Russia is refusing to back down in Ukraine.
All out military force is being used in order to support the declared Russian military objective that Ukraine be defeated and divided. Civilians are being deliberately targeted and the attacks on a major power station and other industrial operations is a clear attempt to destroy the Ukrainian economy.
Put simply, the Russian Federation is engaged in a huge act of aggression against a peaceful neighbour. Despite sanctions, and despite increasing economic weakness Vladimir Putin stands defiant.
In Britain, the evidence of state sponsored murder of a British citizen is now revealed and is both clear and overwhelming.
Russia is seeking by overt aggression and covert subversion to attack the West. The astonishing lies put out by the Russian propaganda machine are feeding a frenzy of anti-Western hatred. Some countries- including Greece- have been severely compromised by a large scale and long term Russian espionage penetration. Russian espionage activity is higher than it has been at any time in history.
All of this is in support of a regime that is criminal to its very heart. Theft, murder, corruption on the widest scale in human history, backed by an unlimited greed and with no moral brake whatsoever. There are no rules that Russia will observe, there is no taboo- including the use of nuclear weapons- that they will not break.
In short Russia is a declared hostile power that intends to weaken or destroy both the EU and NATO.
Once this critical fact is understood, it becomes very clear that the West must answer the threat from this barbarian state or risk following Rome into a dark ages of similar criminality and violence.
Firstly, after the escalation of the war by the Russian armed forces, all pretense that Russia intends to abide by any agreement not backed by force must now cease. In short, the time has come to give full military assistance to Ukraine. The equipment and training requested by the Ukrainian government should now be provided to enable Kiev to defend itself. Meanwhile warrants should be put out for the arrest of weapons buyers acting on behalf of the so-called rebels. Supply of such weapons comes largely from Russia, of course, but it will limit the deniability still available to the Russian army.
Secondly, despite the fears of the impact on the EU of Russian economic collapse, the fears of the impact of war now loom far larger. Russia has launched a war of aggression that must be stopped and therefore this aggression must be met by sanctions that actually limit the freedom of action of the Putin regime. All out economic sanctions must be a part of this. The UK did not continue to trade with Nazi Germany after the outbreak of the Second World War, and neither should the West continue to provide any assistance to a government that is using all its energies against us.
Putin is seeking through his spy networks, propaganda allies and all the unconventional forces at his disposal to blunt the response of the West. Some Quislings may yet appear, even amongst NATO allies, and we need to be prepared to deal with this possibility in the most ruthless terms. Nevertheless, Putinism must not prevail. The idea of the criminal state must not succeed and the democratic will of Europeans- including Ukrainians- can not be undermined by the thuggish criminality of the despicable bunch of murders in the Kremlin.
Finally the time has come to publicly expel Russian citizens, including diplomats, that are working to support the espionage activity of the Putinist regime. Russia is already fighting a war against us, the least we can do is make that war more difficult to prosecute in Western capitals.