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Why Asia – and the World – Must Stand With Ukraine 

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The Debate | Opinion

Why Asia – and the World – Must Stand With Ukraine 

“If Ukraine stops fighting, the free world will face continuous intimidation and further extermination,” writes former Mongolian President Elbegdorj.

Why Asia – and the World – Must Stand With Ukraine 

Rescue personnel comb through the wreckage of school No. 25 in Zhytomyr, Ukraine, after a shelling attack, Mar. 4, 2022.

Credit: Depositphotos

Ukraine will be glorious again. To the wounded hills of Ukraine, life will be returned. The destroyed homes and streets will be rebuilt. Separated families and loved ones will be united. Ukraine will celebrate freedom and peace along with the rest of the world.

I have great trust in standing together as one, totally united. I have a firm conviction in the power of freedom. No power, authoritarian dictator, or militant junta can stand against the will of people determined to be free. The voice of the people and their resolve are far more powerful than any gunfire. Freedom is non-negotiable when it faces extermination.

Freedom is an opportunity for all; despots offer solutions and opportunities that only comfort themselves. They claim they bring justice, but their justice is selective. They dictate their chosen way of life to others. In truth, they worry more about the regime’s and, ultimately, their own survival and longevity. Dictators are usually desperate, servicing their corrupted web of crooks and pleasing the vultures that are flying around them.

I know Vladimir Putin does not tolerate freedom. I have sat with him on many occasions. He despises differences and competition. He fears a free Ukraine. As a deep narcissist, he cannot abide more successful and prosperous neighbors. He envisioned that a free, civil Ukraine could represent a grave danger for his regime.

The Russian aggression against Ukraine did not happen out of the blue. It was a pinnacle of long-fought rivalries between ideas of freedom and fists of suppression. The dimensions of this war are much broader, longer, and more profound than the geographical bounds of Ukraine. The fiery frontline runs throughout Africa, Asia, America, and the Middle East. This war is raging between the free world and the suppressed, between autocracy and democracy.

Many ask why most Asian countries tend to have a neutral position compared to Europe. The answer is simple: All they can do is watch with a heavy heart. Sadly, the continent of Asia is also full of self-proclaimed rulers. In most cases, Asian governments lack legitimate representation.

Ukrainians are fighting not only for their country, but they are also fighting for our right to exist and be free. Their fight is global. As a result, our support should be global and completely unconditional. Ukrainian victory will bring unprecedented encouragement to all freedom-loving people on this planet. Autocrats everywhere will be knocked down and devastated. If Russia prevails, however, dictators will march in full swing.

We all must contribute as we can.

The evils of this war have no limit. The Kremlin is bringing devastation and suffering to the most vulnerable: children, elders, and families. This horror is not solely present in war-torn territories; it is also found in Russia itself. The Russian authorities are even committing a genocide against their own citizens.

Putin’s so-called partial mobilization brought fear and tears to the most vulnerable. The ethnic minorities who live in Russia are disproportionately drafted and thrown to the frontline. The Buryats, Kalmycks, Tuvans, and other marginalized minorities have been used as cannon fodder. The remote regions where ethnic minorities live have almost run out of military-age men. By local accounts, the Kremlin is committing textbook ethnic cleansing under the umbrella of its “special operation.”

In addition, the outspoken and brightest in Russia are mostly silenced. In any nation, free-minded people are fundamental to offering differences and better solutions. But, unfortunately, this very part of society in Russia has catastrophically shrunken, if not dried out. The remaining brave people in Russia are still fighting against corruption and the deeply intimidating war while facing torture and jail.

Therefore, the world is not against the Russian people but against the Kremlin’s kleptocracy and atrocities.

Some observers are disappointed with Asian countries’, including Mongolia’s, stance on the war against Ukraine. Due to its geography, tightly squeezed between Russia and China, the government of Mongolia is forced to perform a balancing act. However, public opinion in Mongolia is resolutely against the brutal attack against the sovereign nation of Ukraine.

In this regard, I would like to remind the world of a historical example. When Nazi leader Adolf Hitler attacked the Soviet Union, the people of Mongolia united against this fascist invader. They showed solidarity with the Soviet people and spared nothing. Nomadic herders sent more than half of their livestock to the Soviet Union. A quarter of all the horses on the frontline during World War II came from Mongolia. In the days following the war’s end, it was not rare to see a skinny but sturdy Mongol horse standing together with victorious Allied forces in the ruins of Berlin.

Horses were logistical lifelines, moving heavy equipment and weaponry through mud and rough terrain, including mined ground. In challenging circumstances, Mongolian horses were at times the only means of transportation – and sometimes a much-needed source of nourishment. Mongolian herders supplied over half a million horses to the Soviets.

In late 1941, the Soviets began a counteroffensive against German forces on the outskirts of Moscow. During those unusually harsh winter months, most of the Red Army soldiers and officers wore warm winter uniforms made from stocks in Mongolia. In addition, with donations from Mongolia, the Soviets produced columns of tanks and fleets of fighter aircraft. The government of Mongolia donated its gold and hard currency reserves to the Soviet Union for four years in a row. Mongolian lamb and meat donations to the front line outperformed those by the Lend-Lease Act.

When Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union, Mongolians stood with their northern neighbor as best as they could. When Putin’s Russia attacked Ukraine, from day one, the people of Mongolia stood against the brutal invasion. My point here is: Do what the Mongols did. Offer support and contributions to those fighting for the right to exist.

Sadly, most of the decisions by the West are always one step behind Russian aggression in terms of supporting Ukraine. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, from the first days of the war, asked not for an escape plane but for more weapons. War-torn Ukraine is still begging for fighter jets and longer-range missiles.

Ukrainians are paying the ultimate price for freedom. They are suffering, shedding blood, and sacrificing everything precious to them. Ukrainians are fighting to restore the damaged world order. They are fighting day and night to secure global peace and freedom.

U.S. President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz might have time to wait, but a wounded Ukraine does not.

There is no time to wait in the face of this blatant aggression and destruction. Ukraine needs aircraft and missiles to delete, deplete, and defeat the invading forces. Putin will only stop fighting once he exhausts all his arsenals. And Russian aggression will only stop with its defeat.

As one family, as humanity, we all must support Ukraine because its people are paying the ultimate price. We must stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Ukraine, not only until its total liberation but also until its complete rebuilding.

No one in this day and age should ever attempt what Putin is doing in Ukraine. As a result, Ukraine’s victory is a non-negotiable for the global community, to prove that war is obsolete.

If Ukraine stops fighting, freedom and the free world will face continuous intimidation and further extermination. However, if Ukraine is victorious, freedom will prevail. The whole of humanity will pass the test of time and the test of dignity. The free world has no right to lose.