The Death of European Peace

Why America Must Roll Back Putin’s New USSR


Katharine Harrison

Holding Up The Banner: Mr. Cesare’s AP US History students hold up the Ukrainian Flag.

     The story being written on the streets of Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Mariupol are the same ancient tales of war being retold once more. 

     The classic statement “If we do not learn from our history, we are doomed to repeat it,” does not hold a true stance in this situation. The greater phrase to symbolize this war is, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” While the stories coming out of Eastern Europe’s first major war since World War II are horrific, they line up with a tale as old as time.

     Russia has always been a paper tiger. The nation is over twice the size of the US yet has a smaller population than Bangladesh. While a paper tiger may be able to growl quite strongly, as we are seeing, the claws on such a creature bend and fold as soon as they face any resistance.

     As the Russian military issues meals that expired in 2002, as stated by the New York Times, the Russian Army has failed to move very far after two weeks. In the beginning, there was a tank convoy sparking fears as it rolled towards Kyiv. As reported by the BBC, it then sat for nearly two weeks and has now been redeployed in the surrounding area.

     What is becoming clear is that despite Putin’s essay in 2021 documenting his version of “history” between Russians and Ukrainians, he has not learned Russia’s martial history. Throughout the First and Second World Wars, and even during the Napoleonic Wars, Russia was unable to be fully invaded and conquered due to its spirit of resistance, the difficulty of establishing supply lines, and the weather. 

     Now, as Russia attacks Ukraine, they struggle to supply their troops, who fail to make movements against a resistant Ukrainian population and freeze in the winter cold without fuel to keep them warm. Russia now faces a fight against the same attacks it used against France and Germany in the last two and a half centuries.

     This, however, does not explain why the US should get involved in the war or whether it should. When looking at the situation in Europe today, a reflection of the opening days of the Second World War can be seen. Allowing Ukraine to fall without military assistance and American resistance would have history rhyme with appeasement.

     In World War II, the British allowed Czechoslovakia and Austria to fall under the German boot under false pretenses of the mistreatment of ethnic Germans in their borders, only strengthening their position before marching on to Poland. The same story is being told with Russian minorities in Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus, and in the future, perhaps Finland.

     If we, as Americans, are to stand by on the sidelines and let these crimes against peace and humanity stand, then what does that say about the US? Do we really not care about the right of sovereignty for these countries? Do we not have the courage to stop Russia here with military force before we let the Russian Federation become the Russian Empire, or worse, return to the Soviet Union?

     It is up to us, as the nation devoted to no less than freedom itself, to stand up and fight for what is right.