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.
Ukraine’s Friend of the Week: Mark Green, U.S. lawmaker
U.S. sanctions against Russia are moving one step further thanks to U.S. Republican lawmaker Mark Green.
Green introduced the Restraining Russian Imperialism Act bill on May 12 to the U.S. Congress to impose sanctions on Russia if the country does not withdraw from the Donbas.
“If Russia does not withdraw its military from the Donbas region in one year, my legislation requires the (U.S. President Joe) Biden administration to level heavy sanctions on individuals and entities involved in the occupation,” the statement reads.
The sanctions are vague, but the bill provides a clear deadline, adding up pressure on Russia; it also makes the U.S. officially responsible to deter the Kremlin’s action in the region.
“As long as Russia is illegally occupying territory in Ukraine’s Donbas region, the United States must exert as much pressure as possible,” Green’s statement reads.
It’s not the first time Republican lawmakers stand with Ukraine against Russia.
Republican lawmakers already asked Biden to apply sanctions against companies building the pipeline from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea, Nord Stream 2, as they felt Biden was failing to deliver the punitive measures expected by the Congress.
If passed, the bill will give another push to sanctions against Russia. As Green puts it in his statement, “the only action oppressive regimes understand is strength.”
Ukraine’s Foe of the Week: Marion Marechal-Le Pen, far-right French politician
Marion Marechal-Le Pen, heiress of the nationalist and xenophobic Le Pen dynasty who holds the reins of the National Rally in France, seems to have mixed up her flag the other day.
The vertical blue, white and red of her favorite French flag turned horizontal for her on May 9, when she went to Moscow to see the Kremlin’s military parade organised to commemorate the end of World War II alongside her party’s sponsors.
She was the only French politician there — and the first one in two years.
Marechal-Le Pen doesn’t hide her proximity with Moscow. Her post published on May 9 on Instagram is the latest show of support to Russia’s authoritarian regime.
In April 2019, she visited Russian-occupied Crimea, strengthening her ties with Moscow.
Marechal-Le Pen calls for closer ties between France and Vladimir Putin’s Russia and repeatedly condemned sanctions imposed by the European Union on Moscow over the annexation of Crimea.
Such public positions helped the National Rally secure an $11 million loan from a Russian bank in September 2014 to finance the party ahead of the 2017 presidential and parliamentary elections, a loan for which the party is being sued because it still didn’t pay it back.
Still, Marechal-Le Pen’s new Order of Lenin awarded by the Kyiv Post will suit her perfectly for next year’s parade on the Red Square.