The American Interest
Policy, Politics & Culture
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Malaysia Air Flight 17 Dealing with Putin the Pariah

The tragedy of MH17 should be a wake-up call to Western leaders to stop dragging their feet and take decisive action now.

Published on July 18, 2014
Vladimir Putin came to power in 1999-2000 in large part due to his willingness to use brutal, indiscriminate force against Chechen "terrorists", causing tens of thousands of innocent casualties in Chechnya. During his more than 14 years in power, he has:
  • headed a regime in which critics are often intimidated, imprisoned, and even murdered;
  • armed, aided, and abetted Bashar al-Assad’s slaughter of the Syrian people;
  • attacked and invaded neighboring states Estonia (via cyberwarfare) in 2007, Georgia in 2008, and Ukraine in 2014, and used economic and energy tools, including gas cutoffs in the middle of winter, to pressure them.
Now Putin appears to have...