From Munich to Kyiv

As many as 50,000 Ukrainians and Russians may have died so far in Russia's war against Ukraine, with almost two million expelled from their homes. Yet the leaders of the democratic West refer to Russia's aggression on the territory of a foreign state in a type of Orwellian newspeak.

BRATISLAVA/PRAGUE – In 1938, when British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain returned from Munich proclaiming “peace in our time," Winston Churchill famously denounced the decision Britain and France had just made. “You were given the choice between war and dishonor," he said. “You chose dishonor and you will have war."

Sadly, British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President François Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and US President Barack Obama, facing a similar choice in Ukraine, have chosen dishonor as well. But now it is Ukraine that is getting the war, while Europe stands aside, even as its security is undermined and its values mocked.

More than one hundred prominent Czech and Slovak public intellectuals have written an open letter to Europe's key leaders, admonishing them to get off their chosen path of appeasement. As citizens of the successor states to Czechoslovakia, the country that received its death sentence at the Munich conference, we feel a particular responsibility to speak out.

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