Home Book editor Reviews | Russian invaders and Ukrainian civilian toll

Reviews | Russian invaders and Ukrainian civilian toll

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For the editor:

Re “As War Grinds Into 5th Day, Kremlin Starts Hitting Harder” (news analysis, front page, March 1):

Incredible things are happening in Ukraine. The Russian mastodon seems to waver.

The heroically fierce resistance of the Ukrainian people and the unified reaction of the world demonstrated to Russian elites that Vladimir Putin may have made a mistake.

Already, Mikhail Fridman and Oleg Deripaska – two of Russia’s top oligarchs – have called for peace in Ukraine in defiance of Mr Putin’s orders. I hope other oligarchs, bureaucrats and generals will realize that it is time to distance themselves from Mr. Putin and a lost cause, and commit to respecting international law.

The Biden administration can expedite this process by making it very clear that any war crimes, such as the bombing of residential areas, will be prosecuted in the international war tribunal. This will help deter Russian military personnel from following illegal orders.

There is still a brutal war raging in Ukraine, but an optimistic scenario of how it might end can now be imagined.

Maxim Lyubovsky
Falls Church, Va.
The writer is the author of “The Russia that we preserved”.

For the editor:

Regarding “Rocket Attacks Kill Civilians in Ukraine as Tougher Sanctions Isolate Moscow” (front page, March 1):

Explosive weapon attacks that kill and seriously injure Ukrainian civilians attract media attention. Whenever explosive weapons are deployed in wartime, civilians are likely to be killed and seriously injured, even when they are not targeted.

But most wartime civilian deaths result indirectly from damage to civilian infrastructure, which reduces access to food, clean water, medical care, electricity, communications and transportation. . Civilians fall ill and die of disease, malnutrition, and maternal and neonatal disorders. Mothers and young children, people with disabilities and the elderly are particularly at risk.

It is extremely important that action be taken now to protect civilians and essential civilian infrastructure, and to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need.

Barry S. Levy
Sherborn, Mass.
The author, physician, is a past president of the American Public Health Association and adjunct professor at Tufts University School of Medicine. He is the author of the forthcoming book “From Horror to Hope”, on the effects of war on health.