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Max Hastings

Putin May Win in Ukraine, But the Real War Is Just Starting

Russia’s war is becoming a larger struggle of good against evil, and Europe must do more or evil may triumph. 

Vlad the Great?

Vlad the Great?

Photographer: Mikhail Metzel/AFP/Getty Images

Deliver us from evil. The line is among the most familiar, in one of the oldest Christian prayers. Most of us are wary about using the E-word, because grown-up people know that few issues, or indeed people, can rightfully be characterized as either wholly good or the other thing, but instead exist somewhere between.

Yet it seems hard to consider Russian President Vladimir Putin as anything other than a force for evil. He is personally responsible for tens of thousands of deaths in Ukraine through an act of unprovoked aggression, designed to fulfill a vision of national and personal greatness that has no foundation in law or morality.