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Letters to the Editor: Vladimir Putin can only be defeated now. Negotiation won’t work

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a military ceremony in Moscow on Feb. 23.
(Alexei Nikolsky / Associated Press)
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To the editor: Many of us share columnist Nicholas Goldberg’s horror and dismay that Russia’s unprovoked invasion and campaign of terror in Ukraine have shattered the uneasy global truce between the rule of law and brute force. But at least for now, we must abandon the notion that statecraft can meet the moment. (“Why I won’t cheer as Germany ends its antiwar experiment,” Opinion, April 11)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has now declared that peace talks with Ukraine are at a “dead end,” and we must take him at this word on this point. Ukrainians are suffering unspeakable horror at the hands of Russian troops, and we must not cling to our illusions at the expense of these blameless and valiant people.

If we are ever to restore what Goldberg calls “an experiment in beating swords into plowshares,” we must first face down Putin. We must meet force with force, and I am gratified to see Germany, the wealthiest and most powerful country in Europe, step up.

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Shelley Wagers, Los Angeles

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To the editor: How’s this for a perfectly off-the-wall idea? Let’s ask former President Trump to use his friendship with Putin to get him to back off from his invasion of Ukraine.

Trump could say that if Putin would respond positively to his request, then he would have a much better chance to regain the American presidency and help Russia in many different ways.

Trump trumpets his ability to make deals. Here’s a perfect opportunity for him to show his prowess in this area.

What can it hurt to ask him to do it?

Doug Tennant, Dana Point

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