Security expert: We must help Moscow if we want rid of Putin

Meelis Oidsalu.
Meelis Oidsalu. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Putin's goal is to close Russia behind another iron curtain. Looking at the West's reluctance to take responsibility for mistakes made over the handling of Ukraine in the last few decades, whether this iron curtain will fall might be in the hands of Russians and other peoples living in Russia in the future, Meelis Oidsalu finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy has already won this war, while he might not survive it if we're being honest, in which case a monument to the man will likely also be erected in Tallinn. Kyiv holding on is largely his decision and service, as opposed to being a consequence of Vladimir Putin's ineptitude or unprecedented military-material aid from the West.

Zelenskyy decided to stay and fight, even though the U.S. offered him a way out right at the start of the conflict. News from NATO this Friday was that the alliance will not be enforcing a no-fly zone over Ukraine. NATO was being clear in saying it does not have the courage to fight Russia. We will not even be taking mild military risks on humanitarian considerations, if only to help with evacuation of civilians.

Ukraine still finds itself alone in the conflict, despite economic sanctions and extensive material aid. It is not nuclear war the West is afraid of. No limited military conflict between NATO and Russia will automatically unleash nuclear war. We throw the argument around to absolve ourselves of guilt, to survive in the midst of all this uncertainty. And survive we must.

In truth, there are no poor excuses for not waging war, because war is bad. It is not nuclear evil that paralyzes us, the West is also afraid of ordinary, conventional evil. The good life and moral superiority have spoiled us. And it is natural. However, our fear of war is about to result in something much worse than war.

I hope that the thousands of volunteers who are helping Ukraine in Ukraine, taking responsibility in place of their countries, will be amply rewarded by their countries or at least kept safe from persecution over their personal initiative of standing up to crimes against humanity upon their return.

I am not urging anyone to go to war voluntarily. Fighting in a war if life-threatening, which is one reason why countries maintain militaries the skillsets of which include limiting the use of military power to avoid undue escalation.

We are watching eerie footage coming out of Ukraine, all the while telling ourselves the soothing story that we can choose when Putin will attack us. But an offensive is always up to the attacker and not the one being attacked. Claiming the opposite is taking blame for unleashing war in advance. A war that is no longer a war, not after reports of cluster munitions being dropped on residential areas and unarmed civilians being shot, also in Russian-speaking Kharkiv, started coming in.

Vladimir Putin has launched a war on two fronts. His move is also aimed against the Russian population. Among the first victims of an extensive internal security operation where Russia's last independent media channels, like radio Echo Moskvy and TV channel Dozhd. They would not have been shut down were dictators not afraid of the truth.

The Russians also have a right to the truth. Why should we spare them the horror that Putin's press collaborators, who can basically be regarded internal security operatives and not journalists, have been hired to embellish?

The parallel reality that is the Russian media has in recent days been disseminating increasingly harebrained justifications that should, among other things, help marginalize the anti-war movement in Russia.

Yes, the Russian people share in the responsibility, but they can only take that responsibility if they have access to adequate information, and preferably coming from other Russians, because the Kremlin has been successful in disarming the Western media, not least because of the decline of American journalism in the last few decades.

Every war has political goals, and Putin's aim is to shut Russia behind an iron curtain. Looking at the West's reluctance to take responsibility for mistakes made over the handling of Ukraine in the last few decades, whether this iron curtain will fall might be in the hands of Russians and other peoples living in Russia, including our Finno-Ugric kin, in the future. We must help Moscow if we want rid of Putin.

I have no information on what has happened to Echo Moskvy or Dozhd journalists, but if they are alive and free, we should do everything we possibly can to allow them to continue their activities. Here, in free Estonia.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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