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“The war won’t end until Putin loses” — Ann Applebaum for The Atlantic

“The war won’t end until Putin loses” — Ann Applebaum for The Atlantic

In her article for The Atlantic, Anne Applebaum argues that only a full defeat of Russia can be the avenue for reaching long-term stability in Europe, and offering the Russian president a face-saving compromise will only enable future aggression: “In truth, the Russian president not only has to stop fighting the war; he has to conclude that the war was a terrible mistake, one that can never be repeated. More to the point, the people around him — leaders of the army, the security services, the business community — have to conclude exactly the same thing. The Russian public must eventually come to agree too.”

According to Applebaum, “military loss could create a real opening for national self-examination or for a major change, as it so often has done in Russia’s past. Only failure can persuade the Russians themselves to question the sense and purpose of a colonial ideology that has repeatedly impoverished and ruined their own economy and society, as well as those of their neighbors, for decades. Yet another frozen conflict, yet another temporary holding pattern, yet another face-saving compromise will not end the pattern of Russian aggression or bring permanent peace.”

Anne Applebaum is a staff writer for The Atlantic and a Pulitzer-prize winning historian. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and the Agora Institute, where she co-directs Arena, a program on disinformation and 21st-century propaganda.

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