Opinion: we are letting down the people of Ukraine – a democratic nation in Europe attacked by Putin’s Russia – a disgrace – but this is what we must do now

This is a moment in history like August 1914 and September 1939 when an Empire builder and dictator decides to send troops into a neighbouring country in a quest to conquer it. Except our politicians in the main don’t seem to realise it. Their pathetic response so far – Biden, Johnson, Macron and the rest of the western allies haven’t realised this is a moment to end a despot’s attempt to subjugate a democratic European nation.

Ukraine is a vast country – which will be impossible for the invading Russian army and authorities to secure in the long term. An insurgency will continue after the main armed forces are defeated with the loss of thousands of lives which will eventually bring about the defeat of Putin’s plans – but at vast cost. No cost to our smug politicians but a huge cost to the ordinary people of Ukraine. Already 100,000 civilians are homeless, thousands are dead, and a once economically viable nation is in ruins.

We must act now as the democratic nations of the west and support the Ukrainian forces by sending in troops to the area of the west of the country near the Hungarian border and establishing a no-fly zone there to allow the Ukrainian army to defend that part of the nation. NATO, our MP the armed forces minister James Heappey and most of all the PM and the Conservative Government who are in hock to Russian money are against such a plan – claiming it will lead to World War Three. They seem to have forgotten the lessons of 1938 and the betrayal of Czechoslovakia by the Tory PM Neville Chamberlain – just like Johnson today with  his bit of white paper that represents those feeble sanctions he’s announced so far as he waves it in the air. Give Putin Ukraine and it’s Moldova next and on to the Baltic states.

Frankly I am shocked and disgusted by the number of friends and relatives who are latter day versions of Lord Halifax or Quislings (reference Nazi appeasers) – the white flag wavers – who actually think we can negotiate with Putin. That’s like negotiating with Hitler or in the east the current Chinese dictator Xi Jinping. Putin and Xi are criminalised men who have huge power and no mandate. They are despots surrounded by yes men – all billionaires – who expect others to die for them in their pursuit of glory. Now is the time for action – not lighting up Government buildings in yellow and blue and putting on Facebook ‘I stand with Ukraine’ – that won’t cut it in the street fighting in Kyiv tonight.

For details for the work of the journalist Harry Mottram visit www.harrymottram.co.uk

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