News / Europe

Roundup: Opinions on Ukraine from American and Foreign Media

People walk under a poster that reads,
People walk under a poster that reads, "Together with Russia. March 16 - referendum", in the centre of Simferopol, March 12, 2014.
The crisis in Ukraine has captured global attention and is generating a wide spectrum of opinion on its causes and solutions. Newspapers, blogs and other media are publishing a variety of commentaries and editorials on what’s to be done and who’s to blame.

Each day, VOA will curate a selection of these editorial opinions, highlight selections, and offer them for our readers’ consideration.

The opinions expressed below are, of course, those of the authors, not the Voice of America.


"Kiev's Message to Moscow" Op-ed by Oleksandr Turchynov, acting Ukrainian president, published in the New York Times.

"An escalation of conflict would be catastrophic for the whole of Western Europe. It would put an end to the global security system, breaching its very foundation. These are very real risks. Yet Russia’s reckless actions would be unbecoming of Somali pirates.

 

"Today, the people of Ukraine are united as never before in the idea of collective security and European values. We choose Western standards and reject this neo-Soviet imperialism. We will no longer play the game of 'older and younger brothers.'

 

"Moscow must understand what we discovered at the Maidan in Kiev: the use of force will backfire and, more often than not, yield the opposite of what was intended. Ukraine and Russia are two sovereign states, and the Ukrainian people will determine their path independently. The refusal to accept this fact will lead, at the very least, to a new Cold War.

 

"Ukraine is open to any constructive dialogue with the Russian Federation that is rooted in partnership. We wish to develop fair and mutually beneficial relations. Russia must choose how it will respond."
 


"Is Vladimir Putin Insane? Hardly." Op-ed by Masha Gessen, Russian-American author of "Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin", published in the Los Angeles Times.

"The political culture Putin has created in Russia is based on the assumption that the world is rotten to the core.

 

"This was first evident in the way Putin talked about corruption. In his official autobiography, published in 2000, Putin told a joke in which President Carter and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev compare notes:

"Both are embezzling, but Brezhnev embezzles twice as much, blatantly. This is the line Putin's officials have taken in response to all accusations of graft over the last 14 years: Corruption is endemic to all governments; Russian corruption is just less hypocritical.
 

"This belief that everyone, without exception, acts solely out of base self-interest is what has led Putin to ratchet up the aggression, meanness and vulgarity of both his public statements and political actions over the years.

"When he threatens to castrate a journalist, when he invades other countries, Putin is showing the world that he has the courage of his convictions

 

"For American culture, which relies heavily on a belief in the fundamental goodness of humanity, this is an impossible world view to absorb. It is another world indeed. But that does not make it crazy."
 


"Falling Into Putin's Trap" Commentary by Lilia Shevtsova, senior Fellow at the Carnegie Moscow Center, published by The American Interest.

"We need to keep in mind that, even if a new imperialism and a hunger for land are behind Russia’s recent actions, they do not fully account for the brashness of the invasion, nor for Moscow’s open rejection of all accepted norms and principles of international order.

"The invasion and destabilization of Ukraine are Moscow’s means of pursuing not just the geopolitical goal of guaranteeing influence, but a civilizational goal as well: eliminating the very idea of the Maidan as an alternative to the Russian Matrix (namely, the Russian personalized power system and the individual’s subjugation by the state.)

"In the Kremlin’s view, the Maidan is the Absolute Evil, which must be erased permanently and utterly, with the utmost cruelty. The Kremlin’s Ukrainian campaign is thus a preemptive strategy with the ultimate goals of reproducing and preventing any threats to the personalized power system in Russia and the post-Soviet space.

"I also think that the flagrant and aggressive beating to which Putin has subjected Ukraine has certain psychological underpinnings.

"We might surmise that they also come from a desire to humiliate the Ukrainian state and nation, to both punish and terrify—pour encourager les autres, including Russians.

"In fact, Putin is demonstrating the judo style his coach once described: 'You have to hit first and whack down the opponent to scare the hell out of him, forcing him to accept your domination!'"


"The US Must Continue To Take Strong Steps Against Russia's Agression" Editorial published by the Washington Post.

"It is simply not true, as some defeatists suggest, that the West does not have the potential to force a Russian change of course. The real question is whether Western leaders are prepared to accept the damage to their own citizens and economies that would be the side effect.

"Russia would probably freeze Western investments on its territory; it might cut off gas exports to Ukraine, through which supplies to several E.U. countries flow. Seventy percent of Russian exports are oil and gas, most of which go to Europe.

"With elections approaching in both the European Union and the United States, it will be easy to shrink from measures that would command Mr. Putin’s attention.

"Clearly he is counting on such a reaction. But the price of failing to take robust steps now will, in the end, be higher.

"If Mr. Putin is not stopped in Crimea, he will set his sights on other parts of Ukraine and maybe other former Soviet bloc states with Russian minorities. That could lead not just to economic disruption but also to war."

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs