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The Nikkei View

Putin's only path forward is a cease-fire

Russia cannot be allowed to strip people of independence and freedom

A Ukrainian tourist cries in front of the Russian Embassy in Colombo on Feb. 28 during a protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.    © Reuters

Russia's military attacks on Ukraine are occurring across the country, targeting not just military facilities but many civilian buildings, such as apartment complexes. In the Black Sea, a cargo ship owned by a Japanese shipping company was hit by an explosive.

These are indiscriminate criminal acts. The number of deaths and injuries is rising. How much bloodshed will be needed to satisfy Russian President Vladimir Putin? The only just option available to him is to immediately halt military operations and pull back his soldiers.

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