In spite of diplomatic efforts to subdue Russian attempts to reassert direct influence over Ukraine and break the Western-leaning interim government, Russia has returned to promoting conflict by violating Ukrainian airspace. At the same time, Russia is starting to feel the economic pain of sanctions imposed by the US and other Western nations, with more on the way.
Unfortunately, Russian President Putin seems to have been emboldened by a bump in his popularity, as is evident in his increasingly aggressive treat of Ukraine and renewed suppression of political dissenters. While the Russian People may feel energized by their President “standing up to the West” and patriotic in the face of Putin’s efforts to empower Russia, a strong dose of their new economic reality will likely curb this enthusiasm very soon.
That said, Putin may well not care, if he is willing to sacrifice his political future, or end his career soon, and sees his aggressive behavior “for the good of Russia.” In which case, Putin will push the international conflict as far as he can before he is forced to quit or decides to give up power. Although the West should always be open to compromise and diplomatic solutions, the cohesion and conventions of the International Community must be respected. In accordance, the West may stand steadfast in their resolve to address this crisis through economic sanctions.
While Russia should never be diplomatically isolated, the price for invading weaker states, as though we live in a 19th Century world order must be paid, thus Russia needs to be economically chastised until the power elites abandon their counterproductive behavior. Unfortunately, things are going to get messy very soon. As such, the world must remember the American People are not against the Russia People, nor are we against Vladimir Putin as the Russian People have the right to choose their leaders; we are, however, against Russia’s mistreat of its neighbors.
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