Of course, Putin is a war criminal.
He must appear before an international tribunal for crimes against humanity. There should be no immunity or time limits.
But it would be a big mistake to see Putin as the main cause of this war.
Putin is only a reflection of the mood prevailing in Russia’s society. It is seriously ill society.
This society is full with hatred for other countries, for the whole free world. This society is striving to impose the so-called “greatness of Russia” by force. And Greatness of Russia is more important to millions of Russians than democracy and their own well-being.
Russian imperialism and disrespect to the values and rules of the civilized world, to human life and freedom were the basis of the communist regime in the USSR. And unfortunately, they did not go anywhere after the fall of this regime.
Putin called the collapse of the communist evil empire and freedom to the peoples enslaved by Moscow, “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century.” But he is not alone in this perverted view. Millions of Russians believe the same, and in fact the Empire of Evil continues to exist in the form of the Russian Federation.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in Russia, unfortunately, there was no analogue of Nuremberg and denazification. The murderer of millions of people, Vladimir Lenin, still lies in a mausoleum in centre of Moscow. Another bloody dictator, Stalin, is an idol for Russians and a role model for Putin.
Of course, Russia is an authoritarian state that is becoming more and more totalitarian, and normal sociology is impossible there. But it is a fact that it is the Russian people who have elected Putin president and support his criminal actions.
Most Russians supported Russian aggression and the occupation of Georgia and Moldova. Similarly, eight years ago, most Russians supported Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the annexation of Crimea, and the occupation of Donbass.
And even now, when the Russian military is destroying peaceful Ukrainian cities and killing thousands of civilian Ukrainians, most Russians support their Führer and the biggest post-World War II war in Europe.
After all, when Russian soldiers drop bombs on hospitals and kindergartens, shoot buses with refugees, kill women and children in captured cities and villages, and shoot priests and teachers, this cannot be explained by Putin’s orders alone.
And even that part of the Russians who do not show open support for Putin, but do nothing to stop the crimes of their country in Ukraine, are also responsible for these crimes.
It should be very clear that this is not just a war of Putin, it is a war of Russia, the Russians against Ukraine and against the whole civilized world. Not only Putin, but all of Russia and its citizens must be held accountable for the crimes committed by their state and army.
The world must unite to isolate the evil empire, not give it a penny, impose the toughest possible sanctions, and provide Ukraine with everything it needs to fight back, including state-of-the-art weapons.
We must all win this war together. Then we have to force Russia not only to bring Putin and other war criminals to international tribunal, but also to ensure the de-imperialization of Russia — condemning its aggressive anti-human policies, overcoming the imperial legacy.
The Russians have to go through a long and tough process, similar to denazification in post-war Germany. Only then is there a chance to end the Russian evil empire forever.