Brian Bonner: Ukraine’s Friend and Foe of the Week
Editor’s Note: This feature separates Ukraine’s friends from its enemies. The Order of Yaroslav the Wise has been given since 1995 for distinguished service to the nation. It is named after the Kyivan Rus leader from 1019-1054, when the medieval empire reached its zenith. The Order of Lenin was the highest decoration bestowed by the Soviet Union, whose demise Russian President Vladimir Putin mourns. It is named after Vladimir Lenin, whose corpse still rots on the Kremlin’s Red Square, more than 100 years after the October Revolution he led.
Friend: Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz
During a video conference on April 22 among European Union foreign ministers, Polish Radio reported that Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz urged his colleagues to strongly support Ukraine in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The EU announced that it will likely lend 1.3 billion euros on favorable terms to Ukraine in its public health fight.
In another video conference on April 21, Polish Radio reported that Czaputowic urged EU support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity amid strong pressure from Russia.
“Russia’s pressure on Kyiv remains strong,” Czaputowicz said during an international conference focusing on cooperation with Ukraine. “It is necessary for the EU to maintain a consistent approach to support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Ukraine and Poland certainly have their share of differences and historical disputes, but Czaputowicz’s remarks show that Warsaw continues to be a neighbor that Kyiv can rely on against aggressive Kremlin interests. Thanks to Poland and other friends of Ukraine, the EU is unlikely to forget about Russia’s lawlessness anytime soon.
Foe: John O’Loughlin
Actually, there are several foes here. We singled out John O’Loughlin, a professor of political geography at the University of Colorado, because he is the top name among three listed in a “scientific” survey that concluded that Crimeans are happy being part of Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
The others listed in this monstrous waste of U.S. taxpayer money — through the U.S. National Science Foundation — are two other professors, Gerard Toal and Kristin M. Bakke.
The unknown amount of U.S. government money they spent led them to pen an article published on April 3, 2020, by Foreign Affairs magazine. The headline: “To Russia With Love: The majority of Crimeans are still glad for their annexation.”
The drivel never ends in this piece: “Crimeans are also bullish about Russia’s resilience in the face of external economic pressure.”
Let’s set reality straight: Russia’s military invaded the Crimean peninsula on Feb. 27, 2014, held a sham “referendum” weeks later, and declared it theirs on March 18, 2014.
These professors drew their conclusions from Moscow-based Levada Center polling in 2014 and 2019.
It’s hard to believe Foreign Affairs would devote space to “scientific polling” in a dictatorship, where Crimeans who oppose the annexation have been murdered, jailed or have simply disappeared, where this is no freedom of speech, and where Kremlin-appointed thugs rule. The patriotic Ukrainians not polled have either fled or been repressed, replaced by Russians.
Fortunately, Foreign Affairs allowed Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba to rebut the ridiculous exercise by the authors, who apparently never set foot in Crimea for this exercise. But the magazine let the trio get in the last sarcastic words after Kuleba’s rebuttal.
If this is the kind of drivel that the U.S. National Science Foundation funds with its $8 billion a year budget, it’s a good target for elimination. Let the Kremlin back such nonsense. Collect your Orders of Lenin, one and all.