Editorial The Ukrainian leadership knows that the country would eventually have to face the attack alone

The situation seems more and more unfortunate for Ukraine. In the case of Ukraine, however, Russia’s choice of means may be wide. Russia is also using Ukraine as a means of strengthening its position in world politics.

Last in times, Western leaders have repeatedly stressed that they do not agree with anything related to Ukraine “past Ukraine”. This message has only been reinforced as Russia has increased its military pressure on Ukraine.

The message should be trusted. This is an important principle for Finland as well. However, that does not mean that the West is not prepared to talk about Ukraine without listening to the Ukrainians. It means not only advice but also that the West will make its own decisions about Ukraine on its own interests.

Ukraine will have to prepare for the severity of a possible Russian attack. U.S. President Joe Biden referred to this on Wednesday when, after warning Russia of the consequences of the attack, he said a “minor intrusion” could lead to controversy over reactions in the West.

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The comment was understandably a matter of concern in Ukraine, after which Biden’s aides clarified that crossing the border meant an attack on the United States. Biden’s design was unhappy, but he took it for granted. There is no consensus in the West on how to respond to various actions by Russia. In the case of Ukraine, Russia can have a wide range of means.

Some Western countries will supply arms to Ukraine, but the Ukrainian leadership knows that Ukraine will eventually be alone in the face of the attack. It was also reflected in a moderate speech by President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday urging him to avoid panic.

Situation seems more and more unfortunate for Ukraine. Russia’s announcement of military exercises in Belarus means that Russian troops are now stationed on the northern border of Ukraine, a few hundred kilometers from Kiev, in addition to Ukraine’s eastern border, Transnistria and occupied Crimea. There are also ominous allegations of provocations by Ukrainian troops near the Russian leadership.

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Ukraine is at the center of everything, but at the same time, Russia is making demands on the West to change the entire European security architecture and is operating in Belarus. The diversity of the messages is probably a deliberate obscurity, but even in Russia, not everyone may know what President Vladimir Putin has in mind. Russia now operates on many lines and is ready to continue for a long time.

Ukraine has core issues for the Russian leadership. In the case of Ukraine, this is a failure of the line so far. Russia has continued a starvation war in eastern Ukraine since spring 2014 to create an open wound on Ukraine’s side that keeps Ukraine weak. It has pushed Ukraine closer to the West, which the Kremlin now claims is a military aggression by the West.

The occupation of Crimea, in turn, showed the entire territory of the former Soviet Union what it means to come under the rule of modern Russia: the power and oppression of criminals. It does not attract.

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In Ukraine there are also big internal problems. Due to widespread corruption, oligarchic rule and years of mismanagement, it is much poorer than it should be in its natural resources. Leaders have not been interested in developing the rule of law. All this weakens the country and gives Russia room for maneuver.

However, Ukraine is different from 2014. It has invested in its army. The nation is united in the face of an external threat, which is also reflected in the intensification of the will to fight.

Contacts between Russians and Ukrainians have always been close. Even Putin has had the exceptional achievement of distancing his close brother in just a few years.

The editorials are HS’s statements on a topical issue. The writings are prepared by HS’s editorial staff and reflect the magazine principle.

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