Members of the local Ukrainian-American community are watching closely negotiations between the U-S and Russia that seek to stave off a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Stephan Wasylko and Lubomyr Zobniw are alarmed that 100,000 Russian troops have reportedly amassed along Ukraine’s border.
Wasylko is a retired U-S diplomat who served in Ukraine for 3 years and Zobniw is the branch Chair of the Ukrainian Congress Committee.
They say that if Russia is allowed to invade Ukraine again, it would set a bad precedent for other authoritarian regimes such as China.
“Ukraine has already been invaded twice. They occupied Crimea and annexed it illegally. They launched an incursion of insurgents in Eastern Ukraine. Now, they’re surrounding Ukraine on 3 borders. It’s really a frightening and difficult time that here we have a neighbor to Ukraine, Russia, who does not observe any of its international agreements,” says Wasylko.
Both men say giving in to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s demand that Ukraine never become a part of the NATO alliance would be an appeasement similar to what Europe did with Adolf Hitler in 1939.
They believe it would embolden Putin to invade other former Soviet republics.