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Europe and the World Need Ukraine to Prevail

Ukrainians, Europeans, and others around the world all have an interest in opposing the kind of war of aggression that Russia launched two years ago. Failing to support Ukraine now would invite a return to the dark past of military aggression, imperialism, and colonialism – and not just in Europe.

KYIV – February 24, 2022, when Russia marched hundreds of thousands of troops into Ukraine, marked the beginning of a major geopolitical earthquake. For two years, Europe has been living with the grim reality of the continent’s largest war of aggression since World War II, and with widespread, horrifying atrocities.

What Russia is doing is a classic example of nineteenth-century-style imperial and colonial aggression. Ukraine is enduring what many other countries have cruelly suffered in the past. For Russia, this war has never been about Ukraine’s neutrality, NATO enlargement, protecting Russian-speakers, or any other fabricated pretexts.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly claimed that Ukraine does not exist as a nation and that Ukrainian identity is artificial. The war is solely about annihilating an independent country, conquering land, and re-establishing dominance over a people that decided to be masters of their own destiny. Russia’s imperial ambition is doubtless familiar to many nations around the world that were previously subject to colonial rule and oppression.