Oleksii Reznikov, Ukraine’s Minister of Defense, writes:
August 24 was Ukrainian Independence Day. For the first time in three decades since Ukraine regained its independence, there was a real danger this year that the holiday would not take place at all. Exactly six months earlier on February 24, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of the country with the aim of crushing Ukrainian statehood and extinguishing the Ukrainian nation. The genocidal war unleashed by Vladimir Putin in early 2022 is unparalleled in modern European history. It is also a wake-up call for the many Europeans still in denial over the threat facing the continent from a hostile Russia.
So far, the Kremlin’s criminal plans have been thwarted by Ukrainian strength and courage. An invasion that was supposed to end victoriously in just three days is now entering its seventh month with no end in sight. Putin dreamed of parading his soldiers through a conquered Kyiv. Instead, on the eve of Independence Day, Ukraine unveiled a “parade” of destroyed Russian tanks in the heart of the capital.
While Ukraine’s successes are encouraging, there is no doubt that Russia has not abandoned its plans to destroy Ukraine. On the contrary, Moscow appears more determined than ever to proceed with its genocidal agenda, whatever the cost. The recent public call from a senior Russian ambassador to show “no mercy to the Ukrainian population” was the latest in a long line of official statements underlining Russia’s intention to annihilate Ukraine.
This is well understood by Ukrainians, who appreciate that they are fighting not only for their country’s independence but for their survival as a nation. However, there are still indications that many in Europe refuse to acknowledge the scale of the Russia problem facing the international community. [Continue reading…]