Home » If we don’t support Ukraine now, the cost to the United States of Russia’s illegal war will grow

If we don’t support Ukraine now, the cost to the United States of Russia’s illegal war will grow

by John Jefferson
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“Attention! Air raid alert. Proceed to the nearest shelter!” 

Several times a day, this is what blares from my phone, and every phone, in Ukraine. 

 Then come the drones. And the missiles. Hitting apartment buildings. Hospitals. Schools. 

This is Ukrainian life under Putin’s war. 

Nearly two years into Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, we are facing a decisive moment in the Kremlin’s effort to redraw the borders of Europe by force.   

UKRAINE MAKES MAJOR TROOP WITHDRAWAL IN KEY WIN FOR PUTIN AND RUSSIA

And make no mistake: Putin has shown no interest in ending his war.  

The stakes are – a strong and stable Europe is not only our largest trading partner but also our irreplaceable ally for addressing the global security challenges of our time. 

It is for this reason that decades of U.S. policy – under Democratic and Republican administrations – have supported a Europe “whole, free, and at peace.”   

And the primary challenge to this strategic goal has been Putin’s Russia.   

As we have seen in the Republic of Georgia in 2008, in Ukraine in 2014, and in the “frozen conflicts” across the region, Russia has long gone to great lengths trying to destabilize Europe. 

In the case of Ukraine, Putin is trying to wipe a democratic country of 40 million people off the map with missiles and drones – including from Iran and North Korea. 

UKRAINE SAYS RUSSIA’S BLACK SEA FLEET SUFFERED DEBILITATING LOSSES SINCE COLLAPSE OF GRAIN DEAL

There are many reasons Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a threat to the interests and values of the United States.   

I will name two. 

First, Russia will not stop at Ukraine. It could invade NATO allies who we are treaty-bound to defend, which would lead to direct conflict with NATO and far more cost to the United States. 

Second, if this war is not a strategic defeat for Russia, it will be an invitation to would-be imitators around the world. 

The best response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a strong, unified action, together with allies and partners.   

President Biden has rallied more than 50 countries to provide the weapons Ukraine has used to take back half of the territory seized by Russia since Feb. 24, 2022.   

THE BIGGEST TWISTS IN RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR IN 2023

Additionally, Ukraine has pushed Russia’s fleet back from Crimea, allowing international trade corridors from Black Sea ports to supply products to the world once again. Our economic assistance has helped Ukraine defeat Putin’s effort to choke the economy, supporting Ukraine’s exports and enabling it to feed the world by exporting its grain. 

American and partner air defense systems have prevented countless men, women and children from being killed and protected the team of patriotic Americans who represent us at our embassy in Kyiv. 

Unlike past military operations in Iraq or Afghanistan, we do not work or live in a “Green Zone” protected by U.S. troops. We rely solely on Ukraine’s own air defenders. And we are grateful to them. Every day they shoot down missiles and drones, including hypertonic Kinzhal missiles. 

With weapons stocks dwindling, Ukrainians need our help. And they need it now. 

Passing the supplemental for Ukraine will enable the country to protect the land they liberated, defend their people, and rebuild their economy.   

And what do we get for all this effort and assistance? In my view, a lot.  

PUTIN CONTINUES CLEANING HOUSE WITH NAVY COMMAND SHAKE-UP AS UKRAINE YEAR 3 LOOMS

Russia’s army and weapons stocks are being severely degraded by Ukrainian men and women who are defending the enduring values of our nation. 

As with our own history, Ukrainians have long fought for their freedom.

With two revolutions since independence, the Ukrainian people have made clear their choice to join the Euro-Atlantic community. 

Ukraine is also transforming itself with a commitment to fight corruption, build independent institutions, and strengthen its justice system to attract the private sector it needs for recovery. 

 It is this Ukraine – a strong democracy governed by the rule of law integrated into the EU and NATO – that the people of Ukraine are fighting and dying for.   

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And it is this Ukraine that will advance our long-standing goal of a Europe “whole, free, and at peace.” It will also help to create a strong democratic, economic and security partner for the United States. 

Until this vision is achieved, Ukraine needs our help. And it needs it now. If we fail to answer this call, we must be prepared to spend far more responding to Putin – and other would-be aggressors – in the future.

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