Ten Things the West Should Do Now to End Putin’s Barbaric War

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Our future is at stake and the fate of all those in the world who believe in democracy

The destiny of the world is playing out in Kyiv

President Volodymyr Zelensky, with his spirit of resistance, his heroism and his uncompromising fidelity to democratic values, has the admiration of all.

And Europe, like the United States, has the political and moral obligation to stand, more than ever, at his side.

The undersigned are outraged by the violence committed to the civilian population by the occupying Russian forces.

Bomb shelters are transformed into school classrooms, hospitals are destroyed and children are born in fortified subway stations.

And, faced with this, the Ukrainian army, reinforced by tens of thousands of civilians, are taking up arms, standing firm and defending their cities.

But let us be clear.

They are not only defending their country.

These hardened military brigades, these teachers, restauranteurs, labourers, dancers, these women and men from all walks of life, rising up, also defend our liberty.

They fight for an open and free world.

They fight, on the front line, for us, Europeans.

And, for this reason also, we should act, without delay, directly, to end this war.

We, the undersigned, commend the sanctions taken against Russia by the European Union, the United States of America, Canada, Japan and others.

But much more is needed and this is why we urge our governments to go further and adopt the following measures.

  1. The international courts must consider, and examine, all possible procedures which allow for action against Putin’s war crimes in Ukraine.
  2. Countries providing urgent military aid to Ukraine must ensure that their shipments correspond properly and are most useful for the current tactical situation: light man-held anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons that can be deployed rapidly and effectively; not heavy weapons that will be destroyed before even reaching the battlefield.
  3. Bank data and Western intelligence about corrupt possessions of the Russian political and business elite must be massively disclosed to the Russian public.
  4. In addition to Russian airlines, all Russian cargo shipping companies should be forbidden, until further notice, from access to European and American ports.
  5. European and American companies should freeze, whatever it takes, all commercial activity, in whatever form, in Russia and with Russia.
  6. Major social networks should block and ban all the accounts enabling the Russian government, and its affiliates, proxies and lobbyists to spread their propaganda.
  7. Microsoft should block all access to its services and systems in Russia; Western cloud companies should, until further notice, be made inaccessible in Russia.
  8. Personal sanctions should be imposed not strictly on Russian politicians and oligarchs; they should extend to senior military leaders and members of the administrative elite who also share responsibility in this devastation, in this carnage.
  9. All sorts of foreign money accounts of Russian officials, whatever they are, should be frozen immediately.
  10. Imports on Russian oil should, under further notice, be suspended in all of Europe; and Europe should work to diversify without delay, and permanently, its gas supply.

These sanctions, if they are resolutely put in place, can end this war. 

If this is not the case, at least they will force the Kremlin to deescalate.

They are practical measures that, from outside Ukraine and for Ukraine, free citizens can demand democratically from their leaders.

In addition, each of our personal actions will help.

Donate to Ukrainian volunteer funds.

Support in any way Russian civil society and Russian citizens protesting against the war.

Putin’s war of aggression against free Ukraine is not just a military affair.

It is a battle between two concepts of society, two visions of what makes life good or bad and, at bottom, two forms of civilisation.

Our future is at stake and the fate of all those in the world who believe in democracy, still hope for freedom and wish for peace.

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