Putin has done what he was going to do all along, and the West did what it always does - talked, kowtowed and hoped.
Europe tried; some will say it vacillated, but on reflection - we gave peace every chance. It depends on your view - but we are where we are.
Putin is the archetypal bully. He only understands strength - He was, in my opinion, never going to back down in the face of a few threats from the West - and let's face it - when the sanctions did eventually come, they were pretty underwhelming - no wonder they were laughed off by Russia.
So now Putin has invaded the sovereign country of Ukraine - the West needs to be strong and unwavering in its response. We should immediately start training Ukrainians and any volunteers to fight - from Pilots to Commandos - and arm them with the latest weapons. Putin cannot be allowed to win. If he does - Europe and the whole world will have taken a massive step backwards on the road to civilisation.
The Western Powers can be criticised for so many things - but freedom of thought, speech and - within limits - actions are what holds us apart from the Dictators. In everyday life, we take these rights for granted. We have forgotten that our fathers and forefathers fought and died to secure them.
I suspect that today will be viewed and compared to Hitler marching into Austria - and the world watched - and did nothing.
The only decision the western powers needs to make is this: Heads in the sand or get up and fight.
However distasteful, frightening - terrifying - we all know what happens when you don't stand up to Bullies.
We got fat, greedy and complacent. We forgot the lessons of our own history, and it has and is coming back to haunt us - and in very real and stark terms.
In my book, The UK reducing our armed forces to the extent we have was verging on criminal. Lazy, indolent and complacent politicians who were meant to be our leaders and know better, to be wiser and have the strength of character to lead. That is why we are where we are - and make no mistake - we, the population, are to blame also. We voted them into power, we went along with it, and we did not hold them to account.
We took our eyes off the road and our hands off the wheel. Is it too late? - definitely for some.
It will all depend on what actions are taken now. Strength, an unwavering certainty to succeed and that doggedly tenacious spirit of Britishness - which is the tested power of the Scotts, the Irish, the Welsh and the English coming together as one. Europe and America would want the British on their side. I certainly wouldn't want to face the British.
Rikki - Suffolk - 24th February - 2022