The current generation is challenged by democracy’s enemies. On the feeblest pretexts, a charismatic dictator has sent soldiers into a neighboring nation. Once again, the dictator imagines his prey is weak because it is a democracy, backed by other democracies. And, as everyone knows, democracies are ruled by the gales of public opinion, which may suddenly shift. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is an attack not only on a peaceful and democratic neighbor but on democracy itself. Putin does not want the Ukrainians to chart their own future; they will not choose his path.

Putin is seeking to erase Ukraine’s democracy and its ability to decide its life for itself. His war has the same aim as his diplomacy once did — conquest.

Ahmed Charai, 2022

Ahmed Charai is a Moroccan publisher and an Atlantic Council Board Director. He is also an international counselor of the Center for a Strategic and International Studies, a board of trustees member of International Crisis Group, and a member of the Advisory Board of The Center for the National Interest in Washington and Global Board of Advisors at The Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security in Jerusalem.