I’ve long said that Mr. Putin is a Russian problem and must be removed by Russians. But the West needs to stop helping him. Every phone call that legitimizes his authority, every cubic meter of gas and every barrel of oil imported from Russia is a lifeline to a dictatorship that is shaking for the first time.
If the goal is to save Ukrainian lives, as Western leaders say, then the only way to do it is to arm Ukraine with every weapon President Volodymyr Zelensky wants as quickly as possible. A cease-fire that leaves Russian forces on Ukrainian soil would only allow Mr. Putin to continue his genocide and mass deportations under cover, as he’s been doing since he first invaded in 2014.
There are also those who openly take Mr. Putin’s side even now. Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is blocking a European Union ban on Russian oil imports, a supply that is putting tens of billions of dollars every month into Mr. Putin’s war machine. Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is threatening to disrupt Finland’s and Sweden’s accession into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, although it’s likely he’s looking to gain something for himself, as usual. In the U.S., Sen. Rand Paul has held up a new emergency financial-aid package to Ukraine—money, by the way, that would mostly be spent with American suppliers.