Readers’ responses: “No one seems to be wondering what the escalation end point is”

Readers' responses: "No one seems to be wondering what the escalation end point is"

A pro-Ukrainian demonstration in Wenceslas Square in the Czech capital Prague.AFP photo

put it in

Everyone wonders what is going on in Russian President Putin’s mind. I wonder what about 25 men on the Russian Security Council have in mind. In the minds of 450 members of the State Duma. In the minds of Russian journalists. Inside the minds of the oligarchs who support Putin. In the minds of the 150,000 soldiers deployed across Ukraine. in my mind
140 million ordinary Russians.

Eric JansenWageningen

never a member

The work of European countries, especially the United States, in the Ukraine crisis is, in my opinion, highly irresponsible. No one seems to be wondering what the escalation end point is. Nuclear conflict in the heart of Europe? This should be prevented at any reasonable price and requires the necessary realism which is currently lacking. The failure of Putin’s kleptocratic and repressive regime cannot be a reason not to attempt to understand Russia’s concerns about NATO and EU expansion, without any need for justification.

After losing the buffer zone of Eastern European countries, including the three Baltic states from the Soviet Union around 1990 and the annexation of all these countries to NATO, it is conceivable that Russia wonders where this expansion will end? Especially if NATO kept the door open for Ukraine and the Ukrainians themselves loudly declared that they wanted to become members.

In the first decades after the disappearance of the Iron Curtain, Russia, as the loser of the Cold War, was somewhat sidelined in the formation of a new European order, as Lorient Crump of the Clingendael Institute did in an article on ‘Cold War Without Conclusion’. He explains convincingly.

The same goes for the YouTube guest lecture given by the brilliant Russian-American journalist Vladimir Pozner (How did the United States create Vladimir Putin?† So it was to be expected that this marginalization of Russian politics had fueled resentment. The NATO conference in Bucharest in 2008 was the moment when the European countries Ukraine and Georgia should have made it clear that NATO and EU membership is not an option, but all kinds of economic and political cooperation can be discussed.

The only way to de-escalate the conflict now is for NATO to commit, for geopolitical reasons, that Ukraine and Georgia will never and never join. Unfortunately, Western countries have now placed themselves in the unfortunate position that such a move will inevitably be seen as subject to Russian pressure. The only way to ease this pain is to make clear to the Russians that there can be no doubt about other steps they ask for, such as reversing the current Eastern European membership of the European Union and NATO.

Rob Glastra Hemsted


I think the seeds of Russian action in Ukraine were sown in February 2014. At that time, in Kiev, MEPs Hans Van Palen and J. Verhofstadt foolishly announced that Ukraine would eventually join the European Union and NATO.

R. DeckerZaandam

help ukrainians

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko tried, and now Putin will cause it: a flood of refugees. Certainly if Kiev or even the whole of Ukraine will be occupied. Reception is not the problem here. We have a severe labor shortage, and if Germany five times its size could host a million Syrians, we could welcome tens of thousands. This is fully consistent with our value system enshrined in the laws and treaties that we have established ourselves. This is our Christian culture, our legacy from Erasmus, Spinoza: caring for loved ones.

But why is the Netherlands, from which it has largely received refugee flows for centuries, so unprepared? Are the populists right in saying: We don’t have enough homes? And is there really a better scheme of shelter than cold tents and compulsive boredom? No, so think of something. Create empty monasteries and offices, educate them, involve employers, give pocket money until self-employed, help Ukrainians.

Michael GrothengelWinterswijk

practical suggestion

The solution to the Ukraine problem could be: European leaders make a practical proposal to Ukrainian President Zelensky. They accepted the occupation of Donbass and took it now as Russian territory for granted. In return, Ukraine will become a member of NATO immediately or in the relatively short term.

Theo PetersLeusden

Champions League

To what extent the KNVB will protest at UEFA that this year’s Champions League final will take place at Gazprom Stadium in Saint Petersburg, and that Gazprom may remain a sponsor at all. So far I see the company coming uninvited, while I’m watching the CL match.

How distasteful, when you realize that Russian gas is used as leverage throughout Europe and that gas revenues are funding the current war in Ukraine.

Gerhard BeinenburgTilburg


Is it possible for the West to recognize the Autonomous Republic of Chechnya of the Russian Federation as an independent state?

Paul GerbrandsValkensward

lost horizon

Russia invades Ukraine after the Olympics, as supposedly agreed between Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. Step by step, I started with the Crimea, strengthening positions, etc. When things calm down, China invades Taiwan. The Olympics are over and the situation in Hong Kong is under control. Step by Step. And back to Ukraine again. If America or Europe moved, China and Russia would stand shoulder to shoulder.

We live in a glass house, but we seem to have lost sight of the world.

Mathematics Van den HoofUtrecht

And the rest is history?

After Hitler made unreasonable demands to the Czechoslovak government regarding the autonomy of the Sudetenland (with a large minority of the population of German origin), this part of Czechoslovakia was annexed by him in October 1938.

This was done with the consent of the governments of France and the United Kingdom, who wished to avoid war with Germany and thus restore the sovereignty and geographical unity of Czechoslovakia, which had been recognized as an independent republic in the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 (end of World War I) screws loose. Reichsgau The Sudetenland became part of the German Empire.

In March 1939, with further occupation by German forces, Czechoslovakia was de facto dissolved, while the rest of Europe remained passive.

Only on September 1, 1939, with the entry of Poland, did Hitler go beyond the limits of tolerance for countries such as France and the United Kingdom and declared war on Germany.

The rest is history† Or should we now fill in Hitler: Putin, for Sudetenland: Lugansk/Donetsk and Czechoslovakia: Ukraine, while perhaps Poland can simply remain Poland?

Eric WijkerQuality


I think the position of the Netherlands regarding the Israeli occupation of the West Bank has now been resolved.

It cannot be that the Netherlands is invoking international law in the Russian forces’ occupation of parts of Ukraine, but it is not demanding the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the West Bank and an end to the occupation. The Netherlands should also raise this issue with the Americans.

Harry BleeckerAmsterdam


It amazes me how weak the European Union is in the Ukraine crisis. It is clear that Russia under Putin is striving to re-establish the Soviet Union with everything that goes along with it, such as authoritarian expansion (the annexation of Crimea and two provinces in eastern Ukraine). The European Union stands for democratic values ​​and the rule of law. After the Cold War, we thought “everything would get better”, but that hope evaporated. Russia manipulates, threatens, lies and deceives. We’ve been seeing this for years now and it’s getting worse every year. But EU governments are not commenting on any consequences, let alone lessons learned. All we hear are the words mandatory and “severe punishments”.

I fear that the democracies of Europe will have to rebuild their defences, with the principle that the countries of the European Union (including Britain) should be able to resist Russia militarily, without relying on the United States; At least as far as non-nuclear defense is concerned. Not because we want war, but because we want to prevent some leaders from thinking they can do anything with impunity.

Saddam Hussein crossed the border into Kuwait. The motive there was oil. Ukraine is not a client state of Russia, nor is it a member of NATO, not even a member of the European Union. It has a large area of ​​agricultural land. If we do not want to protect our democratic principles, then perhaps the fact that, in addition to our dependence on gas, we do not want to depend on Russia for our food supply?

But, unfortunately, the European Union can do nothing now. Now everyone is shivering and waiting to see what Putin will do and whether we will continue to get gas, later. And what if Trump-2 came to power in the United States and pulled the NATO plug? Will we start thinking (committee?) about the consequences? I don’t even see the beginnings of a view on the changing world order, of course in the Netherlands either.

For the first time since the Cold War I am worried again. The only thing I am convinced of is this: surrendering with fear to the compulsion of the stronger party has not yielded anything positive.

Fred Van WyckHeukelum

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