The traditional first anniversary gift is paper, but no peace treaty looms on the horizon between Russia and Ukraine as the war grinds on into its second year. Perhaps the modern version, the gift of a clock, would be more appropriate, to time the conflict’s duration. What many predicted would be a triumphal progress for the Russian army a year ago, with expectations that Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv would fall in a matter of days, has turned into a long, hard slog, mainly serving to illustrate the resilience, spirit and determination of the Ukrainian people, and the relative weakness and ineffectuality of the Russian armed forces.
Tag archive: Volodymyr Zelensky
Tensions continue to increase on the border between Ukraine and Russia, where more than 100,000 Russian troops have recently been stationed, in what appears to be a build-up to an invasion. Russia began a piecemeal takeover of its neighbor in 2014 with the annexation of Crimea, followed by further border incursions into adjoining Ukrainian enclaves dominated by its military and local separatist groups wanting to reunite the two nations, as they were under Soviet hegemony. Reports that families of Russian diplomatic staffers in Ukraine were evacuated in early January heightened the sense of impending crisis.
An emerging story casts further light on the Trump administration’s freewheeling, Mafia-style transactional interactions with foreign governments and its rampant stonewalling of congressional oversight. On August 12, 2019 a whistleblower from the U.S. intelligence community filed a complaint with the Inspector General that alleged some kind of wrongdoing at high levels of the U.S. government. The complaint was marked “urgent concern”, an unusual designation requiring immediate action, but the complaint hasn’t been made public, nor has it been shared with Congress, in direct contravention of the law.