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 Two years into Russian-Ukrainian war, West still hesitant about definitions, - Atlantic Council

Diplomatic euphemisms only play into the Kremlin’s version of events in Crimea and the Donbas.

Two years ago on Feb. 27, Russia invaded Ukraine. On the heels of the Euromaidan Revolution and the vicious sniper attacks that killed 103 Ukrainians, Russian President Vladimir Putin saw an opportunity and ordered the military takeover of Crimea. As Russia annexed the peninsula after a fraudulent referendum on March 16, little green men also began to appear in the Donbas. Russian troops and equipment poured into Ukraine's east. Two years later, the Kremlin-manufactured war in Ukraine has cost 10,000 Ukrainian lives and displaced more than 1.6 million. However, during this time, the West has only used euphemisms towards the Kremlin, softening its statements about Russia's crimes in Ukraine, John Herbst and Alina Polyakova, experts of the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council, write in their article, Censor.NET reports.

They recall that the EU and the U.S. responded to Putin's aggression by imposing economic sanctions which along with a slump in oil prices painfully hurt Russia's economy. However, there is a growing chorus of pro-Putin voices in Europe, calling for lifting the sanctions. According to the experts, the EU must remain steadfast in its commitment to sanctions until the Minsk agreements are fully implemented and Russia withdraws its troops from Ukraine.

Read more: "Pressing Russia with sanctions and resisting Kremlin's propaganda," - Klimkin elaborated on Crimea's de-occupation startegy

They also believe that the West still needs to do more to counter the Russian narrative. Western leaders have shied away from calling the Kremlin's annexation of Crimea and war in the Donbas what it is: an invasion and occupation of a sovereign nation While intervention or action may sound more diplomatic, they are nothing more than euphemisms that misrepresent the reality on the ground.

After all, Putin himself has publicly admitted and even boasted about the efficiency of Russia's military take-over of Crimea - outlining, in methodical detail, the invasion. He has also admitted that Russian soldiers are in the Donbas. It is time that European and U.S. policy makers and Western media take Putin at his word and call a spade a spade.

Read more: Putin: "Linking EU sanctions lifting to Minsk process completion meaningless"

"Any euphemisms only play into the Kremlin's version of events, undermine the international community's unity against Moscow's aggression, and make it harder to formulate a coherent Western policy against the Kremlin's revisionist ambitions," the authors conclude.
 
 
 
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