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Thu Nov 7, 2019, 03:33 PM

The Big Winner in Ukraine Scandal? Russia -- Just as It Always Wanted

BY PAUL RODERICK GREGORY, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR — 11/07/19 01:30 PM EST 142THE VIEWS

Vladimir Putin’s nightmare is a prosperous, rule-of-law Ukraine integrated into the affluent West on Russia’s border. Such a Ukrainian success story would trace back to its popular revolution on Maidan Square in February 2004. Might Ukraine not give the Russian people ideas to do the same?

It is for this reason that the Kremlin has conducted a frantic propaganda war to demonstrate Ukraine’s abject failure, its rampant corruption, and to instruct others in Russia’s “sphere of influence” not to follow Ukraine’s example.

It seems that Ukraine cannot get a lucky break in its quest to turn from Russia to become part of Europe. From its founding in August 1991 to today, Ukraine navigated an Orange Revolution (2004-5), lost Crimea to forced Russian annexation (April 2014) and fought the Russian-backed invasion of its eastern territory — largely with volunteers while it organized a national army.

When Ukrainian forces threatened to defeat Russian mercenaries, an invading Russian army shattered Ukrainian forces and forced Ukraine into an unfavorable peace process backed by Germany, France and the United Kingdom. Subsequently, the West stood by as Russia blockaded Ukrainian ports on the Sea of Azov, starting in November 2018 and thereby threatening Ukraine’s economy.

Ukraine has served as the frontline against Putin’s ambitions to incorporate a “New Russia” — Novorossiya — into an empire expanded to the borders of the European Union. Ukrainians bore the brunt of thwarting Putin’s ambitions in terms of some 2,000 soldiers killed, 13,000 other fatalities, millions displaced and occupied eastern Ukraine reduced to ruins populated by pensioners and children. This is a shameful tragedy that has failed to create a truly united European front against Russia’s rogue behavior.

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https://thehill.com/opinion/international/469386-the-big-winner-in-ukraine-scandal-russia-just-as-it-always-wanted

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