Letters to the Editor: What is America’s red line for enforcing a no-fly zone over Ukraine?

A man stands in front of a Russian helicopter gunship that was forced to land in a field outside Kyiv, Ukraine, on Feb. 24.
A man stands in front of a Russian helicopter gunship that was forced to land in a field outside Kyiv, Ukraine, on Feb. 24.
(Efrem Lukatsky / Associated Press)

To the editor: Both Democratic and Republican presidents have pacified Russian leader Vladimir Putin and let him invade and wage illegal warfare against other nations out of fear. That policy has only made him more dangerous. (“Russian attacks intensify in Ukraine; Zelensky again pleads for no-fly zone,” March 6)

We didn’t let Ukraine into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, because Putin might retaliate. Now we won’t actively support Ukraine militarily, because Putin might retaliate.

Caving to bullies rather than standing up to them only gives them license. We need to let Ukraine join NATO now, or actively support Ukraine’s fight without membership.


Soon Ukraine will be destroyed. Then democratic nation after nation that was part of the former Soviet Union will be “liberated” by Putin. And it will be clear that fear rules the U.S., not courage in the face of evil, and that there are many countries we will sacrifice while playing it safe.

Kita and Peter Curry, Los Angeles


To the editor: As a student in elementary school during the Cold War, I still remember the drills of crawling underneath our desks in the classrooms, as our teacher watched on.

During the Cuban Missile Crisis, we students asked our teacher what she was going to do if the civil defense sirens went off. She said she was going to be under her desk just like all of us.

This is where we will be if NATO enforces a “no-fly zone” over Ukraine.

Dave Wilson, Murrieta


To the editor: The desperate situation in Ukraine threatening the almost inevitable death of its heroic president Volodymyr Zelensky reminds me of Chile in 1973. Salvador Allende died defending the presidential palace from the coup by soon-to-be fascist dictator Augusto Pinochet on Sept. 11, 1973.

The photo of Allende, with machine gun in hand on the steps of his seat of government, says it all. It is up to the free world not to let this happen again.

Betsy Gallery, Santa Barbara


To the editor: The parallels of Hitler’s aggression to the current situation in Ukraine seem self-evident.

In September 1938, Italy, Great Britain and France signed the Munich Pact with Germany as an appeasement to Hitler. This forced Czechoslovakia to surrender the Sudetenland to Nazi Germany.

In 1939, Hitler violated the Munich Pact and invaded much of Czechoslovakia. Nothing was done to free Czechoslovakia from its invaders. Later in 1939, Hitler invaded Poland.

In March 2014, Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine. Despite sanctions imposed by Western nations, nothing substantive was done to free Crimea from its invaders.

Notwithstanding the sanctions imposed in 2014, Putin felt sufficiently certain that Western countries would not take military action if he invaded Ukraine. And so, he did with Ukraine as Hitler did with Poland.

I hope I am wrong, but we seem to be at the doorstep of World War III.

Jim Rueff, Fountain Valley


To the editor: Talk about chutzpah. Putin attacks Ukraine with no provocation, and he decides what third parties can and cannot do to assist the Ukrainian people.

Michael Risman, Santa Monica