‘To be’ means to act: will West democracies act for Ukraine? Zelenskyy says there’s no time anymore for Hamlet’s doubt

London, 8 March 2022 – EU members are very weary of intensifying the amount of weapons sent to Ukraine and of sending fighters to increase Ukrainians air defence ahead of the bombardment over Kiev expected after part of the evacuation is done, if Russians will allow humanitarian corridors to succeed.

Ukraine needs air defence and Boris Johnson is the most incline to an increase of pressure on Putin on the military front, though on the side of sanctions on oligarchs he is being criticised after passing sanctions giving a plenty of time to Putin’s sustainers with billions investments in UK, to move their fortune abroad.

As Russian army is bombarding main cities in Ukraine, there’s a moral appeal here to the all of us. And Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy made it, with the best words he could, speaking today to the British Parliament.

“The question for us now is to be or not to be. Oh no, this Shakespearean question… over the past 13 days we could have asked this question, but now I can give you a definitive answer: it’s definitely yes, to be. And I would like to remind you the words that the United Kingdom already heard, which are important once again. We will not give up and we will not lose. We will fight until the end, at sea, in the air. We will continue fighting for our land, whatever the cost”.

What is our answer as Europeans then: are we going to be, or not to be? Are we going to act or not? As in Hamlet, here ‘to be’ means ‘to fight’: “And enterprises of great pith and moment with this regard their currents turn awry, and lose the name of action”.

You all might say, well we are acting by strangling Putin&Co economically; yes, but that’s clearly not stopping the war and we risk Belarus steps in and a long war with thousands of victims.

The only way to change the in-folio of the bloody Shakespearean finale where all take action and die with mutual assured destruction ‘by sword’, is the one, so far, Europe and the West have been uncapable of doing: all leaders of US, Canada, EU, UK, Norway, Turkey, Switzerland, step in as unite mediation force, open a negotiation table of Presidents/PM and Foreign ministers and start proper negotiations Ukraine/Russia. Putin and Lavrov will not turn down multilateral negotiations where on the table can find a lift of sanctions; this means positive action.

Beyond this, there’s the ‘negative action’, the Hamletic ‘to be’, where dead on the floor will be hundreds of thousands in case of intentional, or unintentional involvement of NATO. And not as a result of Russia pressing the nuclear button. The strategy isn’t clearly that. Putin is not such an idiot.

Instead attacks to Chernobyl and Zaporizhia tell clearly that nuclear plants are being turned into weapons. A missile, a proper fire is enough and that would not result into a reassured mutual destruction by protocol. It might be disguised as incident. Why using warheads and risk one in turn, if Russia can hit nuclear power plants to trash countries?

Once we have considered Putin is not alone and that neutrality and ‘abstentions’ can easily turn into active support, all parties must sit at the same table and stop single nations and leaders to play the part of the middleman because, though Putin and his generals are trying to drag us centuries back, we are no longer in the medieval Europe.