Russian invasion of Ukraine forces Europe to redefine its future

It’s Europe’s 9/11.

But Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, aiming to bomb its democracy and its independence out of existence, is still more than that.

Why We Wrote This

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has shocked Europeans into a new reckoning of what they value and how much they are ready to sacrifice to protect that.

The aggression confronts the continent with even more painful and difficult questions than Al Qaeda’s attack on the twin towers. How the Western allies answer them could have a deeper, and more long-lasting impact than the “war on terror.”

there is one fundamental similarity. Russia’s attack has been quite literally a wake-up call: a frightening confrontation with a threat, and an uncompromising adversary, whose existence was known, but left complacently, even willingly, unattended for years. But the adversary this time is incomparably stronger than Al Qaeda.

Europeans are shocked, saddened, and angered by the invasion. But their governments will be asking them to make sacrifices as they build new defenses against an unpredictable Russia. Reducing the continent’s dependence on Russian gas will cost taxpayers money, and so will what looks like an inevitable increase in defense spending.

The immediate outrage about the invasion is not in doubt. Nor is widespread admiration for the Ukrainians’ resistance. And there is another sentiment abroad, which suggests that people may indeed be ready to make sacrifices: raw astonishment, feeding a sense that Europe has arrived at a watershed moment.

London

It’s Europe’s 9/11.

But Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, aiming to bomb its democracy and its independence out of existence, is still more than that.

The aggression confronts the continent – ​​and Washington – with even more painful and difficult questions than Al Qaeda’s attack on the twin towers in New York. How the Western allies answer them could have a deeper, and more long-lasting impact than the “war on terror.”

Why We Wrote This

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has shocked Europeans into a new reckoning of what they value and how much they are ready to sacrifice to protect that.

there is one fundamental similarity. Russia’s attack has been quite literally a wake-up call: a frightening confrontation with a threat, and an uncompromising adversary, whose existence was known, but left complacently, even willingly, unattended for years.

But the adversary this time is incomparably stronger than Al Qaeda. Indeed European leaders have been making Russia stronger: For years they have been doing business with Mr. Putin, buying 40% of Europe’s gas supplies from him.

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