The Democrats will fight to the end, by Xavier Mas de Xaxàs


I often meet people who reject my idealism. They ask me about the hundred days of war, about the month I spent in the Ukraine, and when I answer that everything seems lost for Russia, they reply that a great country is not defeated just like that. Rather than being interested in the fate of the Ukrainians, they want to know when and how the war will end. I tell them that wars are known how they start, but not how they end, and this uncertainty exasperates them.

They do not understand the meaning of fighting to defend a territory or a nation, and when I try to explain to them that this conflict threatens the universal values ​​of our liberal society, they sarcastically reply that no war has been waged in the name of freedom and democracy.

Then I mention the Second World War and they say that’s fine, but that the Soviets were not democrats, but communists. I try to explain to them that the other victorious powers, the same ones that now support Ukraine, were liberal states and that their idealism helped build the European Union, but they don’t like this argument either because they believe that the EU is undemocratic.

This is when I shut up and confirm, not only the arrogance of ignorance and the causticity of ideology, but also the serious danger we run if we are not capable of assessing what we are risking in Ukraine.

One of the great unknowns that the realists float on the battlefields of Donbas is how long it will take for the EU to betray Ukraine, when the realpolitik it will impose the logic of a peace that satisfies Russia.

They do not see that peace is already designed and that the Democrats, both in the United States and in Europe, will support Ukraine to the end.


100 days of war in Ukraine: deaths, refugees, and a partially occupied country

The war in Ukraine is being fought for
tolerance, individual rights
and the rule of law

The terms of the peace were agreed on March 29 in Istanbul: Ukraine’s neutrality in exchange for Russia and the US guaranteeing its security. The guarantors of this agreement are the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom – as well as Canada, Germany, Israel, Italy, Poland and Turkey.

These countries undertake to defend Ukraine from any outside attack. The pact is risky but also solid because it creates a balance that is difficult to break.

If Ukraine is neutral, what interest can Russia have in attacking it? If it does, it will lose its neutrality and risk direct confrontation with the US.

A girl rides a scooter near destroyed buildings during attacks in Irpin outskirts Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, June 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

The future of liberal democracies is tied to that of this girl in Irpin (Ukraine)

Natasha Pisarenko/AP

The negotiations broke down shortly after the meeting in Istanbul when the atrocities of the Russian army in Bucha were discovered and the circumstances to resume them have not yet been met. Russians and Ukrainians hope to improve their military positions to negotiate from a more favorable position.

This agreement prevents Ukraine from joining NATO, but not the EU, and will only apply to the territory it controls, not the one Russia occupies.

The best future for Russia lies in being a pivot between China and the West

The United States and the Alliance seem determined that Putin gain no territorial advantage from the invasion. This means returning, at least, to the demarcations of February 24, with Crimea and a part of Donbas in Russian power.

This is the most likely and most tragic peace. The war will only have served to destroy cities and kill tens of thousands of people.

Neither Russia nor the EU will have achieved anything that they could not have achieved through negotiation. The United States, however, will emerge victorious. It will strengthen its dominance in Europe, remove the Russian threat, and send a very clear message to China not to try to occupy Taiwan.

The invasion of Ukraine was the most serious geostrategic mistake since the United States invaded Iraq almost twenty years ago. Putin knows this and that is why the option of returning to the starting line – Ukraine’s military neutrality – is his best and only option.

Russia cannot be an enemy of Europe and the US will not prosper as long as it is isolated from the West and a vassal of China. Her best future is to be a pivot between East and West, as she has been in recent years. Its only geopolitical meaning is to maintain the balance between Washington and Beijing, something that can only guarantee a peace like the one in Istanbul.

The war, however, is much more than the balance between Russia, China and the United States. Ukraine is Europe and, above all, it is us, the citizens of liberal societies.

Our democracies are in recession. Freedom House has found that political rights and civil liberties have been going backwards for 16 years. Nationalism encourages anti-liberalism, attacks tolerance, individual rights and the rule of law, everything that allows us to live in peace, everything that represents us and everything that Putin wants to destroy.

National-populism occupies wide parliamentary spaces in liberal democracies and is an ally of Putin. That is why it is so important to defeat him in Ukraine and to do it in the name of freedom, democracy and cosmopolitanism. It is not because of idealism, but because of selfishness. It’s us or them, their future or ours.

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