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Opinion
Max Hastings

'Appeasement' of Putin Isn't So Easy to Denounce on Ukraine

Give Biden some credit: No sane person believes that the U.S. can or should threaten general war in response to a Russian invasion.

Facing off. 

Facing off. 

Photographer: Peter Klaunzer/Getty Images

Corrected

The world fears that Russian President Vladimir Putin is about to invade Ukraine, an act of naked aggression. Many Westerners are rendered even more afraid by recognition that there is pathetically little they can do to stop him. No sane person believes that U.S. President Joe Biden — the only credible leader the Western democracies have — can or should threaten general war in response to such a Kremlin action.

We therefore face the repugnant prospect that Putin can succeed in his likely objective, overrunning a sufficient chunk of Ukraine to doom the rest of that country to become a failed state, subject to Moscow’s will.