Decision Time for the West – Freedom or Fascism

Putin represents fascism, Ukraine represents freedom. The West must provide its full support fighting fascism, no more blood money.

In this Good versus Evil moment of history, we are approaching the end of the final act. Vladimir Putin’s regime, the greatest immediate threat to humanity and the planet, has intensified its surge of war crimes against Ukrainians, and human rights abuses against Russians.  History is ours to shape but we must choose which path to follow, and too many Western leaders still fail to rise to this occasion, unwilling or unable to match Ukraine’s courage, and instead, allow history to repeat itself.



Will our story be one of tragedy, full of doom and despair; great loss of life; where Putin sets the boundaries, drives the narrative, and demands that international rules and understandings are enforced in his favor while he blatantly violates them? This has been the comfort zone for Western leaders and media over the past eight years when he first invaded Ukraine in 2014, even longer given his war crimes in Syria, Georgia, and Chechnya. But Ukraine has shown the world, it has another story to offer, that anyone with courage and compassion can be part of, and it insists it will have a happy ending (and not the type that the late Jeffrey Epstein and Bill Barr once discussed).

The story Ukraine is writing, and the world is embracing, is one of rebirth, a spiritual resistance for freedom, independence, and peace that resonates with billions around the world. But this journey from darkness to light continues to be a painful labor, and some key decisions need to be made and acted on immediately. These are the interconnected latest developments on Putin, Ukraine, and Trump that the world needs to understand and demand action from those who have power:

1.      Vladimir Putin – Until Death Do Us Part

“Nobody should pin their hopes on a miracle.” – Vladimir Putin

The villain in the story, Vladimir Putin, has forced us into a marriage of his own delusions, a fantasy where he rises as Czar of a religious extremist fascist global empire of criminality blessed by his religious militant intelligence arm, the Russian Orthodox Church, which operated as a division of the KGB in the last decades of the Soviet Union, after decades of Soviets exterminating religious leaders and tens of millions of people of faith. While the Patriarch of Putin’s Russian Orthodox Church, a strong partner of American fascist evangelicals, openly supports the Kremlin’s genocide and destruction of churches in Ukraine, and in his sermon on Sunday blamed “western liberal values” and “gay pride parades” for Russia’s illegal invasion, Putin continues to make clear his intentions of cruelty and genocide, as his neo-Nazis troops execute civilians, and strategically create food shortages. Putin is not only taking from Hitler’s playbook, but Joseph Stalin’s 1932-1933 strategic famine that starved to death millions of Ukrainians. This morning, Russian forces bombed another bread factory in the “breadbasket of Europe.”  Despite his brutality, it is increasingly obvious that Putin cannot win this war and faces certain death, The Hague has proven too good for him, and there is no miracle he can “pin” his hopes to.

Putin once feared he would die losing his aggressive battle with cancer, but instead, he now faces that he will die losing his aggressive battle with the world. Of all the countless mistakes Putin made, two were gravest – underestimating his opponents and overestimating his “friends.” The best opponents never back down nor lose focus, and they don’t show their cards until they’re prepared to win. Real friendship, that of unconditional love and loyalty, cannot be secured through transactions. This is all basic common sense. Putin tried to steal Ukraine’s “statehood,” instead, Ukraine stole Putin’s manhood, leaving him politically and financially impotent, and angry. The West continues to play a vital role cutting off Putin’s network of financing, after all, Western nations were the greatest addicts of Putin’s blood money that empowered and emboldened him for so many years, with the U.S. and U.K. taking the lead, two of the original signatories of the Budapest Memorandum.

The Russian economy continues to crash, and Putin is desperate. The largest Russian companies, like Lukoil, once closely aligned and dependent on Putin, continue to turn on the Kremlin as they take enormous hits due to sanctions and other pressures. Western businesses also are leaving Russia, though too many have not yet shut down operations. Today, President Zelenskyy called on foreign companies to cease doing business with Russia immediately and for nations to initiate an embargo – any business with Putin’s illegitimate and rouge state helps fund his death crusade in Ukraine. Hours later, all “Big Four accounting and consultancy firms quit Russia,” The Kyiv Independent reported on Tuesday. Angry Russian oligarchs and those who aspire to be them, witness their assets evaporate, but not fast enough. Russians can no longer use American Express, Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Apple Pay or Google Pay, they will continue to be isolated on the world stage along with Putin until they remove the illegitimate occupant of the Kremlin who only rose to power through theft and mass murder, and with the help of American political mercenaries like Paul Manafort.

What is Putin’s latest extortion scheme to obtain financing? He is literally stealing from the bank accounts of Russians.  Russian media announced Putin signed into law a decree that creates a technicality allowing him to seize money from the bank accounts of civil servants and their families, including children, and transfer that money into the state’s budget. Russians continue to protest Putin’s war in Ukraine despite the danger (almost five thousand protesters were arrested and many brutally beaten by law enforcement on Sunday), and this decree will only further fuel civil resistance against the Kremlin. He cannot wage two wars at once, one at home, one abroad.

Putin lost the propaganda war overseas and will lose the propaganda war at home given these hits to the wallets of Russians and the harder his regime clamps down. He’s also struggling to hide the atrocities he continues to commit with his illegal war. Anonymous white-hat hackers are waging cyber-war on the Russian Federation, including with the mission of getting information about Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine distributed to Russians. A couple days ago, Elon Musk, a very strong supporter of Ukraine who appears to enjoy trolling Putin, announced he would not use Starlink to block Russian state media that pumps disinformation to support Putin’s war, not even if a “gun” were put to his head; he supports free speech. Conveniently, yesterday, Anonymous tweeted to its seven million followers that it interrupted Russian state TV programs to broadcast independent coverage of Putin’s full-scale illegal war in Ukraine, including “Russia 24, Channel 1, Moscow 24, and streaming services Wink and Ivi,” The Kyiv Independent reported. We must all support the free speech of truth telling. NEXTA, one of the largest Eastern European media sources, revealed Russian government documents showing that “Russia began active preparation for disconnection from the global Internet. No later than March 11, all servers and domains must be transferred to the Russian zone. In addition, a detailed date on the network infrastructure of the sites is being collected” by the Russian government.

Despite this, the Kremlin propaganda machine continues churning in the full-fascism mode. Online videos circulate of young Russians wearing black t-shirts with the letter ‘Z’ marked on them, like the Russian tanks and vehicles used to wage war on Ukrainians, as they pledge their allegiance to Putin’s criminal regime. ‘Z’ is believed to stand for ‘West’ (Zapad) or ‘victory’ (Za pobedy).  The images of long conference halls full of Z-wearing Russian youth, spark memories of Hitler’s youth who were vital to the late tyrant’s propaganda apparatus. Galina Starovoitava Fellow Kamil Galeev, who tweeted the photos, including the two below, in a well-researched thread on the emergence of the ‘Z’ symbol in Russia, reported that Russians are marking their cars with ‘Z’ to show their loyalty to Putin. Whether they will have money left to fuel their vehicles, after sanctions continue to hit Russia’s spiraling economy, remains to be seen.   

As Putin threatens the freedom of Ukrainians and Russians, and despite every success Ukrainian’s have achieved in weakening him and holding their ground, he grows more dangerous. In addition to Western leaders needing to do more to protect Ukraine from Putin, it has never been more urgent for Russians to take him down by any means necessary – they have the power to save countless lives, not only Ukrainian, but Russian. At this pace, almost as many Russian troops will be killed in Ukraine the first two weeks of Putin’s illegal war, as Soviets were killed in almost a decade of the disastrous war in Afghanistan (1979-1989). Russian forces are losing an average of a thousand per day. Russia has lost more than 11,000 troops in less than 12 days according to Ukraine’s government, compared to the Soviets who lost 15,000 in almost ten years in Afghanistan, this figure is outstanding. It’s no wonder Putin is looking to Syria to recruit more foreign fighters to help him execute more war crimes, though it is unclear with what money. For Putin, all life, including Russians’, is disposable, death is the goal.

Despite the danger Putin poses to Russians, Ukrainians, and the free world, his inability to win a war against Ukraine, and his aggressive threats that any assistance provided to Ukraine is an “act of war,” the little man in Moscow continues to make delusional demands that were announced by Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, none of which Ukraine will ever agree to:

  • Cease military action – for this to happen, Russia needs to leave Ukraine and stop killing Ukrainians
  • Change Ukraine’s Constitution to enshrine neutrality – this attempted takeover of Ukraine’s government is as great a threat to its sovereignty as Russia’s invasion.
  • Recognize Crimea as Russian territory – Crimea is part of Ukraine
  • Recognize the Russian-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states – these are not independent territories but occupied Ukrainian territory run by Kremlin-backed terrorist organizations.

What cruelty will Putin unleash on Ukraine next? Expect the worst. Especially if Western leaders do not expedite throwing their full force to stand up against this tyrant who cannot be reasoned with and who should not be further emboldened just because he makes threats he cannot carry through.

2.      Ukraine’s Resistance Strengthens, Putin’s Cruelty Worsens

Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy continues to shine light in the darkest of times and delivered a powerful and emotional message to Western politicians last weekend – either protect Ukrainian lives by protecting Ukrainian sky, or it is understood that Western politicians also enjoy watching Ukrainians murdered and Ukraine destroyed. Hours later, it was announced that the U.S. removed a hold on Poland providing fighter jets to Ukraine. Better late than never, but the failure of Western leaders, including the U.S. and U.K., has been on full display – too much cowardice; dragging decision that should be clear, at the expense of great loss of human life and destruction; and that sends Ukrainians a demoralizing message. Investigations may be warranted after Ukraine wins the war.

Today, the United Nations human rights office confirmed the deaths of 406 civilians, including 27 children, since the escalation of Putin’s eight-year long war on February 24th, but says the figure is likely to be much higher. This is in addition to the estimated 15,000 killed and two million displaced people since Putin first invaded Ukraine in 2014.

The military support Ukraine continues to receive from around the world, is significant. Al Jazeera reported that Canada sent $394 million in military aid to Ukraine over a week ago. Around the same time, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Portugal, Greece, Romania, Spain, Czech Republic, and Croatia, were among the first countries to sent small arms, body armor, and fuel to Ukraine. Australia sent $70 million in lethal aid two days ago, Sky News reported. The New York Times reported that, “In less than a week, the United States and NATO have pushed more than 17,000 antitank weapons, including Javelin missiles, over the borders of Poland and Romania, unloading them from giant military cargo planes so they can make the trip by land to Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, and other major cities. So far, Russian forces have been so preoccupied in other parts of the country that they have not targeted the arms supply lines, but few think that can last.” The times explained that Ukraine also receives United States Cyber Command support to block Russia’s cyber attacks. However, President Zelenskyy continues to voice how crucial it is to protect civilians and infrastructure from Putin’s missiles by declaring a no-fly zone.

Protecting Ukrainian sky should not be a complicated decision – if NATO is unwilling to help Ukraine secure a no-fly zone after Ukraine’s president continues to plead for help and makes powerful arguments of how it will help prevent potential acts of nuclear terrorism if Putin decides to launch missiles at one of four nuclear power plants in Ukraine, one which he already severely threatened, and the impact of which would reach every NATO member-country, then the least that can be done is to ensure Ukraine has enough fighter jets. After all, thousands of international veterans have signed up to join Ukraine’s International Legion at the invitation of President Zelenskyy, and this includes pilots who can help Ukraine’s Air Force.  Doesn’t Ukraine’s International Legion, composed of some of the world’s finest veterans, including several thousand Americans who signed up, deserve to have the Ukrainian sky protected while they partner with Ukrainian forces to secure Ukraine’s land? Does NATO not understand that this is the road to victory and saving lives, or do its leaders prefer consuming Kremlin propaganda that pumps fear?

Yesterday, it was reported that Putin accused Ukraine of making dirty nuclear bombs, a signal of a dangerous false flag operation, including Putin possibly preparing to target one or more nuclear power plants in Ukraine, more threats of nuclear terrorism. Ukraine’s president warned hours later that he believes Putin will strategically target Ukrainian cities with a powerful dumping of missiles. His defense minister echoed this danger today. One city was hit with six on Sunday, more residential buildings continue to get destroyed, more Ukrainians killed.

Putin’s war crimes are astonishing. A town of 22,000 was destroyed last weekend by Russians who went on a killing spree, massacring civilians as they fled for their lives. Since the report on Friday that a Sky News crew was attacked by Russian forces, a Swiss journalist, Guillaume Briquet, was shot and wounded by a Russian commander while driving in his vehicle that was clearly marked as press; Russian forces then robbed him. Mykhailo Podollak, an advisor to President Zelenskyy’s administration reported that Russian forces “damaged or destroyed 202 schools, 34 hospitals, and 1,500 residential buildings.” The humanitarian corridors that Ukraine and Russia agreed to protect to allow the safe evacuation of refugees, including international citizens in Ukraine, was predictably violated by Putin’s regime, used instead to trap, and kill civilians fleeing the country. Other humanitarian corridors that Russia has proposed direct evacuees to Russia or Russian-occupied Belarus. The Red Cross reported that the evacuation routes offered by Russia from Mariupol were mined, sabotaged to murder civilians. Yet, another humanitarian corridor was agreed to today. Will it hold, or more of the same?

While Putin tries to flex his military might and trick the western press into believing that he has much of Ukraine’s territory occupied, he has been unable to seize Kyiv despite best efforts to date and the devastating damage his missiles cause. Russia does not have the financial means nor the manpower to occupy a significant portion of Ukraine, nor has it seized large territory of land in Ukraine, but instead, occupies roads, as illustrated with this map:

Despite these continued atrocities, Ukrainians hit back harder, destroying tanks, capturing tens of thousands of Russian soldiers, and killing Russian forces. Yesterday, in one battle, Ukrainians destroyed 30 Russian helicopters. Some Ukrainian officials have tweeted that the greatest gift of military equipment to Ukraine comes not from the West but Russia, the incompetent aggressor. After defending their nation from Putin’s war for the past eight years, Ukrainian forces are one of the most battle-tested on the planet, and have a Commander-in-Chief who is fearless and puts Western politicians to shame. In addition, despite the brutality of Putin’s military, Ukrainians continue to come out in massive numbers to protest the armed invaders. The resistance in Ukraine continues to grow.

Today, Ukraine’s Chief Directorate of Intelligence of the Defense Ministry confirmed that Ukrainian forces killed Russian Major General Vitaly Gerasimov near Kharkiv, The Kyiv Independent reported. He was a senior Russian military official involved in the Chechen war and the “capturing” of Crimea, earning him a medal. Now, he is one of thousands Putin sent to die in Ukraine, fighting in the Kremlin’s illegal war. Another big victory for Ukraine and the free world.

There are several actions President Zelenskyy calls on the world to execute and that will prevent more tragic loss of life and put an end to the war more quickly, securing Ukraine victory:  

  • Close Ukrainian Sky – no fly zone, no excuses
  • New international sanctions against Russia
  • Trade embargo – the boycott of Russian oil, gas and other Russian exports 
  • International companies stop conducting business with Russia

Without an immediate Russian and gas embargo, which Zelenskyy refers to as “just morality,” the West is financing Putin’s war on Ukraine and itself. Germany rejected Zelenskyy’s pleas since this morning, its Chancellor Scholtz stated he would rather focus on “sustainable pressure” on Moscow that would not “burden Germans,” despite Russian oil being blood money and as Ukrainians are dying. This is Germany supporting fascism decades after World War II.  Japan and the U.S. have stated that they are in discussions with Europe about banning the import of Russian gas and oil, and the U.S. Speaker of the House called for a vote on the issue. Japan also announced today that the southern Kuril islands that Russia occupies, is Japan’s sovereign territory, sending a warning shot to Putin. How will he defend that occupied land when his military is focused on Ukraine? What happens if China decides it wants to reclaim Siberia too? If the Russians do not take down Putin, will there be a Russia left?

3.      Protection of Donald J. Trump Immediately Required

The inability or reluctance of Western politicians to deal with their government’s own domestic Kremlin problems, is illustrated by the United States, where blatant acts of treason, aiding and abetting a hostile foreign enemy, including while it commits genocide against one of the U.S.’s top allies, continues.  This cannot be normalized, there must be accountability. Democracy is in peril if Kremlin-loyal American politicians are allowed to run for office; we might as well put a “Z” next to their names on the ballot. There is an especially urgent reason to take immediate action aside from criminal prosecutions, given developments over the weekend.

The Washington Post reported that on Saturday night, at the Four Seasons in New Orleans, the Kremlin-installed former President of the United States publicly told a roomful of donors that the U.S. should disguise its F-22 fighter jets to look Chinese and bomb Russia, to start a war between Russia and China that would spark World War III. This clear display of the most dangerous case of criminal insanity requires immediate action. Early Sunday morning, U.S. national security experts sounded the alarm all over Washington, D.C. about the multiple security threats this statement triggered, and that involuntary psychiatric confinement is not only appropriate but mandated under these circumstances. This is needed to protect Americans and Donald J. Trump. It’s bad enough that this act sparked China re-emphasizing support for Russia, days after China made clear it was going to stay neutral and ensure its state sponsored media did too.

If leaders do not act swiftly, then the U.S. is not a country but an insane asylum; we cannot have a criminally insane man with a cult following of tens of millions calling for the U.S. to ignite a world war, especially not a former president. But just as significantly, Trump turned on Putin, who is already noticeably unhinged, paranoid, and extremely angry. There is no doubt that this level of disloyalty has angered Putin. The last thing the United States needs while Putin wages war on the West, is for Putin to do something that jeopardizes Trump’s life in retaliation, which will then be used to ignite Trump’s base to cause civil unrest, with Trump’s list of American enemies as top targets. His suggestion of a false-flag set-up the Kremlin to execute its own false flag against him and the nation. He put his life at risk, and the country, again.  This is a test for American leaders – they must take action to protect the former U.S. President and the nation. It is a time for former Vice President Mike Pence and Minority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell to demonstrate even the slightest allegiance to the United States by taking the lead in getting Trump involuntarily confined in a psychiatric institution, especially given that if anything happens to him, they will be among the first blamed.  Leaders must show a fraction of the courage Ukraine demonstrates.

The best ending to this story is a world without Putin’s lethal regime; Trump silenced in a psychiatric institution while he and his criminal accomplices are prosecuted; and Ukraine teaching the world the important lessons other Western leaders need to learn – always stand your ground, strong leadership is compassionate leadership, especially in a time of war, and those who shine light the brightest in the darkest of times, will write the next chapters of history. The world has a lot to learn from Ukraine, which is one of Putin’s greatest fears. Ukraine has the world cheering for its victory and will celebrate Putin’s defeat.

Alexandra Chalupa

EMPR

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