Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has shattered three stultifying illusions and delivered a rude wake-up call to a complacent and self-obsessed West. Vladimir Putin’s game-changing aggression will lead to a hardening of the systemic divide between democracies and autocracies; increased geopolitical risk; higher defence spending; less globalisation; greater financial market volatility; rising inflation driven by surging energy and commodity prices; and a significant push by Europe to diversify its energy supplies away from Russia.

The West must be prepared to back harsher sanctions with military action by turning Ukraine into a “porcupine” of resistance. If Europe and the US won’t commit troops to defend Ukraine, then they should help Ukrainians fight for their country by supporting an insurgency against occupying Russian forces. Putin must be made to bleed militarily as well as economically. But Australians should resist the understandable urge to fight alongside Ukrainians as mercenaries. Although it is not illegal to work for the legitimate military of a recognised government, what the Ukrainian armed forces need most are antitank and air defence weapons.

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