OPINION - The Standard View: Western support for Ukraine must not waver

 (Christian Adams)
(Christian Adams)

Wars end when one or both sides decide that peace — or at least a suspension of hostilities — is better than fighting. But how they come about, as well as why, matters a great deal.

Ukraine has been mounting a war of national defence for 18 months. In that time, it has bravely protected its capital and retaken territory from Russia. It is now engaged in a wider counter-offensive that has run into well constituted and entrenched Russian defences.

Today, Defence Editor Robert Fox reports that US officials are running a campaign of their own — to place pressure on Kyiv to eventually sue for peace. Of course, given its outsized role in funding, arming and training the Ukrainian army, America will have a major say in the timing of any peace settlement.

Yet it is difficult at present to envisage any peace worthy of the name. Not only because the fighting is so bloody and costly, but because in Vladimir Putin, Ukraine is facing a foe that seems to think it does not really exist. How is Kyiv supposed to negotiate with that?

With an election next year and the threat of a second Donald Trump term, everything could be up in the air. But support for our Ukrainian allies must not waver.

Long road for the Met

A police officer found guilty of gross misconduct should face automatic dismissal. And under new plans drawn up by the Home Office, that is exactly what will happen.

At present, police chiefs, including the Met Commissioner, have lacked the power to eject those who should never have been officers in the first place. That will change. This legislation should help the Met to rebuild trust and confidence, following a string of appalling crimes, including the abduction, rape and murder of Sarah Everard by a serving officer. But there is a long way to go on that front.

Reopen the Academy

Nearly a year on from the tragic crush that left two people dead, the Brixton Academy remains shut. Now, a hearing is scheduled for next month which could decide the venue’s fate.

Music is as much a part of this city as the river. Of course, safety for any event will always remain paramount. No one should ever attend a concert, a football match or anything else and never return home.

If the appropriate safety measures such as new barriers are adopted and proven to work, the Brixton Academy should reopen, so Londoners can again enjoy the sounds of the city.