12 reasons to arm Ukraine

| May 4, 2022

Western politicians appeased Vladimir Putin for 20 years, refusing to accept Ukraine into the EU and NATO, or even to sell it weapons to defend itself, for fear of antagonising the Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.  Putin saw this weakness for what it was, and the West’s vacillation only increased his ambition.

As Russia massed soldiers on Ukraine’s borders early this year, the West gave a green light to the invasion by making clear they would not intervene.  Many commentators thought Ukraine would fall within days without a fight, and should not even try to resist.

Ukraine’s brave resistance has emboldened some support, with military supplies following sanctions, but Europe still imports billions of dollars of oil and gas from Russia, funding Putin’s brutal war machine, and hesitates to provide the heavy weapons Ukraine needs to kick the Russians out of their country.  Here are 12 reasons why the West has a moral, practical and self-interested imperative to correct the mistakes of the past and arm Ukraine’s fight for freedom for us all.

1. This war must be stopped immediately, while it is still in Ukraine, and before it spills over into other countries. It must be stopped with the defeat of Russia on the battlefield, rather than the surrender of Ukraine.  Ukraine is the largest country in Europe, with two different seas washing its shores.  It generates vast agricultural exports, 5 nuclear power plants and hundreds of heavy industry enterprises. If Putin gets his hands on the vast resources of Ukraine, it will feed rather than sate his ambition.  He will use his gains and glory to progress his war agenda, posing an even greater danger for the entire world.\

2. The war in Ukraine is a result of the weakness and irresponsibility of the World’s leaders back in 2014 when Putin wasn’t substantially penalized for invading a democratic Ukraine in Donbas region and for annexing the Crimea. There were no repercussions for him invading a peaceful, democratic neighbour, and he will continue his awful crimes in other countries as soon as he’s done with Ukraine unless he’s stopped.

3. Government defense contractors in Germany, France and Italy have sold hundreds of millions of dollars worth of weapons to Putin, even as they refused to supply Ukraine, due to loopholes in sanctions imposed in 2015 and later. These weapons are now being used to murder Ukrainian people, and enabled the documented war crimes and murders in Bucha and other cities. The money that European leaders use to pay for Russian oil and gas bought the bombs that have killed thousands of innocent Ukrainian people.

4. Ukraine is a reliable partner and loyal ally of the United States and Western Europe. Ukrainian forces immediately joined all the peacekeeping missions of recent years at the request of the United States but when Ukraine asked for help, all they initially received in return were tactical weapons. Germany, which has long appeased Putin and held itself hostage to Russian gas, initially offered just 5,000 helments.

World Leaders were sure that Ukraine would surrender in less than three days but the resolve of the Ukrainian people proved everyone wrong. Ukrainian troops are still not getting enough weapons which leads to the loss of precious lives, but Putin will not be held responsible until he is defeated.  The front line in Ukraine is the front line against tyranny for the whole of the free world.

5. Over 10 million Ukrainians were killed by the Nazis during the Second World War. My grandfathers and their father fought that war, while my great grand father died in the battle in Poland. At a time when Russia is becoming a new form of totalitarian fascism, exhibiting all the criteria of fascism according to Umberto Eco, there is a historical and moral obligation of German politicians to help Ukrainians to free their country. Putin claims he is fighting fascists in Ukraine, but the reality is that he is the fascist that must be fought.

6. Ukrainian people are not only defending their country but the whole free world. They are not asking for boots on the ground from any other country, but the brave Ukrainian men and women who  volunteered to fight this war don’t have enough weapons to defend themselves and their homeland, or take the offensive to drive the Russians out.

7. Ukranians share the same values as the West and consider ourselves a part of free, democratic western world. The human right to live, the rule of law and human rights, democracy and transparency are our common future. This is the 21st century.  We must stop mass shootings, and the rape and torture of women and children. Otherwise, everything that Western politicians have said, all the values ​​we thought we believed in together with other nations, turn out to be an empty fabrication.  Westerners call for social justice and human rights in their own countries, but where are they when thousands of people are being murdered in Europe right now.

8. A country without nuclear weapons can’t stand against the Russian Federation alone. Ukraine’s defense budget is $ 6 billion, roughly equal to the military budgets of Finland or Sweden. The Russian Federation finances the purchase of its Armed Forces at the level of 160-190 billion dollars a year (the Kremlin pays for weapons in rubles and covers up the real numbers) and has the advantage of a more developed military. Any country would require help from the whole world if such a despicable war happened on their territory.

9. Russia has officially declared genocide for all who consider themselves Ukrainians. You don’t have to be born in Ukraine to be murdered. Hundreds of people have already been killed for being a part of a democratic community – Poles, Belarusians, Georgians, Americans, Lithuanians, French, Germans, Greeks, etc. In early April, Russia for the first time announced the need to exterminate all Ukrainians – genocide in its purest. Ukrainians for Russia are the equivalent of the Jewish nation for Hitler, 90 years has passed after WW2 and remember – history always repeats itself.

10. Ukraine voluntarily renounced its nuclear weapons in exchange for security guarantees from the United States, Britain, France and China. Russia agreed to respect Ukrainian independence in return but has done nothing but flout that treaty ever since.  Let’s keep those promises and do what is right to protect Ukrainian sovereignty, freedom and independence.

11. Humanity does not end at the borders of the European Union or NATO. Ukrainians are being exterminated for choosing democracy and freedom, not because they pose any threat to Russia.  If Russia laid down its arms today there would be peace and its soldiers could go home to their families once more.  If Ukraine stopped fighting it would be erased from the map, its people would be raped, murdered and exiled, and Russia would be stronger in its war against the West.

12. Ukraine wants to be part of the family of democratic nations, and you shouldn’t betray the family that loves and cares for you in return. The West fought for 20 years in Afghanistan, pouring enormous resources into that country, only for the Taliban to return the moment they left.  Ukraine actually wants to join the West, if only it were allowed to do so.  Good must always defeat Evil, but that victory is won through arms as well as ethics. Ukraine is winning simply because of ordinary people doing extraordinarily things, but we need the tools to finish the job.

What does Ukraine need?

To gain a qualitative advantage over Russia’s numerical superiority, Ukraine needs high-tech precision weapons in sufficient number to turn back the tide. So far, the positive statements from the NATO meeting Rammstein have not led to the practical results the whole world hopes for.

More long-range artillery, air defense assets and modern warplanes are essential and we need serious supplies to keep them operational on a daily basis. The Ukrainian army also requires high-precision ammunition in order to avoid civilian casualties by quickly neutralizing enemy equipment.

1) At least 100 rocket launchers such as the M270 or HIMARS M142. We also need additional provision of various types of ammunition to strikes at the enemy up to 300 km away.  This will allow Ukraine to create a much needed set of 5 field artillery divisions. The US and Norway alone have over 1000 of those systems. In Norway, they keep some in their reserve, and so these could be supplied within denuding their own front line forces.

Such systems will allow Ukrainian soldiers to push out Russian troops from occupied cities such as Mariupol, and dozens of others, and free the civilian population from atrocities committed by Putin’s army. The use of MLRS will allow targeted fire to neutralize enemy logistics and command posts near the occupied cities.

2) At least 250 self-propelled medium-range howitzer systems such as the 155 mm “Paladin” M109A6, to keep the enemy at distance and prevent Russian troops from breaching civilian cities.

3) At least 800 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles with extended range (AMRAAM-ER) to protect the civilian population in the largest cities from constant air attacks.

4) At least 55 F16 fighter aircraft to cover the sky above Ukrainian cities from attacks by Russian bombers.

5) NASAMS air defense systems to shoot down missiles aimed at residential buildings, maternity hospitals and kindergartens.

6) At least 5 “Harpoon” anti-ship missile systems with 40-50 missiles to protect Ukraine against the Russian ships from which missiles are constantly launched.

7) 8 UAV type MQ-9 Reaper drones for the point neutralization of Russian command posts.

Russia’s leader is a vicious narcissist, and defeating him in Ukraine may also free the Russian people from his grip.  Russia’s generals have proved their incompetence, and their drubbing in Ukraine will deter any further attacks on their neighbours or NATO nations for years.  Russia’s soldiers have been exposed as both cruel and incompetent, a rabble which enjoys shelling civilians, looting homes and raping women but flees from the fight against determined and well armed resistance.

The West has refound its will to resist Putin’s aggression, but it must back its good intentions with action.  For all the defeatism of Western commentators and impotence of international institutions before the war, Ukraine has shown that resistance to evil is not only possible but practical, but we need arms as well as hearts to win this war for the world.