Editorial Roundup: Russia’s recklessness raises the risk for all

Published 8:49 pm Friday, November 18, 2022

Russia’s vile and reckless assault on Ukraine took an ominous turn this week when a missile landed inside NATO-member Poland, killing two people at a grain-drying facility.

The incident came in the midst of a Russian fusillade of missiles and rockets — an estimated 85 launches in one day — aimed, as is its habit, at civilian targets. It closely followed a call by a Kremlin propagandist on state television to bomb Polish airports to disrupt the flow of Western aid to the Kyiv government.

For a few hours it appeared possible that NATO, under its Article 5 provision declaring an attack on one to be an attack on all, would be drawn directly into the Ukrainian war, with unknown but dire consequences. As President Joe Biden said months ago, if the United States and Russia are shooting at each other, that’s World War III.

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But the deadly missile is believed to have actually been fired by Ukraine in an attempt to knock out a Russian projectile. While Poland may rightly invoke Article 4 (which calls for the allies to consult if one of the members is territorially threatened), Article 5 is off the table, at least for now.

Which hardly absolves Vladimir Putin and his genocidal regime. Ukraine has every right to defend itself against Russia’s assault. Russia did not directly fire the missile into Poland, but that missile was only fired because Putin and his blustering cronies are trying to eradicate Ukraine. Nobody should blame Ukraine for the tragedy; the guilt belongs solely to Russia.

Biden, as the de facto leader of NATO, has been masterful during the Ukrainian crisis. He has kept the alliance together despite some differences and maintained the flow of usable munitions to Ukraine while keeping the conflict from spreading beyond Ukraine’s borders. This week’s restraint is a case in point. Would that Moscow was capable of the same.

— Mankato Free Press, Nov. 17

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Editorials from newspapers around the state of Minnesota.

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