This is a good opportunity to clarify something that really needs to be discussed.
Many people who are uncertain about assisting Ukraine believe that this war is a purely Russo-Ukrainian affair, and believe we “shouldn’t get involved”.
The truth is: we were always involved.
We were involved in 2008 and 2014, when Putin used wars of aggression to suppress the democratic will of neighbouring countries, annex territory, and prevent them from joining the EU – which he sees as an enemy – as well as NATO.
We were involved when Putin funded pro-Brexit parties, and extremists on the left and right, in every European election, believing that internal discord would cause an internal collapse, like what happened to his beloved USSR.
We were involved when gangsters and Nazbols masquerading as “separatists”, armed and paid by the GRU and FSB, shot down a civilian airplane full of passengers with a BUK air defence system.
We were involved when Russian agents used Novichok on British soil, killing an innocent British civilian.
We were involved when Lukashenka hijacked a Ryanair flight to kidnap two Europeans.
We were involved when Putin tried to get Trump to abandon American security commitments to Europe.
We were involved when he bought off politician after politician, to foster the European dependency on Russian energy exports, precisely in anticipation of a moment like this.
We were involved every time Putin called the Baltic republics “NATO-occupied Russian territory” and claimed that they must be returned, regardless of the will of the people who live there.
We were involved when Putin threatened to aim nuclear missiles at Copenhagen, because they had the audacity to join NATO’s Shield programme.
We were involved when Russian agents blew up a Czech ammunition depot, killing two people.
Only yesterday, Russian government officials threatened to strike Georgia with missiles to “destroy American biolabs” in the country. Are we not involved?
Only yesterday, Russian state publication Pravda claimed that Poland is “an illegitimate country” that is “an accomplice of the Bandera regime” and “must be denazified”. Are we still not involved?
It’s time for Europeans to take their heads out of the sand: we were always involved. This war is an attack on Europe. To Putin, we are the enemy. Don’t let Kremlin apologists make you forget that.