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Should We Even Be Talking With Putin?

The leaders of key EU countries have been on the phone with Vladimir Putin since the war in Ukraine began. Weighing the costs, benefits...and morals...of leaving the door open to a man who brutally invaded a sovereign nation — and taking Munich 1938 as a starting point.

Protest against Putin in Frankfurt​

Protest against Putin in Frankfurt

Bartosz T. Wieliński

WARSAW— Should world leaders get on the phone with Vladimir Putin, who bears full responsibility for unleashing a criminal war? Why listen to demands from a man letting Russian soldiers in Ukraine commit murder, rape, pillage, bomb cities and destroy food supplies?

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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There are many outraged voices, saying a hard and clear: No. France's Emmanuel Macron, Germany's Olaf Scholz, and Austria's Karl Nehammer are being accused of naivety, of trying to appease the dictator. It is as if the leaders had forgotten the Munich Conference of 1938, when the West threw Czechoslovakia at Hitler's mercy, are naively hoping to prevent war with the Third Reich.

Ukraine is not and will not be a second Czechoslovakia. The West has already paid billions for its defense.

Trump and Kim

It is not just the supply of arms that has enabled the Ukrainians to drive the Russians away from Kyiv and Kharkiv, and now slowing their push in the Donbas. It is also the withdrawal from Russia of Western corporations, severing trade ties, giving up cheap Russian energy resources, which disrupts Russia's funds.

But this is an investment for the future. If Ukrainians do not stop Putin's troops now, the Baltic states and Poland will have to face them at some point. And giving up Russian coal, oil and gas will bring breakthroughs in the energy sector sooner rather than later.

But is it necessary to talk to Putin? Half of the countries in the world are autocratic regimes and many are ruled by criminals. Let us recall that a few years ago President Donald Trump personally negotiated with Kim Jong-un.

Chamberlain (Left) in Munich with Hitler and Mussolini.


The true value of diplomacy

Talks with Western leaders — even if they yield no results — are a way to directly send a message to Putin that the West will not be intimidated or divided, that those guilty of crimes will be punished, and that if Russia does not withdraw from Ukraine, it will face an economic catastrophe.

There is no way to end this war other than diplomatically.

This is important because there is information coming from Russia that Putin has been lied to by his close circle about the situation in Ukraine and the West's reaction.

The fate of the war is now being decided by the Ukrainian soldiers who are fighting the Russians in a tough battle in Donbas or near Kherson. And when Russia, exhausted by the war and sanctions, is ready for ceasefire talks, the communication channels created by Macron, Scholz and Nehammer will come in handy. There is no way to end this war other than diplomatically.

So is talking to Putin necessary? Well, that's what diplomacy is all about.

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Feminists Infiltrate The “Incelosphere” — Where Toxic Content Warps Modern Masculinity

An increasing number of male teens and young adults who've experienced feelings of rejection wind up in what's been dubbed the “incelosphere,” a place where they can find mutual understanding in a world they think is against them. Two women Polish journalists spent two years on the online servers these “beta males” are flocking to in ever greater numbers.

Illustration of a man wearing a hoodie looking at a laptop, with two women watching over his shoulder.

Watching over "beta males" and their online toxic masculinity

AI-generated illustration / Worldcrunch
Patrycja Wieczorkiewicz

In her book For The Love Of Men: From Toxic To A More Mindful Masculinity, Canadian feminist writer Liz Plank explained that the struggle of women can never be one without confronting the crisis of manhood.

Plank is part of the forward-thinking feminist researchers and authors who've dedicated a significant amount of their work to the problems of men and masculinity, always sure to arouse suspicion. In reality, from a young age, we are forced into one of two oppressive patterns – masculinity and femininity – which in turn shape our behavior and our choices.

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