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Tags: czechoslovakia | navalny | poland

Zaikin: Ukraine Is the Last Bastion of Opposition to Putin

notorious modern leader and staff in wartime meeting

Russia's President Vladimir Putin meets with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu at the Kremlin in Moscow on Feb. 20, 2024. (Alexander Kazakov/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 23 February 2024 04:39 PM EST


Inaction is, in essence, a victory for Vladimir Putin

In the shadows of Russia's authoritarian regime, the slow extrajudicial execution of Alexey Navalny serves as a grim reminder of the stakes at play in the global struggle for democracy.

Navalny's death is not merely the loss of Russia's most vocal opposition leader; it symbolizes the extinguishing of a beacon of hope for those fighting against oppression within Putin's Russia.

As we reflect on this moment, it's clear that the West's response to such acts of authoritarian aggression is a litmus test for our collective commitment to democratic values.

The recent revelations of Russia's advancements in nuclear satellite space weapons, coupled with leaked plans to potentially engage NATO through aggression in the Baltics, underscore a dangerous trajectory towards conflict.

This strategy of expansion and escalation may lead only to war, implosion, and self-destruction. Yet, as we stand on this precipice, the response from the U.S. Congress, particularly the delay in approving vital aid for Ukraine, represents a troubling hesitation in the face of clear and present danger.

This inaction is, in essence, a victory for Putin.

In his interview preparing for the event of his murder Navalny warns us that "in this critical moment, inaction is not an option."

It emboldens a regime that has systematically silenced dissent through assassination and imprisonment, as seen in the harrowing tales of Boris Nemtsov, Vladimir Kara-Murza, and countless others who have dared to oppose Putin's rule.

The pattern of repression under Putin, reminiscent of the darkest days of Soviet authoritarianism on steroids, poses a direct challenge to the principles of liberty, justice, and human dignity.

The U.S. Congress's delayed response to the Ukrainian aid bill not only jeopardizes the security of a key democratic ally but also signals a worrying ambivalence towards the broader fight against autocracy.

We know that the defense of democratic institutions requires more than rhetorical support; it demands immediate, decisive action and a unified strategy.

The path forward must include a rapid reassessment of our approach to Russian war in Ukraine. We must move beyond piecemeal sanctions which are not enforced and diplomatic condemnations to a cohesive strategy that leverages economic, diplomatic, and military tools to support Ukraine and deter further Russian aggression.

This strategy should be rooted in a clear understanding of the geopolitical landscape, drawing on historical precedents and contemporary analyses to navigate the complex dynamics at play.

Moreover, the West must recognize the importance of supporting those within Russia who continue to fight for democracy and human rights, despite the grave risks.

Right now the only country directly confronting Russia and fighting for democracy is Ukraine. The choice has never been more straightforward and clear.

The stakes extend far beyond the borders of Ukraine.

If Ukraine falls due to delays in Western military support, we will bear responsibility for generations to come.

Echoing the historical misjudgment of hoping Hitler would stop after the Rhineland, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland, we risk allowing Putin to not only take Ukraine but also set his sights on the Baltics and Moldova.

This is not merely a regional issue but a pivotal moment that could define the future of European security and the global democratic order.

Let’s remember that only Ukraine now has an army in Europe which managed to fight a vicious Russian attack for almost two years now.

None of the European armies would withstand this neither in the quantity of experienced soldiers required nor in its preparation.

The situation demands a response that matches the severity of the threat posed by Putin's Russia. The death of Alexey Navalny and the ongoing suppression of democratic opposition within Russia call for a united, decisive stance from the West.

This is a defining moment for democratic nations — a test of our resolve, our values, and our commitment to a world order based on freedom and justice.

We must rise to this challenge, recognizing that the struggle for democracy in Russia, Ukraine, and beyond is inextricably linked to our own.

The time for decisive action is now; history will judge us by our response to this moment of crisis. The legacy of our era will be determined by our willingness to defend democracy and resist the tide of authoritarianism. "If we are left alone, Russia will destroy us," President Zelenskyy says at the Munich Security Conference. 

David Zaikin – is co-founder of Key Elements Group. Born in Ukraine and based in London he is a graduate of the London Business School. Mr. Zaikin is also an experienced strategic adviser to a number of leading multinational brands, current and former leaders, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

The pattern of repression under Putin, reminiscent of the darkest days of Soviet authoritarianism on steroids, poses a direct challenge to the principles of liberty, justice, and human dignity.
czechoslovakia, navalny, poland
Friday, 23 February 2024 04:39 PM
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