cherepanyn1_ Chris McGrathGetty Images_ukrainewarz Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Putin’s World War Z

The West's core values have long struck fear into the heart of the Russian president, driving him to fashion an entire worldview and self-identity based on the rejection of all things Western. The ultimate reactionary, Putin represents repression of the revolution that would have occurred if not for his wars and propaganda machine.

KYIV – Since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, the Western world has watched with admiration how the brave Ukrainian people have resisted Vladimir Putin’s despotic evil. This admiration has translated into unprecedented levels of humanitarian and military aid, without which Ukraine would not have survived, let alone begun to repel the invaders.

Yet for all their acclaim, Western leaders also have reiterated the same mantra of what they will not do: put boots on the ground, send fighter jets, enforce a no-fly zone, and so forth. The rationale, political theorist Francis Fukuyama explains, is that “It is much better to have the Ukrainians defeat the Russians on their own, depriving Moscow of the excuse that NATO attacked them.”

Hiding behind the fear of possible escalation and intimidated by Russia’s nuclear blackmail, the West has assumed a humanitarian stance to mask its unpreparedness for a military counteroffensive. But a pressing question looms: Is NATO really ready to defend “every inch” of its territory?

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