Ukraine needs more than Western sympathy to beat Russia

The wreckage of an apartment building in Kiev after it was shelled by Russian forces on March 14. ...

The wreckage of an apartment building in Kiev after it was shelled by Russian forces on March 14.


aris messinis/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

In Europe, blue and yellow paint is rare. Europeans are desperately wondering, “If we don’t have that, how can we support Ukraine?”

My daughter told me this dark joke. As a proud Ukrainian, I have been deeply moved by the many expressions of solidarity towards my country and its people. Refugees are received with warmth and hospitality. People all over the world are sending donations of all kinds. Europe and the United States have taken concrete steps that were unthinkable not so long ago to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia’s barbaric and unprovoked invasion. Political leaders have made it clear that they will increase the pressure and consider further measures. I even hear that in Western capitals sympathy is developing for the idea of ​​sending planes to Ukraine.

We are grateful for all of this. But while you debate and develop sympathy, Ukraine is being destroyed. Russian planes are dropping bombs on our children and firing missiles at hospitals, schools and factories. Where they face resistance from Ukrainian fighters, they redouble their savagery and flatten city blocks – and the human beings within them.

While the West worries about violating the rules of war and is careful not to expand the conflict, Russia does not respect such constraints, using massive deception, false flag attacks, prohibited weapons, mercenaries and terrorists. Because Russia has failed to bomb Ukraine into submission, it is trying ever more violent and brutal means of warfare.

We thank you for the food, the money, the sympathy and the flags painted in blue and yellow. But if you want to save us, Ukraine needs planes, anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles, armed drones and other weapons of war. So I beg our Western friends: give Ukraine the planes and other weapons it needs now. Stop buying coal and oil from Russia. Don’t think about it; do not evaluate options; do not consider. Do it. Time is life. I call on the European Union to make Ukraine a candidate for membership. An independent Ukraine belongs to the EU.

I know that these actions carry risks. But in mortal combat, you can’t help without taking risks. And inaction carries even greater risks. What will happen if you let Russia tear up the international system, destroy a sovereign nation, commit mass murder? The aggressor can only be stopped by force. We must match brutality with speed, decisiveness and determination. We cannot continue to fear that the aggressor will escalate. We have to make him fear that we can also escalate.

Ukraine will never be beaten. But many Ukrainians will die; their families will be destroyed; their cities will turn to rubble. They are ordinary, peace-loving people who have never thought of attacking anyone, who seek only a life of peace and quiet and yearn to be a modern European country.

As Hitler’s forces converged on Britain in February 1941, Churchill told Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Give us the tools and we’ll do the job.” This is what Ukrainians are asking for today: the tools to defeat a brutal tyrant who attacked a peaceful and free democracy because it is a free democracy.

You have a chance to resist evil. Take a risk. Trust your conscience. Save the values ​​and ideals of the West. In this moment of crisis, Ukrainians do not say SOS, “let’s save our souls”. The lives of Ukrainians are in danger, but their souls are safe. We say to you: Save your souls.

Mr. Pinchuk is a Ukrainian industrialist and philanthropist.

Journal Editorial Report: Paul Gigot interviews war analyst Seth Jones. Images: Reuters/Ukrainian Defense Ministry Press Service/AP Composite: Mark Kelly

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Newsrust - US Top News: Ukraine needs more than Western sympathy to beat Russia
Ukraine needs more than Western sympathy to beat Russia
Newsrust - US Top News
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