You make good points. However, I think we need to provide clearer and more immediate examples for US readers of what the implications of a Putin victory in Ukraine would mean for US security and our way of life. I have heard people say that our "nuclear umbrella" assures us that Putin would never dare attack the US, so that the risks to the US from a Russian victory in Ukraine are not so dire.

Here are some thoughts that occur to me as responses to such comments:

1. Putin with Ukraine in his pocket increases Russian capability substantially with a productive and capable population of over 44 million people. It was the Ukrainians who bore per capita the largest number of casualties the Soviet Union suffered in World War II.

2. Putin could use the same playbook--protecting Russian-speaking populations from "Neo-Nazi" oppression--against the Baltic countries and other European neighbors to take them over. Such populations are present in large numbers in a number of those countries.

3. An emboldened Russia can engage in a number of hostile acts short of invasion to disrupt the way of life and security of the rest of Europe and the US itself. Examples include cyber warfare (e.g., ransomware attacks, theft of IP via electronic attacks), encouraging political extremism with financial and disinformation support, sponsoring proxy wars in Africa and South America that lead to dramatic increases in refugee and migrant flows, supporting China in its efforts to restrict commerce through the South China Sea, to name a few.

The point is, a Putin victory in Ukraine based on brazen lies and an unprovoked and brutal invasion of a neighboring country could soon lead to all kinds of hostile acts against the way of life we have enjoyed since 1945 throughout the free world. The consequences could hit us in the US far before we faced an armed invasion in the conventional military sense.

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Good points upon Dr. McFaul's good points. How do we amplify these warnings? The world struggles to think ahead about potential events like these, let alone plan for them/head them off.

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I appreciate your multi-level approach to defend Ukraine while I still see it primarily as a moral issue. You have to be effective as well as right. I do admit all the technical “war talk” like making artillery shells in Ohio and Bulgaria gets to me and I try to block it out and stay focused on moral issue.

Bob Langfelder

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This article has a problem with some sources of information. It refers to another article (CNN: Russia using rape as ‘military strategy’ in Ukraine: UN envoy) that describes the alleged sexualized violence of the soldiers of the Russian army using a reference to yet another, article, also at CNN (Ukraine has accused Russian soldiers of using rape as a tool of war) that quotes Lyudmila Denisova, a known liar. A proof that Denisova is a liar https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/w/ukrainian-former-human-rights-chief-admits-promoting-fake-news-to-convince-west-to-send-more-arms

"KRAINE’S sacked former human rights chief Lyudmila Denisova has admitted promoting fake news to persuade Western countries to send more arms and aid.

Ms Denisova said she lied to the Italian parliament in order to change their minds about sending weapons to Ukraine.

Her admission comes as Ukraine and Russia looked farther than ever from compromise, following claims by Russia’s Vladimir Putin that his war emulated tsar Peter the Great in “reclaiming” Russian land.

Mr Putin’s comments reinforce the message of Russian-installed officials in conquered regions, including Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, that it plans to annex Ukrainian territory.

His Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky said it showed there was no “off ramp” or possibility of compromise.

“I talked about terrible things in order to somehow push them to make the decisions that Ukraine and the Ukrainian people need,” Ms Denisova said.

“There is a party, Five Stars, which was against the provision of weapons to us, but after my speech, one of the party leaders expressed support for Ukraine, said that they will support, including the provision weapons,” Ms Denisova added.

The former Ukrainian parliamentary commissioner for human rights was ousted earlier this month following a vote of no confidence in the Rada.

Lawmaker Pavlo Frolov accused Ms Denisova of pushing misinformation that “only harmed Ukraine” in relation to “the numerous details of ‘unnatural sexual offences’ and child sexual abuses in the occupied territories, which were unsupported by evidence.”

Her reports were published uncritically by numerous Western media outlets as fact, and despite her sacking, none have retracted stories."

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I would be curious what you might know about this question.

Are we making a mistake by fighting this war on turf chosen by Putin? What efforts, if any, are underway to persuade Russian elites to get rid of Putin? Putin must be surrounded by people with guns. One guy, one gun, one bullet, one time, is all it takes.

Why are we fighting Russia when we could be fighting Putin?

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