January 31, 2020

IN THE PRESS: Why Americans should care about Ukraine


“Yes, Secretary Pompeo, Americans Should Care About Ukraine,” by William B. Taylor, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, The New York Times, January 26 (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/26/opinion/Pompeo-ukraine-taylor.html?searchResultPosition=1):

As Secretary of State Mike Pompeo prepares to meet President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine in Kyiv later this week, he has reportedly asked, “Do Americans care about Ukraine?”

Here’s why the answer should be yes: Ukraine is defending itself and the West against Russian attack. If Ukraine succeeds, we succeed. The relationship between the United States and Ukraine is key to our national security, and Americans should care about Ukraine.

Russia is fighting a hybrid war against Ukraine, Europe and the United States. This war has many components: armed military aggression, energy supply, cyberattacks, disinformation and election interference. On each of these battlegrounds, Ukraine is the front line.

…the front line in the Donbas region marks the only shooting war in Europe. Every week Russian-led forces kill Ukrainian soldiers — and take casualties in return.…Since the Russians invaded in 2014, 14,000 Ukrainians have died in this war.…

Until Russia withdraws from Ukraine – both Donbas and Crimea – and recognizes that Ukraine is an independent, sovereign nation, other nations cannot be secure. Until Russia recommits to a rules-based international order, Western nations are in jeopardy. Ukraine is the front line.

In an even broader sense, Russia’s attack on Ukraine and the West is an attack on democracy. The question of how nations govern themselves – democracy versus autocracy – is being fought out among and within nations. …In the contest between democracies and autocracies, the contest between freedom and unfreedom, Ukraine is the front line. …