After their talks in Kyiv, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy and President Joe Biden visited the Walk of the Brave on Constitution Square and took part in the unveiling of a plaque dedicated to the American president. Photo from the President of Uk

EDITORIAL: Slava Ukraini

There are moments in history when we are required to pause and assess. Typically such moments coincide with great and global events, or the anniversaries of great and global events.

This week we pause to remember a dreadful and ultimately global event, the unprovoked Russian invasion of its neighbor Ukraine.

Rather like the prediction in August 1914 that it would "all be over by Christmas," President Vladimir Putin's expectation that it would all be over in a matter of days turned out to be utterly inaccurate.

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And so, this week, we mark one year of a war that didn't have to happen, a war that has killed and maimed hundreds of thousands, unleashed torture and rape upon a civilian population, and has caused economic disruption on a global scale.

And all, it seems, because of one man's madness.

And we had thought, we had hoped, that we had left that kind of history behind us.

But no. We are required now to deal with the war criminal in Moscow, and to do so for as long as it takes.

That is going to take a great deal. It will take everything that Kyiv asks for, including modern fighter jets.

In all that has happened over the last twelve months, most of the time we have focused on the cost for Ukraine and its people.

But if we are fully humanitarian in our response me must, too, consider the cost to Russia. As many as 60,000 Russian soldiers have been killed, and the total for killed and wounded has been estimated at 200,000.

That is a lot of grieving families.

In a society that we would consider normal there would have been a response, a kickback. But Putin has succeeded in crushing Russian civil society to a degree that leaves it, at this point in time, almost entirely mute and moribund.

Many who would have stood up to the man have fled Russia, perhaps for ever.

And Putin dared call the leaders of Ukraine Nazis. He should avoid mirrors.

The only thing that is certain as we reach, and pass, the one year anniversary is that there is a very good chance that twelve months from now we will be marking the second anniversary.

There is also a chance that negotiations might break out, and some sort of peace is achieved. But, as always, this will be too late for the dead, and those who have lived only to see lives and families shattered.

In all of this the U.S. and its allies have to stay a course that has been imposed, not willingly embraced.

And by his visit to Kyiv - on Presidents' Day no less - President Biden displayed to the world that the U.S. is indeed staying the course.

Hopefully, Biden's surprise visit to Ukraine will signal to Moscow that if it wants a war it is going to have to get used to the idea of waging one for a long time, and without the assurance of victory.

Faced with a scenario such as this a sane leader would seek a way out.

But, unfortunately, Vladimir Putin does not appear to be that kind of leader.

For the time being the world is stuck with him.

But the world also has President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his resilience and courage. And the world has the people of Ukraine and their resilience and courage.

On this sad anniversary then we salute Ukraine with its own defiant motto: Slava Ukraini. Glory to Ukraine.

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