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Putin is an international terrorist, we should call him that: retired US colonel

TVP World has invited Ray Wojcik, a retired US Army colonel and Senior Fellow of the Transatlantic Security and Defense programme at the Center for European Policy Analysis to discuss what is going on in Ukraine now, how he believes the situation will develop, and what else should the West do to help Ukraine.

Asked about whether there is a light at the end of the tunnel, Col. Wojcik has no doubt that the war has again entered a phase that he describes as “a slog”. He points to how Russia is employing massive artillery barrages that result in only minor gains.

Ukrainians in turn make no secret of planning a massive counter-offensive to retake the southern part of the country. Putin might try to call a ceasefire, and the Kremlin may use its control over energy supplies to force the West into a peace deal which would leave Ukraine shortchanged and create another frozen conflict.

Many people in the West, including such prominent people as Henry Kissinger, appear to believe that Russia, whatever it may be like, must be treated like a normal country and Putin as a legitimate political actor. “Putin has become an international terrorist and we should call him that,” said Colonel Wojcik. But as the expert stated, West’s interest is waning, and especially “the US has one of the shortest attention spans in the world.” Therefore, Wojcik believes that US President Biden should continue to remind the American public of the importance of continuous support for Ukraine.

Col. Wojcik does not only have criticism in stock for the West though. He does agree that the West has managed to remain largely united and is slowly waking up to the realisation that Russia is an existential West for the entirety of Europe.

But he also believes that while there are definitely some positive developments, such as the establishment of a permanent HQ of the US Army in the western Polish city of Poznań, which he sees as a return to a Cold War-era strategy that did work very well in discouraging Soviet aggression, there is still more to be done.

The colonel also believes that if the US and NATO at large want to establish a permanent military presence on the eastern flank, they need to ensure that it is a very large presence.

Furthermore, Ray Wojcik points to the need for NATO to get involved in lifting the blockade of Ukrainian ports. After all, the blockade threatens the entire southern hemisphere with food insecurity. Col. Wojcik believes that NATO should try to mend its relationship with Turkey, which is a member of the alliance after all, and lift the blockade, under UN auspices if possible, but on its own, if no other solution is possible.

Col. Wojcik also spoke of: the role of modern technologies in the ongoing conflict and how each side uses or fails to use them, to their advantage; whether or not the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the south can be successful; and is it possible that Ukrainian Air Force will begin receiving fighter jets from the US.

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