Connect with us

Politics & Security

EDITORIAL | Don't Let Putin Reap the Fruits of Aggression in Ukraine

Western nations are tardy in supplying Ukraine with the weapons required to repel Russian forces. Now, Vladimir Putin boasts of the success of his invasion.



Russian President Vladimir Putin answers questions at his major news conference in Moscow on December 14. (© AP via Kyodo)

Russian President Vladimir Putin staged a press conference on December 14, taking questions from reporters and members of the Russian public. During the event, he expressed his intention to continue the war of aggression against Ukraine.

Should Putin's illegitimate invasion end successfully, it would usher in a lawless world in which only the fittest survive. Such a result would naturally also affect Asia. Therefore, we must reaffirm this fundamental reality and resolidify our support for Ukraine. 

Claims Divorced from Reality

"Peace will only come when Russia achieves all its objectives," Putin said. He reiterated that his ultimate goal remained to "denazify" and "demilitarize" Ukraine. By that, he meant the elimination of all pro-Western groups and influences in Ukraine. 

He also voiced his belief that support for Ukraine from the United States and Europe was drying up. At the same time, he said that the Russian military had gained the upper hand on all fronts of the war. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin gives a news conference in Moscow. (© AP via Kyodo)

Resuming His Year-end Event

Putin's dialogue with the Russian people has long been an annual year-end tradition. But it was canceled in 2022 as the Russian invaders struggled in Ukraine. 

With Ukraine's counterattack having bogged down and the military situation for the Russians appearing to have improved, Putin decided to go ahead with the 2023 event and turn it into a farce to justify his Russian invasion.

He also hoped that it would provide momentum for him going into the Russian presidential election in March 2024. Of course, the presidential election is stage-managed to showcase his "overwhelming victory." However, he likely sought this opportunity to brag that the foundations of his political power were strong.

Regrettably, Mr Putin foresees victory in the war of aggression. Ukraine, the United States, Europe, and Japan must carefully examine the current situation and respond accordingly by making any necessary adjustments. 


International Community Must Act Responsibly

Western nations have been tardy in supplying Ukraine with the weapons it requires to repel Russian forces. As a result, the Russian military had sufficient time to build strong defensive lines in the occupied territories. 

To date, the US Congress has been unable to pass legislation providing additional assistance for Ukraine. That is because the Democrats and Republicans remain at loggerheads. However, we cannot afford to waste any more time.

In his remarks, Putin boasted that the Russian economy remained strong. On that note, he said this year's economic growth rate was expected to be around 3.5%. It is therefore also essential for Western countries, including Japan, to further strengthen Russian sanctions

Russian President Vladimir Putin answers questions at his Moscow press conference. December 14. (© AP via Kyodo)

Attrition Affects All Parties, Mr Putin 

Observers point to the fact that the Ukrainian people are tiring as the war drags on. But this does not mean that their will to resist the war has wavered.

Russia too has suffered an enormous number of casualties. It must be kept in mind that under a dictatorial system, it is difficult for public dissatisfaction to surface. The domestic situation is not as stable as Putin's boasts would have us believe. For one thing, there can be no bright prospects for a wartime economy pushed to the extremes.

During Putin's dialogue event, the Russian president went so far as to declare: "As for the 'rules-based order,' there are in fact no such rules. They change every day in line with politics and the short-term interests of those who are talking."

This dangerous dictator must not be allowed to reap the fruits of his aggression.


(Read the editorial in Japanese.)

Author: Editorial Board, The Sankei Shimbun


Our Partners