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The Right of the People

Many people have their opinion on the Russian aggression in Ukraine, its causes, consequences and solutions to stop it.

In the West, where we were lucky enough to live on the right side of the Iron Curtain, we still reason in traditional terms, focusing on relations between states, regularly making mistakes, but ignoring a fundamental fact that explains everything: the people.

In Eastern Europe, those who suffered the most from the Soviet occupation and tyranny, from the liberticidal and mortifying communist dictatorship, unanimously wanted to join the Western family to avoid the return of the terror that haunts each person, so many of them having been decimated.

It was not an American or European plot that led to the enlargement of NATO, it was the repulsion and fear inspired by a Russia that has never been able to bring communism to justice.

Nuremberg made it possible to judge an ideology and condemn the Nazi executioners, to adopt laws to protect against it and thus to allow Germany to return to the concert of nations.

Neither communism nor Stalin have been tried and condemned for the millions of deaths they caused. Putin is only their grandson, the unlikely survivor of a security apparatus that has taken over the world's largest country.

The Russian people are being held hostage by a few rather pathetic oligarchs who have taken over their immense wealth and are preventing them from joining the side of freedom.

The de-Stalinisation of Russia is much more necessary than the so-called denazification of Ukraine.

The history of Europe cannot be rewritten as the Russian dictator wishes.

No state logic can ignore the feelings of the people. They voted for democratic regimes, which may seem imperfect but which are real paradises compared to today's Russia.

We must therefore recommend that all of those in our country who are thinking of solutions to put an end to the conflict should not forget that only the Ukrainians will decide their future. And they will have strong and legitimate demands.

Neutrality, denuclearisation, non-membership of this or that alliance? The last time they accepted such conditions was in 1994 with the Budapest Memorandum, an international agreement signed by Russia, the United States, Ukraine and the United Kingdom, guaranteed by China and France, members of the UN Security Council.

In return for recognition of its borders and a commitment to non-aggression, Ukraine agreed to part with the 1,900 Soviet nuclear warheads on its soil, which were repatriated and destroyed in Russia with US funding. We have seen what has happened to these "security assurances", all of which were ignored by the signatories when Putin reneged on his word by attacking it militarily!

So, one cannot blame them for being particularly cautious. The Ukrainians will only agree to deal with the aggressor in the certainty that he will not return, such is the mark that Russia has left on the lands of Europe: blood, suffering and the horrors that Putin continues to spread.

So, they will resist to the last and they may well win because all their people are committed, they have the right to say what they want and what they do not want. In doing so, they are protecting a West that is very timid about having to do the same by assuming the risk of a conflict.