Weblog of Karl von Habsburg

Ukraine defends Europe’s freedom

The EU must now prove that it has the capacity to act in foreign policy.

What observers have long expected has come to pass. Russian President Vladimir Putin has recognised the independence of the two Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk after a call by the Duma – even warmongering dictators like to hang the cloak of flawless democracy around themselves – and is now officially sending troops into these regions. Anyone familiar with the map of Ukraine knows that these two territories mean much more than the part of eastern Ukraine occupied by Russian mercenaries. The tactics are familiar from many other Russian aggressions (for example Georgia in 2008).

Putin can, of course, expect from past experience that the free world will only react to his war with empty words. That would be an invitation to him to let his tanks advance further into Ukraine.

Hectic politician trips to Moscow allow the Russian president, through his propaganda media, to show the Russian people that their country is once again a world power and that he, Putin, is the man who achieved this feat. They all talk to him as they did during the Cold War, when the USSR was also a world power.

The EU is now called upon to demonstrate its ability to act in foreign policy. This requires targeted sanctions aimed directly at the Russian president and his immediate entourage, which is causing this war. They all have their villas in Europe, their accounts in Western banks, their yachts in Western waters, and their business in the free world. They must be cut off from these luxuries. Former leaders of Western states who work for Russian companies should now have the decency to stop working for the Putin system.

Ukraine itself is ready to defend itself. To do so, however, the country needs support from the EU, and specifically military equipment, i.e. weapons that increase its defence capability. For we must be clear about one thing: Ukraine is not only defending its own freedom, it is also defending Europe’s freedom.


Published: February 22, 2022