The Corner

World

Slip into Ukrainian Skin

Volodymyr Zelensky, the new president of Ukraine, as a candidate in April 2019 (Viacheslav Ratynskyi / Reuters)

You are small. You are weak. You have a precarious independence. The Russian bear is warring against you. You are virtually alone. You have been denied entry into the EU and NATO. Putin has annexed a chunk of you. You are desperate for the support of the Free World, especially the United States. The American president is deeply problematic for you. He is “America First.” He has little good to say about democracy and alliances. He thinks his predecessors were far too “globalist.” He has expressed admiration for Putin, over and over. You are nervous as can be. Then the president calls up, pressuring you to investigate one of his domestic political opponents and his son. Meanwhile, he is holding up military aid to you.

That is one helluva position to be in. It is the last thing Ukraine needs. And the Kremlin is lovin’ it bigly, no doubt.

Two Ukrainians have written very interesting columns: Alyona Getmanchuk, here, and Serhiy Leshchenko, here. For us Yanks, this is an American drama — an American political drama. But it is worthwhile to slip for a second into Ukrainian skin. Very uncomfortable.

Let’s think a little further. U.S. Democrats may pay extra attention to you — tender, supportive attention — because you are now an object of sympathy for them. You have helped, however inadvertently, trip up Trump. But Republicans may well resent you for the same reason. Uh-oh. Again, very uncomfortable.

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