The phoenix has risen from the gilded walls of the Kremlin, Western democracies must now either enter the war against Russian fascism or fall.

Humanity is now living through the pages of tomorrow’s history books. And quite how history will play out depends solely on what we do today.

The last historic crossroad for our generation was the collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 80s and early 90s. After its demise, major changes took place in global political, economic, security, social, and diplomatic processes. And without those events, who knows if the European Union (EU) would have come together in its present form.

Yet, 30 years ago, the West underestimated what was left in the ashes and failed to tie up loose ends. Now, the phoenix of the former Soviet empire, having been subjected to the syndrome of Versailles, has risen up not only against Ukraine but the entire civilized world: the U.S., Great Britain, EU countries and other democracies.

Our collective future now depends on how the democratic world will respond to the threat. If the fascist Moscow authoritarian regime were to win this war, then Ukraine, as a state, would cease to exist. That would trigger the end of the world as we know it. Autocracies would inevitably dictate their terms to Berlin, London, Paris, and Washington. And their regimes would realize the power of blackmail over democratic governments to influence decision-making.

We would bear witness to the sunset of the democratic world – one where the remnants of Hitler’s fascist Germany has risen to wield power again. In the 20th century, this didn’t happen. And it shouldn’t happen in the 21st century either. Western nations, their populations and ruling elites need to change their attitude toward the war and do so fast.

Real alliances

The financial support and arms supplied by democratic nations to Ukraine are not the help our country needs most. The West should understand that relationships should be about true alliances and they should stand side-by-side with the Ukrainian people to win this war. This is not the war for Ukraine’s independence; this is the war for the future. The future of Kyiv citizens, New York citizens, Bordeaux citizens and Bonn citizens. Defeat would cross out all the achievements humanity has made in the decades since the collapse of Nazi Germany.

The West should become more decisive and publicly admit that “yes – this is our war!” The war we must all win together. And the attitude toward this war should be completely different from both informational and financial perspectives. Arms supplies should be increased, and the practice of mulling for months over the type and number of weapons to send to Ukraine should be a lesson learned and not repeated. Decisions should be made quickly and proactively.

Attempts to avoid open confrontation are already moot. While delivering a speech on Sep. 30 devoted to the illegal annexation of Ukrainian territories, the Fuehrer of fascist Russia, Vladimir Putin, officially declared that he is fighting with the democratic order. He threatens to launch a nuclear strike not only on Ukraine but against the West. This is a direct challenge to western democracies. The response should be decisive, straightforward, and clear.

Towards the end of last year, when the threat of a Russian full-scale attack on Ukraine became plain to see, U.S. President Joe Biden said: “If at least one Russian soldier comes to Ukraine, the U.S. will respond right away.” Nothing specific. If he had clearly articulated that the U.S. and its allies would be prepared to launch an unprecedented program of military and financial support, then, perhaps, no attack would have taken place.

Moscow does not understand hints but only the language of force. If the free world is threatened by a nuclear weapon, its leaders should not sit and ponder. They should accept the challenge and declare their readiness to deploy their nuclear arsenal to eliminate the threat. Clearly, firmly, and with no ambiguities.

However, this will only be possible when the West understands that Ukraine is not the only nation involved in this war. This is the West’s war, too. Our shared war. And one for which the price of inaction is the future and the safety of the whole world.

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

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