February 2022 will be marked in the
history books as the start of a new conflict, or at least as the start of a new phase in a conflict. But, make no mistake – this is NOT a conflict between Russia and Ukraine, between Russia and NATO or between East and West – it is a conflict
between democracy and authoritarianism. NATO did not expand to Eastern Europe to threaten Russia, but was joined by Central and Eastern European countries whose democratically elected government decided to join a defence alliance. NATO does not
threaten Russia - or any other country for this matter. The hope that Russia will turn into a normal country has turned into realisation that it has rather
turned into an authoritarian kleptocracy. It is Vladimir Putin who is afraid of democratically elected governments in neighbouring countries showcasing to Russian people that democratic societies are better off. That’s why he attacked Georgia in 2008
and Ukraine in 2014. And that is why he has supported authoritarian politicians and movements across the globe – the Leave campaign in the UK, Donald Trump in the US and Jean Marie Le Pen in France.