Stop Putin

Kyiv Post - - Opinion -

The flare-up in the fight­ing in Avdiyivka, at the Don­bas war front, has re­minded po­lit­i­cal lead­ers and the in­ter­na­tional pub­lic that Europe’s only war is still go­ing on af­ter nearly three years.

It should also re­mind them that now is no time for talk of re­lax­ing sanc­tions on Rus­sia – the ag­gres­sor state, the state that started the war, and the state that keeps the war go­ing.

Ukraine has an­nounced cease-fires uni­lat­er­ally sev­eral times, only to have them ig­nored by the Rus­sian forces and their prox­ies.

Any cease-fire agreed by both sides quickly breaks down – and it is the Rus­sian-backed forces who fire first. The lat­est ex­am­ple came on Feb. 1, when a cease-fire agreed be­tween the sides so that ur­gent re­pairs could be car­ried out to re­store elec­tric­ity sup­plies to the homes of Avdiyivka was bro­ken af­ter only three-and-a-half hours: Rus­sian-backed forces shelled the Ukrainian re­pair crews, forc­ing them to flee. There is no doubt which side is to blame for the war con­tin­u­ing. None of Ukraine’s friends in the West, how­ever, would name that side in their state­ments of con­cern fol­low­ing the lat­est clashes in Avdiyivka. Many called for “both sides” to stop the fight­ing, when they should have pointed an un­wa­ver­ing fin­ger of blame at the one side that is keep­ing this war go­ing – Rus­sia.

Un­til the West puts the blame for this war where it prop­erly be­longs, on Rus­sia, and puts more pres­sure on the Krem­lin to end its ag­gres­sion, there will be more Avdiyivkas.

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