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Europe must ensure the Kremlin's war in Ukraine fails or worse will follow - Telegraph - 10.06.22

The West must be ready for a long and gruesome war and be careful with premature calls for peace. Russia’s war in Ukraine will not end overnight, and peace will not break out tomorrow says Kaja Kallas Prime Minister of Estonia.

Russia is the most direct threat to European security right now. In fact, should it get away with its aggression, it would undermine peace and security around the world. If aggression pays off somewhere, it serves as an invitation to use it elsewhere.

That is the reason we are so committed to helping Ukraine push back Russian aggression. What we are defending is the very idea of freedom, territorial integrity and sovereignty – that is, the right to exist as a country and the right to live free from repression.

Let us zoom out and have a closer look at what is at stake in Ukraine. We are witnessing Russia’s state-orchestrated calls for genocide.

The Kremlin has made it clear that their aim is to wipe Ukraine off the world map. "Denazification" is the official Russian label of this policy of destruction of the Ukrainian state and its people.

A "Nazi" is simply any Ukrainian who resists. All this rhetoric is used to portray Ukrainians as enemies and make them a seemingly legitimate target for destruction.

And it works. What we hear from the battlefields is that Russian soldiers have internalised this and are responding to the genocidal campaign. To hold perpetrators accountable, Ukraine must win back its territories and Russia must fail.

No impunity for war crimes must also form a cornerstone of our long-term policies. Putin and all those who have committed atrocities must know that their judgement day will come. The aggressor must also pay reparations and victims must be compensated.

A special fund for victims could be one way, using Russian assets and central bank reserves frozen by sanctions.

The free world has made many right decisions in support of Ukraine. But we need to speed it up. What Ukraine needs today are arms to fight back the aggressor and liberate their country.

And we must be careful with premature calls for ceasefire and peace.

Remember that for half of Europe, peace after WWII did not mean the end of atrocities, but further repression. This is now being repeated in Russian-occupied territories in Ukraine – children deported en masse to Russia, women raped, men imprisoned.

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Europe must ensure the Kremlin's war in Ukraine fails or worse will follow - by Kaja Kalla
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Kaja Kallas, the Estonian prime minister, warns that the war in Ukraine will 'not end overnight' Credit: REUTERS/Janis Laizans

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