Re: "Winter is coming in Ukraine: are there prospects for peace?" (The Hill Times, Jan. 9, 2023, by Robin Collins and Sylvie Lemieux). If Russian President Vladimir Putin's most important goal has been the protection of the Russian State and the Russian people, as he has stated, then he has achieved his goal. He has tested the doctrine of mutually assured destruction to the limit, and, in the process, has demonstrated that it works. NATO has NOT invaded Russia, nor does it show any evidence that it wants to. Even Ukraine—which has every right to blast the Kremlin off the map—has restrained itself (with more than a little pressure from the West, of course) from doing what any reasonable country would have every right to do: strike back. The Ukrainian forces have only struck at Russian assets within Russian control where they are being directly utilized to deliver destruction within the Ukraine or in territories that are part of Ukraine under international law. Putin is said to be a student of history. But somehow he has forgotten that Ukrainian forces were among the toughest in resisting and repelling the German Army in Word War II, and that Russia agreed to be part of the UN and obey international law, as well as protect the sovereignty of the former Soviet satellite countries after the breakup of the Soviet Union. Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine were all signatories to that agreement. A peaceful international forum—the United Nations—and the rule of international law, are the only dependable, long-term protections of national security. Declare victory, withdraw your troops and commit to rejoining the international community. And commit to repairing some of the damage you have done—especially to your own citizens. The adherence to international law and global agreements is the basis for a stable world order that provides what its citizens require. There are no winners in a democracy, but there are also no big losers in the long run. Elections provide the opportunity to develop a compromise that makes life possible for everyone. That is quite a lot to be going on with. Tom McElroy Toronto, Ont.