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An Airlift Could Save Ukraine
Families who have arrived from war-torn Ukraine stand outside a makeshift shelter and transit center on March 12, 2022 in Przemysl, Poland. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Families who have arrived from war-torn Ukraine stand outside a makeshift shelter and transit center on March 12, 2022 in Przemysl, Poland. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

An Airlift Could Save Ukraine

Douglas J. Feith & John Hannah

Russian forces are encircling Kyiv, and U.S. intelligence says the Ukrainian capital could run out of food and water in days. Having refused to establish a no-fly zone, President Biden needs more options to deal with enormous and urgent humanitarian needs. We propose an international airlift, organized and supported by the U.S.

The goal would be to provide food, medicine and other nonmilitary supplies for days, weeks and maybe longer. Countries viewed as not hostile to Russia—perhaps Brazil, Egypt, India and the United Arab Emirates—could take the lead in flying planes into Ukraine.

Such an effort would put international pressure on Russia, which claims (however disingenuously) to support humanitarian land corridors for Ukrainian refugees. Vladimir Putin would either consent and facilitate distribution of supplies or provoke more denunciations of Russia for its inhumanity. Even if criticism doesn’t move him, his top lieutenants may worry about their image and their vulnerability to war-crimes trials. This proposal may aggravate whatever divisions exist within Mr. Putin’s team and trigger further antiwar sentiment among ordinary Russians.

At the same time, an airlift would counter Russia’s strategy to besiege the Ukrainian people, boost Ukrainian morale, and increase international efforts to aid Ukraine. Countries around the world can contribute humanitarian supplies. This would give them more to do to help Ukraine than simply vote for United Nations resolutions.

Read the full article in the Wall Street Journal