News / Europe

Roundup: Opinions on Ukraine From American and Foreign Media

A woman walks past as Ukrainian riot police stand at the entrance of the regional administrative building in Donetsk, Ukraine,  March 7, 2014.
A woman walks past as Ukrainian riot police stand at the entrance of the regional administrative building in Donetsk, Ukraine, March 7, 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.

"When Putin Invaded My Country" Editorial by Mikheil Saakashvili, former President of Georgia, published in the Washington Post.

Why should the West care about what happens in Ukraine? We are seeing not just the slicing up of Europe’s largest country but also the destruction of post-Cold War order in Europe

This order was based on clear rules that not only protect small countries but also ensure stability and prosperity for the bigger ones, protect minorities and settle conflicts by peaceful mechanisms.

Think of the ramifications if borders across the continent were to revert to ethnic lines. If there are no longer any rules, a spiraling cycle of violence and destruction is inevitable.

Such an outcome could still be avoided. The U.S. sanctions announced Thursday are a good first step. They should be implemented immediately, and Europe needs to strengthen its own response.

Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova should be put on fast-track accession to the European Union and granted membership action plans for NATO to demonstrate that Russia cannot seize its ends through illegal means."

"Formally Recognize Ukraine; Prepare NATO Troops" Zbigniew Brezinski, former US National Security Advisor, published in the Christian Science Monitor.

The strategy of the West at this moment should be to complicate Vladimir Putin’s planning. He should be given options to avoid conflict. But he should also be made aware of the very negative consequences for Russia that would follow the outbreak of armed conflict.

By options, I mean that we should indicate to Russia that we prefer a peaceful accommodation in Ukraine, and NATO should invite the Russians to participate in its ongoing discussions about this crisis.

But, at the same time, we should let the Russians know we are not going to be passive.

First, we have to formally recognize the new government in Ukraine, which I believe expresses the will of the people there. It is the legitimate government. And interference in Ukrainian affairs should be considered a hostile act by a foreign power.

Further, we should put NATO contingency plans into operation, deploying forces in Central Europe so we are in a position to respond if war should break out and spread."

"Russia Enabled by West's Foreign Policies of Vacillation, Uncertainty" Andrew Coyne, political columnist, published in the Toronto Sun.

"Yes, we should try diplomatic and economic sanctions, escalating or de-escalating depending on how far Russia cooperates or fails to do so.

But the likelihood of these having much effect must be doubted: Russia may well believe it can ride out international opprobrium over Crimea, and on the evidence of past atrocities — Tiananmen, anyone? — it is probably right.

It can, however, be deterred from further such adventures. At a minimum, we should immediately bulk up forces in NATO member states in the region; and, as soon as possible, admit Ukraine and Georgia as members.

The trip wires must be laid out in plain sight, so that there can be no doubt as to the consequences if Russia crosses them."

"Crimean Invasion Is Worse Than a Crime" Konstantin Sonin, professor at Higher School of Economics in Moscow, published in the Moscow Times.

As many observers have warned in recent years, the government and presidential administration have completely dismantled all feedback mechanisms from the public or other independent sources.

The actions and statements of Russian leaders indicate that they lack credible information about what is happening not only in Kiev, Donetsk and Simferopol, but also in Russia and in the world.

And, as strange as it is for the regime to issue blatant misrepresentations and exaggerations for the consumption of a savvy and well-informed foreign public, when the regime begins basing its own strategic decisions on such fallacious ideas, major blunders are inevitable.


That problem results in part from the authorities' decision to "cleanse" the media environment, thereby silencing the critics' voices. It also results from the falsification of the results of 2011 State Duma elections, resulting in a lack of representation for those Russians who do not support the military action in Ukraine.

You May Like

Syrian Rebels Poised for Anti-Russia Collaboration

Forty-one insurgent groups issue joint statement vowing retaliation for Russian air offensives More

Political Maneuver Revives Export-Import Bank's Chances

Parliamentary tactic gets bill out of committee, but it faces opposition in the Senate More

Beijing Warns US on S. China Sea Patrols

Warning follows news reports Thursday that US military is planning to sail warships close to artificial islands Beijing has been aggressively building More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdrawsi
Jim Malone
October 09, 2015 12:32 AM
The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

VOA Blogs