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You're reading: Brian Bonner: Ukraine’s Friend & Foe Of The Week

Editor’s Note: This opinion feature separates Ukraine’s friends from its enemies The Order of Yaroslav the Wise has been given by Ukrainian presidents 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 is still rotting on the Kremlin’s Red Square, 100 years after the October Revolution he led.

Mike Pompeo – the Order of Yaroslav the Wise

It’s always good when Ukraine finds friends in high places. On April 13, U.S. CIA Director Mike Pompeo called out Russian dictator Vladimir Putin as a liar.

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Brian, I enjoyed your piece about Ukraine, going to work, the hope people had after the revolution but still the country slowly slipping backwards. I have visited Ukraine a dozen times since 2014. I have taken thousands of photos of anything that can be photographed. But I have enjoyed the photos of the people the most. During my last trip in the underground shops at the heart of Kiev I was blessed to listen to a group of young people playing classical music. They were surrounded by people listening to the music. I've never seen such a large crowd at one of these performances. It was good, very good, and people filled the instrument cases as is the custom for such free music. Something was different this time for me. I wept as the music filled the area. People were silent when these young people played, applauding after each performance. It may seem nothing has changed as you said in your piece. But the same tough, resilient, humble attitude of these wonderful people was still there. It surrounded me and filled my heart as did the music. I decided not everything moves backwards in Ukraine.

Steven Griffin


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