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Thread: How Donald Trump Is Making It Harder to End the War in Ukraine

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    How Donald Trump Is Making It Harder to End the War in Ukraine

    How Donald Trump Is Making It Harder to End the War in Ukraine


    President Volodmyr Zelenskyy.

    12/6/19
    On Monday, in Paris, Volodymyr Zelensky and Vladimir Putin will meet, for the first time, for face-to-face peace talks on a five-year conflict in eastern Ukraine that has cost more than thirteen thousand lives (already transpired). Ending the war in the Donbass has been the primary policy goal for Zelensky since he took office last May. “I am focused on the Donbass, on ending this war,” he told me in Kyiv this summer, when I was reporting a profile of him for the magazine. Ukrainian voters had given him a “quota of trust,” as he put it, and it was time to bring the war to a close. Yet unlike on matters of, say, land-sale reform or anti-corruption legislation, that is not something that Zelensky, or any Ukrainian President, can will into being. Zelensky needs the acquiescence, or at least participation, of Putin, who provides the military firepower and diplomatic backing that props up the Donbas’s separatist enclaves. Making things even more complicated for Zelensky, and affecting both his and Putin’s calculations, are the impeachment hearings in Washington, where President Trump is accused of suborning U.S. policy toward Ukraine in the service of his own political bugbears. The hope in Kyiv was that Zelensky and Trump could meet as soon as possible, and that Zelensky could sell to Trump the idea of playing the “grand peacemaker” in Ukraine, Alyona Getmanchuk, the director of New Europe Center, a foreign-policy think-tank, told me. “Zelensky really hoped to get Trump involved, that the United States would take part in this process, and not just as an observer but an ally.” Trump would get the glory; and Ukraine, peace. This summer, I spoke to a Zelensky adviser for my profile, who seconded why the new Ukrainian President was so intent on arranging a visit to the White House: “It would be a signal to Russia, of course.”

    But, as the impeachment hearings have shown, Trump has proved distrustful of Ukraine, viewing the country through the repeatedly disproven conspiracy theory that Ukraine, and not Russia, had tried to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election. To the extent that he cared about Ukraine at all, Trump paid more attention to the efforts of his lawyer Rudy Giuliani to dig up politically useful dirt on Joe Biden. Gordon Sondland, U.S. Ambassador to the E.U., relayed to a colleague of Ambassador Taylor at the Embassy in Kyiv that “Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden” than Ukraine itself. For most of the twenty-five years of Ukraine’s post-Soviet independence, it enjoyed consistent and bipartisan support in Washington—including, and most importantly, after 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and sparked war in the Donbas. In the age of Trump, that has eroded. Zelensky, then, is left in a perilous situation: He faces Putin at a time when U.S. backing for Ukraine has suddenly turned wobbly, but he can’t risk alienating Trump or Republicans any further, lest Ukraine be thrown to the wolves entirely. He knows he will be dealing with Trump for at least another year, perhaps another five. Since the Ukraine-related scandal erupted, Zelensky has been restrained and deflecting in his comments, obviously—and understandably—uninterested in making himself any more of a player in the ongoing impeachment battle than he already has become. Earlier this month, in an interview with Time and three European outlets, Zelensky went the farthest he has gone in expressing his frustration and disappointment with Trump. “We’re at war. If you’re our strategic partner, then you can’t go blocking anything for us,” he said, referring to the three hundred and twenty million dollars in aid that Trump ordered frozen in July. “I think that’s just about fairness. It’s not about a quid pro quo. It just goes without saying.” Going into the Paris talks, Putin is pressuring Zelensky as much as he can: he is aware of his eagerness to end the war, that the United States is absent, and that European leaders are pushing Zelensky to make a deal.
    One could easily argue that Donald Trump aided Vladimir Putin in a 'circuitous' fashion by temporarily withholding US Congressional defense funding for Ukraine, a nation at war with Putin's Russia.

    Merely the impression of weak US presidential support strengthens Putin's position and weakens that of Zelenskyy. I believe Trump clearly understood this implication.


    Michigan is the new Ukraine. Their governor, the woman....she’s going to go through some things.

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    Re: How Donald Trump Is Making It Harder to End the War in Ukraine

    Ukraine's position is not enviable. They lack the military capability to push the Russians back and must accept de facto Russian control of Crimea and must make concessions on Donbass and Donetsk. Zelensky has been dealt a bad hand and has to make do with what he can.
    “We were all of us cogs in a great machine which sometimes rolled forward, nobody knew where, sometimes backwards, nobody knew why.”

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    Re: How Donald Trump Is Making It Harder to End the War in Ukraine

    Lets remember what President Obama did when Russia invaded Crimea?

    He refused to send weapons in an aid package. And some how this is Trump's fault?
    Only in the resist world!!


    White House rebuffs Ukraine appeal for weapons
    Sept 2014

    WASHINGTON — The White House refused to include weapons in an aid package announced Thursday for embattled Ukraine despite an impassioned plea by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko for more military assistance.

    White House rebuffs Ukraine appeal for weapons
    Attorney General William Barr: “The fact of the matter is that, in waging a scorched earth, no-holds-barred war of 'Resistance' against this Administration,
    it is the Left that is engaged in the systematic shredding of norms and the undermining of the rule of law.”

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    Re: How Donald Trump Is Making It Harder to End the War in Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by Common Sense 1 View Post
    Lets remember what President Obama did when Russia invaded Crimea?

    He refused to send weapons in an aid package.
    Because they would have ended up in Russian and/or Separatist hands.
    “We were all of us cogs in a great machine which sometimes rolled forward, nobody knew where, sometimes backwards, nobody knew why.”

    ― Ernst Toller

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    Re: How Donald Trump Is Making It Harder to End the War in Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Valley View Post
    How Donald Trump Is Making It Harder to End the War in Ukraine


    President Volodmyr Zelenskyy.



    One could easily argue that Donald Trump aided Vladimir Putin in a 'circuitous' fashion by temporarily withholding US Congressional defense funding for Ukraine, a nation at war with Putin's Russia.

    Merely the impression of weak US presidential support strengthens Putin's position and weakens that of Zelenskyy. I believe Trump clearly understood this implication.
    I wonder how intimidated Putin was by all those blankets being lobbed at his tanks?

    The The Obama & European Clown Show is what emboldened Putin from the start.

    "The Donald" isn't my choice for making things much better either
    “It’s easier to run for office than to run the office.”
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    Re: How Donald Trump Is Making It Harder to End the War in Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredUSN View Post
    I wonder how intimidated Putin was by all those blankets being lobbed at his tanks?
    If we had sent weapons to the Ukrainians in 2014 they would have ended up in Russian and Separatist hands.

    Just like huge chunks of the Ukrainian arsenal did.
    “We were all of us cogs in a great machine which sometimes rolled forward, nobody knew where, sometimes backwards, nobody knew why.”

    ― Ernst Toller

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    Re: How Donald Trump Is Making It Harder to End the War in Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by Jredbaron96 View Post
    If we had sent weapons to the Ukrainians in 2014 they would have ended up in Russian and Separatist hands.

    Just like huge chunks of the Ukrainian arsenal did.
    When did the corruption end?
    “It’s easier to run for office than to run the office.”
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    Re: How Donald Trump Is Making It Harder to End the War in Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredUSN View Post
    When did the corruption end?
    It still hasn't, lol. Even the Javelins Trump sent them were earmarked with the condition that they weren't supposed to be used against Russian tanks.

    The reality is there wasn't anything NATO could realistically do about the Russian invasion. It sucks, but it's the truth.
    “We were all of us cogs in a great machine which sometimes rolled forward, nobody knew where, sometimes backwards, nobody knew why.”

    ― Ernst Toller

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    Re: How Donald Trump Is Making It Harder to End the War in Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by Jredbaron96 View Post
    It still hasn't, lol. Even the Javelins Trump sent them were earmarked with the condition that they weren't supposed to be used against Russian tanks.

    The reality is there wasn't anything NATO could realistically do about the Russian invasion. It sucks, but it's the truth.
    And there is still no realistic way the US can stop them now....right?

    I mean, short of going to war?
    “It’s easier to run for office than to run the office.”
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    Re: How Donald Trump Is Making It Harder to End the War in Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredUSN View Post
    And there is still no realistic way the US can stop them now....right?

    I mean, short of going to war?
    The Obama Administration and the EU floated a military response back in 2014...and it was shut down after Moscow threatened nuclear retaliation if that happened.

    So no. Ukraine's in a tough spot. They can't hope to win a war with Russia, and nobody is willing to sacrifice their capital cities over Donbass and Crimea. Zelensky has few options, and I think he's ultimately making the best choice he can.
    “We were all of us cogs in a great machine which sometimes rolled forward, nobody knew where, sometimes backwards, nobody knew why.”

    ― Ernst Toller

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