And still the talking goes on, and on…., with little evidence the West is prepared to assert its belief in the right of nations to self-determination. The Ukraine is being ravished by a ruthless Russian regime that is not moved by overtures of mercy; but is intent on reclaiming the territories lost after the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Appeasement does not work: the evidence of history shows dictators are emboldened by procrastination. Every successful conquest encourages an expansion of military and territorial ambitions. Like a child whose parents wag the finger but are not prepared to check misbehaviour, so tyrants will push and push until countries opposed to this threat make a stand; and then a monster has to be contained at great cost.
Does the West seriously think once the Ukraine is subdued, Putin will put on his diplomatic hat and all will be well again? Why should he take any notice of the protestations of what he perceives as a disunited Europe and an ineffectual USA.
NATO should declare the Ukraine a no-fly zone, or, failing that, provide the Ukrainians with ground-to-air missiles to take out Russian warplanes. Yes, this may bring NATO into direct conflict with Russia, but this is going to happen if Russia continues its expansionist strategy. Better now to show resolve and boldness rather than relying on sanctions, that are often ineffective, and endless platitudes that are designed to bolster the morale of Ukrainian but do nothing to stop the Russian onslaught.