I’m troubled by the recent article written by Herbert Rothschild, “Relocations: My Peace Plan for Ukraine.” First, Rothschild made no mention of the horrid behaviors occurring under Russian President Vladimir Putin’s autocratic rule. Second, his “peace plan” undercuts Ukraine’s goal to take back its territory.
Putin’s military commonly uses rape, kidnapping, beatings, electrocutions, mutilations and summary executions in Ukraine. It has launched over 700 attacks on medical facilities and transports. Thousands of bombs fall on civilians, schools, homes, infrastructure and hospitals. There is an international warrant for Putin’s arrest as a genocidal war criminal. Rothschild admits in his final paragraph “a settlement mean(s) ‘rewarding’ Putin for his aggression.”
On Oct. 5, 2023, Putin said in a speech that the West has lost touch with reality and thus Russia’s goal is to create a “new world order.” That very day, Russian missiles slammed into a cafe killing over 50 Ukrainians, including children. I note that Hitler also planned for a New World Order to follow World War II. What Rothschild described as “the triumph of autocracy over democracy” has already occurred in Russia.
Ukrainians are a people whose backs are against the wall. They’ve made immense sacrifices and taken back more than half of the land the Stalinesque invader initially took. In recent days, Russia has withdrawn its damaged naval fleet from the western Black Sea, an area greater than the land area Russia initially took in southern Ukraine. That is another immense, yet overlooked, success by Ukraine. The people of Ukraine have experienced Putin’s version of reality and they refuse to negotiate their homeland. How can we so casually talk about withdrawing support?
I’ve hesitated to send this letter because I see myself as antiwar. However, I also see myself as standing for freedom from autocracy. Thus, I chose to exercise a freedom that Russian citizens are not allowed, freedom of speech.