When your 13-year-old says something stupid, you can reply, “Emmanuel, please. Think before you speak. Don’t embarrass yourself and allow people to think you are just plain dumb.” However, what to do when an elected president of an allied nation says something stupid? (Oh, wait! Been there, done that. See 2017: the reaction of Europeans after first hearing Trump speak).

Sarcastic disbelief aside, what exactly is Macron’s solution to end Russia’s heinous and brutal war against Ukraine? What are the elements of The Macron Doctrine: Defeat with Dignity?

We know from Mr. Macron that we cannot “crush” Russia, but do not know what that means, what should be done. Does dignity mean to give Russia some chunk of Ukraine’s land in exchange for peace on paper? Or, does Ukraine let Russia keep Crimea for a pinky promise to never, ever be mean and never threaten, or invade, neighbors? To not make Russia pay Ukraine reparations because that might “crush” the Russian economy? We know that we cannot “humiliate” Russia, either. Hmmmm…. does that mean no war crime tribunals? No public exposure within Russia of the absurd disinformation and violent rhetoric that fueled this war? No multilateral actions, such as removal from the UN Security Council, other international organizations, continued economic sanctions? Should Russia not be held responsible, not suffer consequences? Does “Defeat with Dignity” mean no acknowledgement from Russia, from Russians that their worldview that Ukraine and Ukrainians should not exist, in fact, must be destroyed, is at the core of the definition of genocide?

How does Ukraine, Ukrainians, or what they want fit into Macron’s dignity for Russia proposal? Or is ignoring Ukraine, forcing Ukraine back into the role of hat-in-hand, Little Brother and downplaying Ukraine’s concerns a central component of the Dignity Doctrine? Downplay the horrific damage done to Ukraine so that Russia can feel better about itself?

So, Manny, dear boy, please explain to your skeptical Auntie Irene exactly what is it that you mean that “we” must allow Russia to retain dignity when they have already so obviously lost it.

To guarantee that the Russians understand that they no longer have dignity, nor do they deserve to have it given their multi-century megalomania and arrogant self-absorption, Russians must forever rid themselves of their fanatical delusions about what it means to be “great” – which is to “crush” the country next door. So while Macron worries about poor lil’ ole Russia getting crushed, Russians have been crushing Ukraine for more than three centuries. Any reasons why he is not concerned about that?

If making Ukraine safe means humiliation for Russia, so be it. Because Ukraine’s definition of victory is not simply “winning” by defeating Russia militarily, or even politically or ethically, but for Ukraine “to win” means to be made whole, to be safely independent, free, forever.

Therefore Mr. President of a former imperial power that has been humiliated more than once in history, even by Russia (See: 1812) – in the 21st century, without crushing and humiliating Russia so that imperial Russia never, ever returns, Ukraine will never, ever be safe. For the sake of Ukraine, Europe, a sane world order, Russia as we have understood it, as Russia has understood itself, must end with a crushing, humiliating, undignified and much deserved defeat.

Irena Yarosevych

February 19, 2023


In memory of my recently deceased mother who, among her final words, said: “коли до холери нарешті виженуть москалів з України …”