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We need to stop prevaricating and commit ourselves in full.

I suppose life has to go ticking on despite the suffering and carnage in other parts of the world - it has always been that way. Life goes on. But it feels almost obscene that we are discussing nuclear power stations, wind-farms and Party-gate at 10 Downing street when mass murder on a considerable scale is taking place in Europe. Yet, we still wrap ourselves in all the other trivia that consumes our lives.

It is an old storey - it is far away and doesn't affect us, and we can pretend to ourselves that it is not in our interest to interfere.

Doing just enough to keep our collective consciences clear but refusing to acknowledge or perhaps understand the gravity of what Putin's war could mean to our world.

First of all - who is going to go to the aid of the people in our world who are suffering? What is the point of civilisation if we don't care, so long as we are ok? What if it was us - you and me - our siblings, our children, our parents - husbands, wives - what would we want other people who were able to help - do? Nothing? Money to a thirsty man stuck in the desert is of little use. What he needs is water.

Yes - we Brits have sent some NLAW anti-tank missiles and other vital equipment - but we need to step up a gear. We have to ensure that Putin loses. All this talk of suing for peace and Putin gets to keep Crimea, and the Donbas region is sending the strong message that "Crime Pays".

Europe cannot allow Putin to keep any of the lands he has invaded, and furthermore - Europe must ensure that Putin pays for his crimes. The best-case scenario is that Russians punish Putin - but that seems unlikely at the moment - though there are some courageous Russians who have already made their view known and paid the price.

We should give the Ukrainians Fighter Jets - Drones - Tanks - whatever they need. If we show we are afraid to really get involved, Putin will win, which will be disastrous for Europe and us in the long term.

Being afraid of starting world war three is not a reason not to do the right thing. That is how tyrants work - intimidation and terror. Putin is many things, amongst which is a terrorist.

It is both a fascinating and fearful time to be alive. We are now witnessing the results of previous world leaders who took their hands off the tiller - who turned to look the other way, either out of complacency or fear, and we have just begun to count the cost.

No leader can sit and watch and not take appropriate action. Leading is an active, infinite process.

We are now paying the price for past and present weak and ineffective leadership. Perhaps we are experiencing the opening shots of a long fight for democracy. The middle ground is disappearing from under our feet, and we have to choose, and oh Lord - I fervently hope democracy is the winner and autocracy is confined to the history books. But it probably won't work out like that.

Rikki - Suffolk - UK - 4th April 2022

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