Staunton, July 23 – Olga Belogorova, a democratic and anti-war activist in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky who is affiliated with the KolokolXXI group, speaks for many in her camp when she calls on Western leaders to rethink their tendency to believe that negotiating with Putin is the key to finding peace in Ukraine and stability in the world.
Such beliefs, she says, are entirely misplaced. And her words from a place just about as far from Moscow as one can get and yet remain in Russia merit attention as a voice of the Russian people facebook.com/olbelogorova/posts/pfbid0W4z47UZAnAkRfKSLJW8e9HWCBZhurmHXcPbQuZhWZqTCNWrD2ZgmcVeFXWamspPgl). Below is an informal translation:
Any contact with Putin by any world leader legitimates Putin’s terror. Any negotiations, meetings, calls and letters give him the chance to conclude that he is doing everything right because he sees the efforts of these leaders to talk with him as weakness and a reflection of the worthlessness of those who do so.
It is also the case that any goods the West purchases from Russia provides him with money for his war.
Put yourself in his place for just a moment. He kills hundreds of people day after day for five months, live and before the eyes of the world. And what does he see in response? Animated talk about the next package of sanctions? A ban on Kabayeva eating and sleeping in a Swiss villa? The confiscation of Deripaska’s yacht? And stammering requests from European invertebrates to “please stop shooting Ukrainians.”
And all this leads Putin to conclude that he can do whatever he wants because everyone is afraid of him. Thus, he continues to kill with pleasure.
But he needs to be made afraid because he is ultimately a coward to the core of his being. All you have to do is make him afraid. It’s not that difficult. It’s just that no one is committed to doing so. There is no will.