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Europe's Vulnerability Under Attack


The West has not wavered in its response to the Kremlin's blackmail and threats. Putin consistently prepared for invasion of Ukraine, and his propaganda has aggressively replicated threatening narratives in Europe. The demand for NATO to withdraw to its 1997 borders is a classic example of such blackmail. By launching Europe's most devastating war since 1945, Putin has unwittingly rallied and strengthened the West, which he openly calls Russia's enemy. The expansion of the Alliance into Finland can be directly credited to the Kremlin for convincing the West that Russia is capable of wars of conquest and genocide on ethnic grounds. But Putin is not ready to back down: due to the disparity in military and economic capabilities between Russia and the West, he has changed tactics, highlighting hybrid threats as the main tool to divide and weaken Europe, which he wishes to see vulnerable and defenceless against Russian invasion.

The notorious strength of the Russian army proved to be a myth: after the failed invasion of Ukraine, its best units were destroyed and a huge quantity of military equipment has been destroyed or seized. For years, the narrative popularised by Russian propaganda about the invincibility of the world's second largest army had become untenable: the Russians have proved themselves to be excellent murderers, rapists, and looters, but not soldiers. The Kremlin has had to revise its tactics, abandoning pointless blusters against the West, and employing a wide range of hybrid threats designed to covertly but consistently weaken Europe.

Putin is using everything from moving demobilised criminals to EU countries to using Russia's admirers to systematically weaken Europe. The latter hybrid threat is particularly dangerous: Russia uses well-known personalities, through whose mouths it forces the West to question the appropriateness of providing weapons to Ukraine - a key factor that has weakened Russia and saved both Ukraine and Europe. On a more global scale, "peacemakers" like Orbán or Trump contribute to splitting and dividing the West, and above all a Europe that has historically been vulnerable to Russia, which risks once again coming under the jackboot of the Russian soldier, as happened in 1814 and 1945. Hungary's refusal to support sanctions against Russia turns it potentially into a Trojan horse, weakening the EU's unity.

Europe must be united against Russian hybrid threats. Ukraine is defending not only its freedom and independence but also the peaceful skies over Europe, whose future will be decided on the battlefield in the Ukrainian Donbass. The tyranny of Putin must fail - otherwise it may it may cause the decline of Europe and the civilised West. The war in Ukraine has huge significance for world politics: it is not only a brutal move to revive mediaeval imperialism but also an attempt to completely change the existing world order by weakening Western civilisation.

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