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Letters to the Editor: U.S. should make Putin pay for what he’s doing to Ukraine

People holding a banner that reads "#StandWithUkraine Stop Putin Now" is joined by others holding colorful flags
People attend “Stand With Ukraine” protest in Krakow, Poland, on Feb. 20, 2022.
(Beata Zawrzel / NurPhoto)
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To the editor: Columnist Doyle McManus was prescient when he suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin would probably continue his indirect invasion of Ukraine by incorporating two eastern provinces into his plans. (“Who needs an invasion? Putin’s offensive against Ukraine has been underway for a long time,” Feb. 20)

Imagine if the Russian president took over two counties in Alaska. Would there be any discussion about how to respond?

I am generally opposed to war, including Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, and I endorse the decision to not have U.S. troops on the ground in Ukraine. Having said that, this is an invasion by any stretch of the imagination, and the U.S. should immediately impose severe sanctions.

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We owe it to the Ukrainians and to democratic values to confront the world’s biggest bully.

Barbara H. Bergen, Los Angeles

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To the editor: When I arrived in the Republic of Georgia in the summer of 2008, I remember reading a headline in an English-language paper that noted, “Russian invasion imminent.” I looked a second time, to try and understand how archaic this headline seemed.

On a short-term teaching assignment with a pack of lectures on hospitality and tourism in my briefcase, I found my trip now lacked relevance. What is the point of lecturing on the core values of a tourism product: kindness, joy and connection?

I thought there is going to be a war here soon; the lives of innocent people will end. There will be severely wounded and maimed people. Life as the Georgians knew it would stop.

I carried these thoughts into my first lecture. I know how to read a class well. These young students were distracted. To break the silence I asked, “How are we doing today?”

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One young girl spoke in a direct, clear manner, “I am Georgian and I am proud.” With a massive Russian army bearing down on a country with a population of 3.8 million, what else could she say?

My thoughts are with the young people of Ukraine.

Kevin Anthony, Studio City

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To the editor: Shouldn’t the lessons of Hitler and Stalin have taught the U.S. and the European Union that appeasing bullies like Putin leads to catastrophic consequences? The occupation of Crimea in 2014 should have given clear warning of Russia’s intentions.

Why does the country with the world’s largest territory seek more land? This is a scheme by Putin to stroke his ego and distract from Russia’s faltering economy, which is half the size of California’s.

Putin has been conniving to secure his power and personal wealth while failing to provide for his people’s welfare.

What is the world waiting for before imposing severe sanctions on Russia? A bloodbath in Ukraine? Aren’t Putin’s actions provocative enough already?

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Ted Carmely, Sherman Oaks

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