Under Putinism, Russia has turned into an authoritarian, expansionist, backward-looking, and aggressive country. A country ruled by a kleptocratic gang of revisionist FSB agents. Cracking down Putinism can only be done by the Russian people. But we, the democratic world, must not stand idle. Putin does not show any signs of abandoning his sick fantasies of subjugating Ukraine; nor has he altered his strategic goal of changing Europe’s political map with military force. Sooner or later Putinism will falter – simply because people seek to look forward, and not backward.
Dr Babst raises awareness to the war, expressing her solidarity with the Ukrainians and support for the victims of the war. She is an advocate of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, stands for a long-term, robust, and globally networked Roll Back Russia strategy, emphasising that Russia’s invasion is a global challenge and the war is a serious blow to globalisation.
The Kremlin’s ambition to recreate a sphere of influence and deny other countries the right to choose their own path is set to remain a fundamental challenge for the European democracies as long as Putin reigns over Russia. Designing a broader and internationally well-coordinated strategy against the regime in Moscow is therefore a must-do for the transatlantic community. The core objective of a ‘Roll Back Russia’ strategy should first and foremost be to insist on the preservation of Ukraine’s full and unconditioned state sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The first one is time: time to heal the emotional and physical wounds of millions of Ukrainians who had to endure Russia’s terror. The second one is ownership and participation: while Ukraine’s government and state institutions will be in the driving seat to develop the political and economic framework for the country’s reconstruction, the participation of civil society, NGOs and individual Ukrainians in this process is key. And the third one is transparency and accountability: any post-war political or economic decision must be guided by the abovementioned principles.