World cannot look away from Putin’s latest atrocity

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I  don’t need to peer into Vladimir Putin’s eyes to know he has no soul.

All I have to do is look at the latest outrage. Lifeless bodies at the train station in the city of Kramatorsk, in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, the site of another Russian missile strike targeting the very people Putin alleged he started this war to “protect”: Innocent civilians. Women. Children. The elderly. All trying to flee the fighting to get to safety. To live.

Ukrainian authorities said Friday’s strike was one of the largest single attacks on evacuees since the conflict began in February. About 4,000 people had gathered there at the train station, waiting for evacuation.

Nothing reveals man the way war does. And this war, this completely unnecessary war, has revealed what any thinking person already knows: Putin, this murderous dictator, is pure, unbridled evil. Look in his eyes and you’ll know it. Look at the dead and you’ll know it.

The West cannot avert its eyes. Pull up the images of the Kramatorsk train station.
At first it was at least 39 dead. Then 50. More than 50. Who knows what that number will be at day’s end. Hundreds injured, some missing limbs, appendages littering the train platform along with the suitcases and the strollers. And when you look at the innocent human beings, killed for nothing more than sheer power, see yourself. See your mom. Your grandfather. Your nephew. The very least we can do is acknowledge that they existed — and deserve to do so still.

A stuffed horse with bloodstains on it lies on a platform after Russian shelling at the railway station in Kramatorsk, Ukraine
A stuffed horse with bloodstains on it lies on a platform after Russian shelling at the railway station in Kramatorsk, Ukraine April 8.
Andriy Andriyenko/AP
A body lies on the ground covered with plastic sheets after a rocket attack in Kramatorsk.
A body lies on the ground covered with plastic sheets after a rocket attack in Kramatorsk.
FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky again got it right when he said: “Lacking the strength and courage to stand up to us on the battlefield, they are cynically destroying the civilian population. This is an evil that has no limits. And if it is not punished, it will never stop.”

So don’t for a bloody second try to sell me on that “intel” nonsense that Vladimir Putin doesn’t know what’s happening. He does. He’s the orchestrator of this butchery.

But if the rest of the world does as it ought, Putin would know something else is happening: Never again will Russia under his “leadership” be allowed to be part of the international community.

Elisha Maldonado is an editorial writer for the New York Post, a media fellow for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a senior fellow for the Independent Women’s Forum.



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