Andriy Yermak is the pinnacle of the Office of the Ukrainian Presidency.
In the traditional kingdom of Babylon, King Nebuchadnezzar the Great was working out of endurance. Night after night time, the monarch dreamt an impressive statue with a head of gold, a chest of silver, and thighs of bronze — however on the backside, its toes have been fabricated from clay. And none of his magicians or astrologers may explain the which means of this terrifying imaginative and prescient that had been haunting him.
Frustrated by the shortage of readability, Nebuchadnezzar ordered the mass homicide of his underwhelming seers. And the slaughter continued till a younger Jew named Daniel who was held in captivity piped up, revealing the statue depicted the dominion’s system of rule as it will progress throughout successive empires by way of historical past.
The treasured metals represented highly effective and affluent years, however the toes of clay depicted an empire unable to maintain its splendor — an empire that may in the end collapse.
And trying forward, it’s now troublesome to keep away from the conclusion that trendy Russia is en path to struggling the same destiny.
When the Kremlin ordered the unlawful invasion of Ukraine last February, the Russian armed forces had initially deployed round 180,000 troopers. Met with brave resistance, they have since been pushed back towards the Russian border — a defeat many didn’t imagine may occur to one of many world’s supposed “great powers.”
Yet, for the reason that retreat, the disaster has deepened.
In July, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the pinnacle of the shadowy Wagner paramilitary group, trawled Russian prisons in a determined bid to web troopers for the struggle. It wasn’t a profitable search. And months later, hundreds of Russians fled the country to keep away from being thrown into the “meatgrinder,” after the Kremlin announced the conscription of 318,000 civilians.
Now, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s teetering armed forces are being replenished by murderers and rapists sourced from African jails, with Wagner recruiting criminals from the Central African Republic.
Meanwhile, the Russian empire’s toes of clay have also been uncovered by its choice to keep away from army fight with Ukraine and as an alternative bomb our civilian infrastructure. Far from a sign of energy, it’s prima facie proof of the Kremlin’s army weak point.
Still, this struggle received’t end tomorrow, or in a month — nevertheless, we have reached a turning level. Ukrainian defenders are profitable against Russian invaders on the battlefield, and they’ll proceed to take action. As noted by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, this success is preconditioned by the truth that Ukraine is profitable the battle for the minds and hearts of the world. And the extraordinary and unprecedented help our allies and companions provide— army, financial, humanitarian — is proof of this.
However, it’s too early to cease.
We nonetheless hear calls to assist Russia save face, speak of negotiations with out preconditions and chatter about recognizing the unlawful annexation of the Ukrainian territories Russia nonetheless occupies.
Some specialists imagine Putin will declare any consequence a victory. And it’s also possible he’ll succeed in convincing lots of his residents that Russia’s abject humiliation on the battlefield is nothing of the kind.
The struggle has certainly been a Russian misstep of phenomenal proportions with far-reaching penalties — prompting the country’s brightest and finest to flee, whereas exposing vulnerabilities hidden away for many years to all on the world stage. Its army losses have damaged not simply the households of Putin’s residents however also the belief of previously sympathetic allies, the results of a long time of meticulous financial planning. It has instilled a renewed sense of goal in NATO as nicely.
Despite this, the Kremlin continues to blackmail the world with nuclear weapons and radiation disasters. Russia’s management nonetheless seeks to keep away from punishment for the crime of aggression, in addition to all the opposite struggle crimes dedicated by its troopers and endorsed by the Kremlin.
If Moscow will get even simply a few of what it needs, there will probably be different makes an attempt to restart its imperial mission. And Russia’s sources will as soon as once more be used for blackmail and destruction — not partnership and creation.
As President Zelesnkyy has said, if Russians can defeat the Kremlin in their minds, they may have an opportunity to change into free. It’s fairly apparent, nevertheless, that they received’t be capable of do that on their own. That is why Ukraine’s companions and allies ought to assist us to not only restore sovereignty within internationally acknowledged borders, however also create a brand new international safety system that may make revanchism inconceivable.
The 10-point plan the Ukrainian president unveiled last month envisions all the mandatory steps to do exactly that, such because the withdrawal of all Russian troops from Ukraine; the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity; the institution of a special tribunal to prosecute Russian struggle crimes; Western safety ensures for Ukraine; ensures for meals safety, together with assist for Ukraine’s grain exports to the world’s poorest nations; and ensures on radiation and nuclear security round Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, Zaporizhzhia, which is now occupied by Russia.
These circumstances should be met in full — in any other case, the Russian colossus will stagger back on its clay toes. And whereas there’s little doubt that may merely delay its eventual fall, humanity will end up paying for this with even more needlessly lost lives.
This is what the democratic world can select to forestall — simply assist Ukrainians end their work.