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

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
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.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs