Speed Reads

Foreign affairs

Garry Kasparov really wants Western countries to intervene in the Ukraine


With Russian-backed former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych vowing a "fightback" to regain the Ukraine, former world chess champion and frequent critic of Russian foreign policy Garry Kasparov thinks that now is the time for the West to intervene militarily in the Ukraine, comparing Obama's inaction to that of Neville Chamberlain during the rise of Hitler in the 1930s:

Kasparov clearly sees Vladimir Putin as a Hitler-like figure who must be removed from power and for whom a military confrontation with the West is an inevitable. But is that really so certain?

Military interventions can often be much more dangerous than diplomacy. Given that the last world war killed at least sixty million people I'd say that there are at least sixty million reasons for Western inaction. Do we really want to risk starting a larger war by intervening in a former Soviet republic such as the Ukraine? While Putin has backed Yanukovych, who is accused of crimes against the Ukrainian people, Putin has not invaded or occupied the Ukraine, nor set out an agenda of world domination and the extermination of entire races of people, as Hitler did in Mein Kampf.

Western nations — especially America — are weary and wary of interventions like Iraq and Afghanistan, which cost huge amounts of blood and treasure, and resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths. If the West backs away from intervening in Ukraine, it is for good reason.