'Putin is a dictator and we have to confront him,' Munich Security Conference head - DW Interview.

As NATO sets its course in terms of defensive strategy in the face of Russia's war in Ukraine, Christoph Heusgen, chairman of the Munich Security Conference, told DW that NATO's new strategic concept is the right course of action and has come as a result of Russian aggression.

"NATO's strategic concept reflects the reality of the ground," he told DW. "NATO's has to adapt its strategy. And I think this is the right response. Now we have Russia as an enemy. Russia as a country that violates international law. Russia that is committing war crimes. NATO has to respond to this."

Heusgen said that while Ukraine was receiving substantial support, more military hardware was needed to help Ukraine defend itself and "those countries that share the same values."

"We are supporting them in many respects. We take a lot of refugees. We support them economically, we give them budget aid. But we also have to give hardware. We have to support them militarily... We have, for instance, to give them the moderate tanks that are ready. And I think we should deliver them."

Heusgen said that Putin was operating in a vacuum of dissent, which he had managed to engineer by clamping down on political opponents and free media.

"Putin doesn't have any national opposition. There is no free media. He is throwing in lots of soldiers, young people who don't even know why they are where they are and getting killed. Putin is a dictator and we have to confront him," Heusgen added. "He believes that we are not able to, he believes that our societies are decadent. We are not ready to pay a certain price for the freedom of Ukraine. We have to understand this is our freedom, and we have to support them. This is a question of leadership."

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