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10 Months Since
A Globalized Battle for Democracy in Ukraine
KYIV, UKRAINE - Feb. 25, 2022: War of Russia against Ukraine. A residential building damaged by an enemy aircraft in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. Shutterstock.
2022 was a year defined by many things, but ultimately the most impactful development was Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. The outcome has featured morbid deaths, including 13,000 in Ukraine this month alone. The conflict has also distorted the global economy. Gas prices have risen as the U.S. and NATO nations attempt to block Russia’s ability to finance Putin’s invasion with oil and gas. One of the biggest indicators that reflects inflation’s deadly touch is oil prices. However, it's not just in oil. The supply of wheat has been under stress due to the war even though prices have fallen in recent months and yields are better than expected.
The war has been fought longer than Putin initially believed and that has had a corrosive effect on Russian society.
Also, the invasion has been watched eagerly by global authoritarians, most notably in China as the nearby island of Taiwan prepares for a potential “special military operation” by Xi Jinping. Taiwan’s semiconductor industry is of high interest to China’s designs for global hegemony, even though the U.S. is signaling this democracy is within its sphere of influence.
China uses the same kind of territorial language Putin uses suggesting that Taiwan is a part of China and not its own sovereign entity. In the most recent authorization of defense spending, however, Taiwan was arguably not a priority despite getting a boost in funding.
For the most part, Ukraine’s defense has been a test of the N.A.T.O. alliance, which finds its roots in the Cold War. Not only has Finland expressed interest in joining the alliance (unless Erdogan continues to make concessions), but the partnership seems to be operating as planned despite a tumultuous winter that is likely ahead. The allies have been working together to lessen Russian oil imports, including Germany, which took control of a Russian-owned refinery in September and recently rejected the notion the nation would buy from Russia.
Finally, the U.S. is led by an administration and, so far, a Congress that is willing to support Vlodymer Zelensky as his nation defends itself from an invasive and violent totalitarian. The importance of the individuals who have gone to fight alongside Ukrainians, as well as the power players who have arranged funding and equipment for Ukraine cannot go understated.
The U.S. is having internal democracy issues, but in the global arena, it can still set the agenda for global governance. The first impeachment of President Donald Trump is an example of how this man misused America’s global sphere of influence for self-aggrandizement. It signaled weakness within one of America’s oldest political institutions (the GOP) as a tax-evading grifter assumed the mantle of POTUS and abused the office as he did his constituents.
“They are not based on real facts:”
President Volodymyr Zelensky will be addressing Congress today, December 21, 2022, and the Biden administration is announcing that the U.S. will send a Patriot missile defense battery. Things have certainly changed since the last administration.
America must continue to support Ukraine.
Our actions and decisions have great global consequences because “great power requires great responsibility.”
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