By Anton Kuchukhidze, co-founder of Think Tank United Ukraine
Recent statements of US President Biden that Russia has lost the war are true. The President of the United States emphasized that the Russian Federation will never again be able to achieve the goals it imposed on 24 February 2022. It is important to remember: the Russian Federation is not only directly at war with Ukraine, this war is a threat to all of Europe. Russia’s war against Ukraine became the largest in Europe since World War II. On the diplomatic side-lines, there is an understanding that the Russian Federation is fighting against Ukraine and NATO, The Gaze wrote.
The public confirmation of exactly this perception by the Russian Federation of its aggressive policy is the fact that the Russian government issued an ultimatum to the United States at the end of December 2021 that the borders of NATO should revert to the state as of 1991. However, this did not happen. And it’s for the best.
The fact that Russia has already lost the war is not enough for the European security system. This does not mean that Europe has won and overcome the aggression and danger coming from the Russian Federation. Only the conclusion of the victory and the establishment of new parameters for the existence of the Russian Federation can be a guarantee of the restoration of stable peace in Europe.
While working within the framework of the Crimean Platform, Italian Prime Minister Ms. Meloni made a very frank statement (which, in principle, is a historical truth) that the West underestimated the extent of the aggressive policy of the Russian Federation in 2014. Many in Europe made the mistake of trying to appease the aggressor. It is very important that Europe does not make such a mistake in 2022. So, now it is necessary not only to protect Ukraine and its own security but also vanquish the totalitarian regime of Russia.
Parameters of Europe’s Victory Over the Russian Federation
Victory over the Russian Federation will require Ukraine and its Western partners to outline the parameters within which the Russian Federation will exist. Undoubtedly, demilitarization, the establishment of threshold indicators for the financing of Russia’s armed forces, the reduction of the number of armed forces and nuclear arsenal (or their total elimination), the establishment of effective international monitoring of the development of heavy weapons and nuclear arsenal should be one of the main parameters of the defeated Russia.
Apart from this, It is necessary to administer a financial defeat to the Russian Federation, because without this there will be no depowerment of the current elite. We should understand that the Russian Federation is a corrupt “bear”. Sanctions that operate on the public plane, that is, imposed against legal companies, do not cause direct damage to the entire Russian economy, because at least half of it is a shadow corrupt economy. It operates using cash in hand that oligarchs use to finance the war, purchase weapons, etc.
The next aspect is that fair justice should be done. All participants of this illegal aggression against Ukraine must bear responsibility. Everyone who helped Russia commit terrorist attacks and conduct destabilizing work in various European states should be convicted. Europe should do all this on the basis of a separate international military tribunal for the crimes of the Russian Federation.
In addition to that, Russia must suffer a historic defeat and pay reparations for the incurred damages. Just as the whole world once condemned fascism and the Nuremberg trial was held, today the Russian government and the Russian people must go through all these steps of political, historical, cultural and humanitarian shame, because the majority of Russians support killing of children, women and the elderly in an independent European state.
How to Tame “The Bear”
Firstly, it is extremely important to implement the G7’s decision on the indefinite military-technical, political, economic and humanitarian support for Ukraine. And this fact is of paramount importance, as today Ukraine acts as the shield of Europe. It is factually the eastern flank of NATO.
Second, to take a very important step that will ensure security in Europe many years after Ukraine’s victory in the war: to expand the EU and NATO due to Ukraine joining in. The European Union and NATO have already adopted relevant political guidelines in bilateral and multilateral documents. Ukraine’s integration into the Euro-Atlantic family, de-jure rather than de-facto, should bring peace to Europe for many years to come.
Third, to fight effectively against the circumvention of already applied sanctions against the Russian Federation. The effectiveness of sanctions should be ensured, despite all the risks and problems.
Fourth, to form and support European and Euro-Atlantic unity concerning the deterrence of the Russian Federation’s hybrid threats, i.e.:
- Strengthen control over the financing of political parties in Europe.
- Strengthen control over financing by Russian oligarchs of special services, social movements and activists.
- Reduce the influence of the Russian Federation on political and electoral processes in Europe.
- Conduct more aggressive work of European states against Russian embassies and Russian agents.
- Reduce economic dependence and any Russian investments in strategic sectors of European economies (energy, oil and gas sector, gold).
- Monitor the work of already existing investment funds established by Russian oligarchs and special services.
Systematic monitoring of the digital environment and public leader opinion expression with the aim of extemporaneous marking and denouncement of vengeful opinions
Fifth, to historically condemn and create conditions of shame and restrictions for citizens of the Russian Federation, who try to use Western democracies for their own enrichment or recreation, but at the same time support the actions of their authorities regarding the killing of Ukrainians and other citizens of Europe.
Only systematic work, the unity of Ukraine with Europe and North American partners can lead to ending Russian aggression once and for all, so that it will never recover again.
Undoubtedly, Russia has lost, but Europe has not won yet. Europe needs victory no less than Ukraine. In fact, even more so than Ukraine. After all, if something more tragic were to happen to Ukraine on 24-25 February 2022, then Europe would receive the next blow.
Currently, Europe cannot neglect the theses that Russian propaganda uses from morning to night, especially concerning the rhetoric of attacks on Poland, the Baltic states, and Great Britain. Indeed, there is a war in the territory of Ukraine and in the neighbouring regions of Russia, but the Russian Federation is waging this war against the whole Europe.