered in history. Yet frankly the options to them are often worse. For example putinrump, Le Pen, Salvini, Wilders...etc

I hope more nations sign on to become more active in Ukraine. At least then we will know our best weapons are there.

John
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@John, meant to say above "It's a fair ask"

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