“This morning we are defending our country alone,” declared Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, on Friday February 25th, the day after Russia’s invasion began. It was “the beginning of the war against Europe”. Yet Europe’s only forces in the field were those of Ukraine.
The rest of Europe was shamed. Over the weekend, appalled by the baselessness of Mr Putin’s invasion, inspired by the bravery of Ukraine’s soldiers, pushed by demonstrators on its streets and moved by Mr Zelensky’s words and actions, the continent took steps which days earlier had seemed unthinkable.
The eu, born from the idea that economic integration could stop war, promised to pay for arms sent to Ukraine. Neutral Switzerland promised sanctions aimed at entities of the sort it holds most dear: banks.
In Germany the newish coalition of social democrats, greens and liberals threw off the country’s pacifist robes: having once offered Ukraine only helmets, it is now rushing to send anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons, and it has announced a massive boost in defence spending.
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