Author: Orest Deychakiwsky

Dear Vova, I take the liberty of writing you an informal, somewhat stream-of-consciousness letter to let you know just what I think of you, and to suggest to you that your ugly war against Ukraine is not going too well, to put it mildly. But I suspect you already know that. I am an American...

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In thinking about Russia’s war against Ukraine, it is a mistake to equate the Belarusian people with the country’s long-time dictator, Alyaksandr Lukashenka. And it is important to recall the unprecedented eruption of massive Belarusian pro-democracy demonstrations that began two years ago. No doubt, Belarus’ illegitimate leader is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s accomplice in the...

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Three years ago this month, on July 19-22, 2019, I was in the southern Ukrainian port city of Kherson as an international observer to the Verkhovna Rada elections. Throughout my career at the U.S. Helsinki Commission, I had often visited Ukraine – including as an international observer to every national election but one since 1990. ...

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It has been my contention for years that Ukraine has had no better foreign friend over the course of the last century than the United States Congress. I saw this Congressional support firsthand during my 35-year tenure at the Helsinki Commission, a U.S. government agency composed mostly of Senators and Representatives. Ukraine was an important...

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Since Russia’s full-fledged war on Ukraine began on February 24, we have seen a transformation of the geo-political and security landscape the impact of which will be felt for many years to come. We have seen the best of human nature – the good and the decent and the noble – and we have also...

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February 24 will go down in history as the day the world changed. With Russia’s massive invasion, any lingering doubt about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s utter contempt for humanity, including his pathological obsession with Ukraine, has been completely erased. What we have seen take place since in Ukraine has almost a surreal quality, but the...

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Russia’s campaign of disinformation has been an integral component of Russia’s multidimensional, or hybrid, war against Ukraine and, indeed, its efforts to undermine the United States and its allies and partners. Let me touch upon just some aspects of the U.S. government’s response and how this campaign is playing out in the U.S. While there...

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Will Russia further invade Ukraine? Will it mount an all-out military assault, or just a limited operation? What’s going on inside the mind of Russian President Vladimir Putin? The short answer is that nobody knows. Perhaps Mr. Putin himself does not yet know, as he continues to gauge various factors, including the seriousness of the...

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Thirty years ago, on December 1, 1991, an event of monumental consequence occurred. With 84 percent of eligible voters in Ukraine going to the polls, an overwhelming 91 percent cast their ballots in favor of independence. They also elected Leonid Kravchuk as the country’s president. The emergence of the Soviet Union’s second largest republic as...

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It took great courage, fortitude and moral strength. Leonid Brezhnev’s Soviet Union did not take kindly to those who dared to dissent. Reporting and calling out the authorities on their violations of international norms – indeed, of their own constitution – was a dangerous occupation. Yet 45 years ago, on November 9, 1976, 10 brave...

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U.S.-Ukraine relations are back on solid ground. Despite U.S. President Joe Biden’s ill-advised decision earlier in the year to lift the waiver on Nord Stream 2 sanctions, the overall trajectory is in a positive direction, especially following Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s recent Washington visit.

Some words that came to my mind in describing the visit are “encouraging,” “reassuring” and “heartening,” especially after some of the turmoil, neglect and even exploitation that our bilateral relations experienced under our previous president.

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