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Euronews, February 26, 2022.

What are the obligations–ethical, moral, and legal–attending the watching of a crime in process that may be stopped by main force followed by extraordinary strength in defense?

First, the rescuer must survive the disaster too!

Then comes the business well known to those for whom the preemptive strike has been a requirement, not an option.

As I chatype and type, Russia’s invading assets would seem to be racing toward NATO on rails in Belarus and out on the highways and streets of Ukraine . . . in other words, out in the open.

For all intents, post-Euromaidan Ukraine has demonstrated steadfast devotion to becoming part of the western assembly of open democracies bound beneath credible constitutions and related rule of law while Putin’s Russia has chosen the stance opposite, i.e., a state devoted to a capricious dictatorship and rule of force.

Marina Agaltsova, a lawyer with the Russian human rights group Memorial, said those who did protest were extremely brave, adding that “Russians are deeply terrified of arrests and court trials over rallying people to go out and protest.”

Human rights activist Marina Litvinovich urged Russians not to cry and “not to be afraid, but to just come out and say that they are against the war,” in comments on social media. Calling on people to protest is an offense under Russia’s restrictive laws.

Dixon, Robyn. “Attack on Ukraine brings rare sight in Russia: Protests in cities against Putin and invasion.” The Washington Post, February 24, 2022.

Perhaps I urge fools to rush in, and NATO is no collection of fools, although one may one note the post-9/11 turns toward authoritarianism or polarization in Hungary, Italy, Poland, Turkey, and the United States. Nonetheless, as Putin’s Push comes to shove, the reaffirmation of the security compact appears accomplished. The question at hand would seem to be not “If” but “When” as regards the timing of an engagement. BackChannels may assure readers of this much: Putin, as often as he may get away with this simple dance, will offer NATO hope as regards relief from attack–and then he will take it away. Brutally. Time and again.

So why wait for the monster to finish ravaging Ukraine and positioning his forces on NATO’s eastern flank before stepping into to end that dark carnival of carnage and destruction?

Putin practices treachery, he deceives, lies, and steals through the betrayal of trust: would it not be fit, would it not be best, to play him in kind?

Euronews, February 26, 2022.

NewsFromUkraine, November 18, 2017. Russia’s lost generation?

WION, February 24, 2022. BackChannels has seen arrest figures of 1,700. In Russia, Freedom is Slavery once again.

Bloomberg Quicktake: Now, February 26, 2022.

Dixon, Robyn. “Attack on Ukraine brings rare sight in Russia: Protests in cities against Putin and invasion.” The Washington Post, February 24, 2022.

Editorial Board. “Opinion: From the streets of Russia, protests rise to the war without a cause.” The Washington Post, February 25, 2022.

Marusic, Damir. “Seeng Putin Plain.” City Journal, February 24, 2022.

Stimpel, Zoe. “America Is Afraid of War. Putin Knows It.” Common Sense, February 24, 2022.

Regarding Russia’s Behavior as a Belligerent and Criminal Political Culture

Politkovskaya, Anna. “A Small Corner of Hell.” Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.

Satter, David. “The Unsolved Mystery Behind the Act of Terror That Brought Putin to Power.” National Review, August 17, 2016.

Schindler, John. “Exploring Al Qaeda’s Murky Connection to Russian Intelligence.” Business Insider, June 10, 2014.

The three references were copied from “A Few References to Associate with Post-Soviet Russia’s Long Game” published on BackChannels on February 21, 2022.