12 Comments

I think we have to start and continue denying access to the technical and economic progress to Russia and supporting resources by creating difficulties for Russia to get anything and everything they need from anywhere

Edward Radkowski

Expand full comment

Unfortunately, it would appear that Donald Trump is running our Ukraine policy, not the Biden administration. He has come out foursquare against an immigration bill -- which is linked to the Ukraine/Israel supplemental, in an effort to keep these issues unresolved during the 2024 campaign so he can make political hay and blame the mess on Biden. His MAGA Congressmen and Senators have fallen right into line, and are now doing what they can to scupper the deal that is currently being negotiated in the Senate. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/01/25/ukraine-funding-border-deal-trump/

These MAGA folks are all under Trump's spell, just as he is under Putin's spell, and everyone is acting like brainwashed marionettes as a result. It's pointless to speculate on just why Trump is so beholden to Putin, and it is beyond obvious why Trump's supporters in Congress are acting as they do (they fear him, and his fanatical voters).

The point is that the time has come to fish or cut bait. If the Biden Administration wants to win this battle, they are going to have to stop dithering and get more actively involved. In addition, since the current Republican majority in the House is temporarily reduced to one vote, it seems hard to believe that there are not at least a few Republicans who still have a spine and who can be persuaded to work with the Democrats to pass Ukraine aid.

If not, we are indeed at a very sorry pass in our history, one where we are allowing a virulent minority to march us straight into isolationism and dictatorship. The time to act is now.

Expand full comment

Yes! And the U.S. should do exactly as you prescribe: confiscate the $8-$39 BILLION in Russian frozen assets to help foot the bill for assistance to Kyiv!! Is there any chance that Biden could make this happen before Putin’s sham elections in March, do you think?

Expand full comment

Thus it is no wonder that British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak does not want to see a repeat of Neville Chamberlain's enormous miscalculation in the late 1930s. As occurred with Hitler, Putin has given us too many clues as to his intentions. https://www.nytimes.com/2024/01/25/world/europe/ukraine-uk-us-republicans.html?unlocked_article_code=1.QU0.HZ1T.44VRmhpd9QM5&smid=url-share

Expand full comment

Mr McFaul, do you believe that the US is the only country that Russia truly fears going to war with, and without the US, they would feel no reservations about going to war with the entire EU? And do you believe that we should take the threats seriously from the TV propagandists that the Russians even seek to take over Berlin and Paris through military means?

Anyways, I read a Telegram page called "Kremlin Secrets" that claimed that, allegedly from insider sources, that the moment Putin and his cronies believe they could get away with it, they 100% will attack the Baltic States, regardless of the situation in Ukraine.

This is all very personal to me as I have friends in Poland and Lithuania. I really love those countries and want to return many times in my life. It would be very difficult for me not to volunteer in some way should they be attacked. I can't let my brotherly nations get slaugthered.

Expand full comment
author

Great comments here. Ill try to respond tonight when I get done with my day job.

Expand full comment

Thank you, because lately I have become more and more alarmed at what I have heard about Russian ambitions, especially with Trump continuing to threaten to abrogate NATO's article 5 obligations and weak Speaker Johnson going along with everything Trump orders him to do. I really feel it is my duty to help any way I can to prevent Russia from unleashing a major war in Europe, and I want to help you or anyone you know in this area in any way I can. This is all extremely personal to me.

Best Regards,

Samuel Waitt

Expand full comment

I totally agree with you on the threat Putin's regime presents. Medvedev seems like a radical nut job, Trump sounds like a Russian asset - but they do present a serious danger, nonetheless. I read a few days ago in the Guardian about Germany "uncovering a vast, pro-Russian disinformation campaign using tens of thousands of fake accounts on "X" , that sent over 1 mil posts in December in German using a sophisticated and concerted onslaught on Berlin's support for UKraine. It was discovered when one post contained a cyrillic figure that had "accidentally" not been translated. If true, this is likely the tip of the iceberg...I can only imagine what is being done to influence our elections in favor of Trump. Trump is like the perfect storm: maniacal ego, hates Ukraine, wants desperately to stay out of jail.

Putin has been lighting little fires everywhere, within any democratic country to fund radical organizations and interfere in elections. I read that the EU is moving now to give Ukraine interest from frozen Russian assets...I hope this happens swiftly, aid is taking too long, and we have deterred ourselves for too long, worried about "escalation".

I think by now we can all see what Putin's ambitions are. Prigozhin bragged about it last January "we will conquer the Ukrainians and NATO, and then the whole world." I know what a vile thug and a liar he was, but near the end he seemed...er...more truthful (?)

Tim Snyder puts it well (I'm paraphrasing slightly) "It's important for Ukraine to win. It's also very important for Russia to lose, so Russians will have a chance at normality." Here he is talking about historically about Imperialist wars (Victor Pinchuk Foundation, 1/23/2024, The History of Ukraine and the Future of the World https://youtu.be/iI4oyPZbPmM?si=I2EuAnayU6xE2O93 )

So - what can each of us do to help Ukraine win?

Expand full comment

Russians would prefer Western ways of life - deny/ or tax the hell out of travel and exported goods.

From a war viewpoint find a way to bomb or scuttle their rocket launch sites.

Expand full comment

If Putin moves beyond Ukraine, it will be because the Europeans have consistently declined to defend their continent in a credible manner. That's why U.S. aid to Ukraine is crucial, the Europeans either can't or won't do the job.

The EU is roughly ten times richer than Russia. There is no excuse. Ukraine should currently have ten artillery shells for every one of Russia's, all paid for by the EU nations. It's their continent, and their responsibility to defend it.

As example, try this: Imagine your reaction if I said the Europeans should defend America's southern border. You'd assume I'd been drinking. But it's taken to be an obvious given that it's America's job to defend Europe's eastern borders. Huh?

America needs to help Ukraine now, I'm all for that. But we also need to have a heart to heart no BS talk with our European friends. Stop being dependents. And start being real allies.

Expand full comment

What did the Lithuanians and other Europeans predict in terms of how Russia might be a military threat to the wider Europe? I presume this covers a lot of ground, e.g., cyber attacks, infrastructure attacks (undersea cables, pipelines), and other nonmilitary things? I ask only because the Russian military hasn't been extraordinarily impressive, although that doesn't mean they won't improve over the next few years. Thanks.

Expand full comment

The government of the United States should not support all the declared ambitions of the government of Ukraine, specifically the goal of getting back Crimea. Why? Because Zelensky's government plan to force all Crimeans to use Ukrainian language in government forms, medical records, real estate transactions and school education. Podolyak voiced it in his YouTube interview. To deprive the people of their mother tongue on their homeland against their choice is degrading and constitutes violation of human rights.

Remember when Russia annexed Crimea back in March 2014, nobody in Crimea was fighting against it. Why? One of the reasons: the very first action of the coup that came to power in Kiev back in February 2014 was to change the language law. I heard a doctor from Crimea who was sick and tired that the Ukrainian government wanted him to switch all his records to Ukrainian even before Maidan. This is like to request all doctors in California to switch their records to Spanish.

Expand full comment