medish1_DIMITAR DILKOFFAFP via Getty Images_ukrainewar Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images

Ending Ukraine's Tragedy

While Russian President Vladimir Putin is solely responsible for the war in Ukraine, all parties must be realistic about what an achievable endgame could look like. If the path of negotiation is open, a peace settlement should balance several imperatives.

WASHINGTON, DC – A new Guernica is being painted before our eyes – and this bloody canvas is the handiwork of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is determined to reduce Ukraine to rubble. The barbaric Russian invasion has violently betrayed the civilizational values Putin claimed to espouse in his tendentious lectures on the supposed age-old unity of Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians.

Putin’s actions recall the worst plunderers in world history and shame the “Russian Idea” he professes to uphold. The ancient Ukrainian city of Kyiv – like Jerusalem – is a sacred multicultural site that must be protected, not desecrated, by anyone who truly cares about Orthodoxy or about what is great and beautiful in human civilization.

I have been skeptical of NATO’s continued enlargement. But Putin’s unprovoked war of aggression against a country that has done nothing to threaten Russia’s security is utterly unjustified, and grotesquely out of proportion to any possible Russian grievance about being excluded from Western clubs.

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