Confronted with the now large conflict launched by Putin towards Ukraine, it might be disastrous to present the pinnacle of the Kremlin right this moment the spectacle of our irresolution and weak point. The disaster by which we now discover ourselves was constructed on our successive resignations. As we speak, Westerners should rediscover two long-lost virtues: braveness and lucidity.
Meditating on the causes of the First World Struggle, Paul Valéry wrote: “Historical past is probably the most harmful product that the chemistry of the mind has developed. Its properties are well-known. It makes individuals dream, intoxicates them, generates false recollections, exaggerates their reflexes, maintains their outdated wounds, torments them of their relaxation, leads them to the delirium of grandeur or to that of persecution, and makes nations bitter, very good, insufferable and useless.”
These reflections come to thoughts when one remembers President Putin’s speech broadcast two days earlier than he launched, on the evening of February 23 to 24, his armed forces within the assault on Ukraine. Those that might need allowed themselves to be received over by cowardly aid, imagining that the disaster orchestrated by the pinnacle of the Kremlin might be resolved as soon as the Russian bear had torn off one other piece of Ukraine’s physique, could have been brutally introduced again to actuality. The sufferer of the continuing conflict is the entire nation, not only a restricted a part of its territory. As a result of the content material of Putin’s speech was not doubtful: it’s the Ukrainian state that he’s after, he desires to be grasp in Kyiv and free to take his revenge on the phantasmal Ukrainian “fascists” who’ve been hated for thus a few years.
To justify this unprecedented aggression, he has recourse to a historical past reconstructed by way of the prism of his imperial goals and his private complexes, by which he believes with all his coronary heart. Specific in his phrases, he has however for a time moved ahead masked, letting the West consider that every one his bellicose rhetoric was solely making ready the bottom for a camouflaged annexation of Ukrainian territories. As we speak he’s throwing off the masks. His declaration of conflict leaves little doubt: he intends to put in his satrap in Kyiv and arrange a big purge in Ukraine, as a way to decapitate the nation definitively by eliminating its nationwide elites, as Stalin had accomplished earlier than him.
However Putin’s phrases go additional. He clearly implies that by way of Ukraine it’s the Western nations that he’s focusing on. For many who are detached to the destiny of Ukraine, let’s keep in mind that Putin’s catalog of ambitions doesn’t cease on the conquest of Kyiv. The Baltic States and Central and Japanese Europe are additionally on the menu. As for Belarus, it’s actually already occupied and Moscow’s bloody grip weighs on Minsk. It’s the complete European safety order that Putin desires to upset as a way to guarantee a preponderant place for Russia on the continent and to eradicate the liberty of the European peoples, making use of the strategies which have succeeded him in Russia: intimidation, demoralization and terror.
It might be disastrous to present Putin the spectacle of our irresolution and weak point right this moment. The disaster by which we now discover ourselves has been constructed on our successive resignations. As we speak, the West should rediscover a long-lost advantage: braveness. However there isn’t any braveness with out lucidity. We should measure what’s at stake right this moment. Cowardice is contagious. Ukraine must see a brave West to maintain its spirits up and resist. We witnessed the hallucinatory session of the Russian Safety Council, the place the excessive dignitaries of the Putin regime needed to humbly categorical their allegiance to their power-drunk chief. In Russia, greater than anyplace else, braveness shall be wanted for many who oppose the conflict to make themselves heard and to arrange. Who is aware of, just a few patriots shall be emboldened and put apart a tyrant who’s main their nation to the abyss. However how will they act if the West, which is way much less possible to take action, continues to delay and undertake measures that come too late?