SIR – Charles Moore (Comment, February 19) is right that the West has for too long pretended that Vladimir Putin was not the enemy.

With Mr. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, this illusion crumbled. However, to suggest that the West has lost is too defeatist.

Sanctions are an option, but they will not be a deterrent and will only be seen as a punishment. The free world must rally behind Ukraine and give it all possible support, both on and off the battlefield, to deter Mr. Putin from continuing his aggression. The only way to stop a bully is to make him bleed from the nose. The only safe way is to arm Ukraine to the end and make sure Mr. Putin gets one.

MJ Svoboda
Frankfurt, Hesse, Germany

SIR – Margaret Thatcher, anticipating a long and bitter miners’ strike, ensured enough coal was stockpiled to last a year in the country.

How much fuel has been stockpiled by our government to ensure continuity in the event of supply restrictions?

Gerald Penney
Teignmouth, Devon

SIR – Is there no one in the Russian military high command capable of seizing Vladimir Putin’s war machine and putting it to good use by executing a coup and ridding the country of this tyrant?

It is hard to believe that ordinary Russians want to inflict such pain on their neighboring friends.

Bob Stebbings
Chorleywood, Hertfordshire

Disrupted degrees

SIR – In another blow to our school leavers who have been hit so hard by Covid-19, my grandson, a first-year geographer at Newcastle University, has just received a unscheduled three-week break during classes, although they did not resume until the end of January. This is explained by the participation of teachers in industrial action in response to changes in the university pension system and by precarious fixed-term contracts.

Whatever the reason for the strike, how is it fair to go after blameless undergraduates who have navigated a troubled sixth year and inequalities in teacher-rated grades, and who now find their hard-earned higher education offers such poor value for money? What happened to the government’s policy of giving priority to education?

Tom Skelly
Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland

Maximum plausibility