Enough! A No-Fly Zone Over Ukraine Is Necessary and Overdue

Enough is enough. The time has passed for the US, NATO and Europe draw a red line in the sand with Vladimir Putinand demanded that he end the war of attrition in Ukraine by combining sanctions with the threat of force.

NATO should announce immediately 72-hour ultimatum – using the threat of a no-fly zone over Ukraine as leverage – to demand an immediate ceasefire and the start of a complete Russian withdrawal from Ukraine.

If Putin does not meet these terms, then a NATO-led no-fly zone over Ukraine—at the prompt invitation of the Ukrainian government—Will take effect. In the 72 hours between the announcement and the deadline, Ukrainian officials will be in a strong position in the ceasefire negotiations with the backing of NATO air force overshadowing the negotiations.

As Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on March 16 in his address to the United States Congress, the Ukrainian armed forces can stand against the Russian ground forces on their own, but in order to survive as a nation country, they need NATO Close the sky of Ukraine with Russian bombers.

In the current circumstances, Ukraine’s request is completely reasonable. The creation of a no-fly zone would serve two purposes important to Western strategic interests. It would preserve Ukraine’s territorial integrity and prevent Russian expansion to the Polish border – the land bridge with Central and Western Europe.

Sanctions, no matter how severe, will not be able to stop the advance of Russian tanks, which President Joe Biden acknowledged before the war began. Nor will sanctions stop Russia’s intense air strikes on cities, orphanages, kindergartens, hospitals, universities, apartment buildings, theaters and humanitarian corridors. of Ukraine.

A disaster of historic proportions is unfolding before our eyes, with Russia carrying out a barbaric siege and starvation tactic in the city of Mariupol, in southeastern Ukraine, where 400,000 civilians are trapped. no food, water, heat or medical attention.

A Mariupol . city official said ominously on March 11, “Humanity has yet to invent a word for what Russia is doing to us.” Putin is deploying a similar tactic in Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy and Kyiv – slowly encircling the Ukrainian capital. “This is a premeditated and gratuitous act of aggression built on the basis of false and misleading accounts.” CIA Director William Burns said March 10 on Capitol Hill.

As of March 16, UN estimates 780 Ukrainian civilians were killedMore than 1,250 people were injured, 24 medical facilities were bombed and 3.2 million Ukrainian refugees had to flee to neighboring countries.

And just today, Russia fires missiles at the “safe haven” city of Lviv in western Ukraine.

Amid the biggest land invasion of a European country since World War Two, President Biden, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen are taking policy seriously. which they announced before the invasion: military intervention would be offered to Ukraine.

The point is, the only form of aid today that can stop Russia’s routine massacre of Ukrainian civilians is military intervention.

“Throughout our history,” President Biden said in a recent speech at the State of the Union, “we have learned this lesson: when dictators do not pay the price of aggression their own, they will cause more chaos.”

And so I ask: Has the West really learned that lesson? Will the cost to Putin lessen the chaos the war is creating in Ukraine, Europe and the world? Because the obvious answer is “No”, the only conclusion we can draw is that the West must play its part to end the chaos caused by Vladimir Putin’s war of choice.

NATO’s stance against military intervention has continued unabated despite the dramatically deteriorating situation in Ukraine and the refugees. When a reporter asked Minister Stoltenberg in a press conference On March 5, in response to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s heated plea for a NATO no-fly zone to prevent Russia’s indiscriminate bombing of Ukrainian cities, Mr. Stoltenberg replied: “We are. understand Ukraine’s despair. But we also believe that if we do that, it will end in an all-out war in Europe.”

For those who argue that the no-fly zone means the beginning of the apocalyptic Third World War, I will counter that history has shown us that allowing invaders to gain territory through through force will lead to much greater conflict in the future.

Eighty-three years earlier, in September 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain had used similar logic in his country’s conflict with Nazi Germany, claiming that to avoid war with Hitler, the murderer After entering Austria earlier that year, Britain and France would not intervene militarily to prevent Germany’s partition of Czechoslovakia. Angry Winston Churchill, then a British opposition MP, made a scathing criticism. Standing still during the German invasion of Czechoslovakia, Churchill proclaimed on September 21, 1938, “considered the complete surrender of Western democracies to the threat of Nazi force.” , a move that he said would significantly damage Europe’s security. Churchill observed: “The belief that security can be achieved by throwing a small state to the wolves is a fatal illusion.

Today, we face a similar challenge: Do we stop Russian aggression right now in Ukraine, or do we wait for that aggression to reach the doorstep of the European Union?

Putin, who has been vocal in insisting that sanctions and arms shipments could be seen as an act of war, will not stop at the EU’s borders As former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, stands defiant. in Kyiv, said last week, “Now it is clear. This is Putin’s war not only against Ukraine but also against the West – against the United States, NATO and Europe, a war that destroys our values. ”

History is replete with examples of the dangers of inaction. Between the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931, the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1935, the German reconquest of the Rhineland in 1936, and the German devastation of neighboring states in 1938-1939 – with the support of Soviet Russia that divided Poland – force was used by authoritarian powers to destabilize the international order.

But in that same decade, Western democracies responded to border changes by force with sanctions and diplomacy, refusing to use force in response in much the same way. nowadays.

This response had no appreciable effect and the word “appeasement” entered our dictionary, leading to untold deaths in World War II and the Massacre.

For those who argue that the no-fly zone means the beginning of the apocalyptic Third World War, I will counter that history has shown us that allowing invaders to gain territory through through force will lead to much greater conflict in the future.

We must act now to stop the massacre of innocents by the Russians, cheer and support tens of thousands of brave Russian protesters demanding the complete withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine, and for the world to come. The world sees that Western democracies will fight to preserve the rule of law, respect international borders, and Ukraine’s sovereignty.

In any negotiations, the West must disobey Ukraine’s position: Mr. Putin cannot win an inch of Ukrainian territory as part of the negotiated peace deal. We should heed the wise words of Lord Darroch, Britain’s former National Security Adviser, who told the BBC on March 12: “If this ends with Russia gaining territory in Ukraine, won the eastern regions and a land route to Crimea, which was a bad result. Because it shows you can change the border by brute force. And the world is full of disputed borders.”

Ukrainian MP, Maryan Zablotsky, said the same in an appearance on MSNBC on March 16, “After World War II, everyone thought that changing borders by force was a thing of the past. Now, the madman in the Kremlin is trying to change that. This is a struggle not only about Ukraine. It is a war of values”.

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