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Only Military Defeat In Ukraine Can Stop Putin From Pursuing His Larger Goals – OpEd


In proposing theses for an open letter condemning Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, Moscow commentator Aleksandr Skobov has stated lapidary terms why the West must support the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people. The reason is simple: unless Putin is defeated in Ukraine, he will attack other countries, including those in the West.


It should be obvious to all, he argues, that “Putin wants to put on its knees not just Ukraine. He is seeking to put the entire civilized world on its knees. He wants to impose ‘a new world order’ without any legal limitations on the use of force … In this world no one will have any guarantees of freedom and security” (

“This is the very same ‘world order’ which Hitler sought to impose, and the threat to human civilization emanating from Putin at a minimum is no less than the threat which came from Hitler,” Skobov continues. And just as Hitler could not be stopped by appeasement or compromises, Putin cannot be stopped by those means either.

According to Skobov, “Putin will unceasingly move toward his goal; and attempts by NATO countries to avoid at any price a direct military clash with him will only lead to an increase in his appetites and a further raising of the stakes and further escalation.”

If the Free World watches without acting while Ukraine bleeds, “this will mark the moral and political collapse of the Western community and the affirmation of Putin’s ‘new world order.’” Moreover, NATO will “sooner or later” be drawn into this conflict but just as with Hitler in the 1930s “in still worse conditions for itself.”

 “Today,” Skobov continues, “only a military defeat in Ukraine can stop Putin,” To that end, the West must “move from a policy of sanctions to a policy of complete economic blockade of Russia, a complete diplomatic blockade of Russia and refuse to have any talks with Putin,” having accurately described him as “a new Hitler.”


At the same time, he argues, the West must “immediately provide Ukraine with large-scale aid in arms,” including anti-aircraft weapons, military jets, and volunteers, and “if these measures prove insufficient,” to establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine.

Those who might sign this but live in Russia and are thus at risk of repression by the Kremlin should remember the brave seven who went into Red Square to protest against the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, Skobov, himself a former Soviet political prisoner, says. Those seven knew what risks they faced; but they took them anyway for a larger goal.

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

One thought on “Only Military Defeat In Ukraine Can Stop Putin From Pursuing His Larger Goals – OpEd

  • March 11, 2022 at 7:01 am

    The author feels “Only a military defeat in Ukraine can stop Putin.” But is it possible? Impossible is the answer in the present circumstances as it is the Western creation and other then sanctions it has pulled back and even refused to have any talks with Putin. Will large scale arms supply to Ukraine help, what about trained men behind the weapon? Sanctions are damaging to any economy, but seldom impacts short intense military wars. The solution to stop the war in Ukraine is to talk and resolve. West having pushed Ukraine into an unequal war need to now stop the war by negotiations and shed ego’s in the interest of Ukrainians. However, there is no excuse for the Russian invasion of Ukraine or to condone what is happening.


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