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You're reading: Pavlo Bandriwsky: The invasion of Ukraine is about us

First
let’s do a brief historical recap. In 1991 the Ukrainian people by an
overwhelming margin, in excess of 90%, voted for independence from the Soviet
Union and, in effect, independence from Russia itself. Three years later, in 1994
the Ukrainian government was in possession of the third largest nuclear arsenal
in the world. In the interest of world peace and at the forceful urging of the
American government and its allies, Ukraine agreed to eliminate all nuclear
weapons from its territory. Its atomic arsenal, which was comprised of true
weapons of mass destruction, not merely some rusty tanks, a few grenades and
soviet machine guns, but in fact a nuclear arsenal which included
Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, long and short range rockets to propel
nuclear warheads, with the capability to devastate the planet Earth far beyond
anything we have ever witnessed. 

This
nuclear arsenal was voluntarily given up by Ukraine, even though at the time the
weapons were a firm insurance policy and rock-solid protection from foreign
invasion by countries or despots with imperialistic designs. What would compel
a sovereign nation to relinquish its weapons of mass destruction, making
Ukraine the first and only nation in history to denuclearize its defense
system?  Simply put, the United States of America gave its word that we
would support Ukraine should its territorial integrity, independence or
sovereignty be threatened. 

Twenty years ago Ukraine believed in world peace.
Twenty years later Ukraine still believes in world peace; however, its
territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty are under attack by virtue
of the Russian invasion in Crimea. The Ukrainian interim government and its
military forces have shown remarkable restraint in the face of brazen
Putinesque Russian aggression. In spite of having Russian machine guns pointed
at their heads and live rounds fired over them, Ukrainians have not evened the
score. As per an intercepted phone call between Vladimir Putin and one of his
commanders of the invading Russian force in Crimea, Putin is stunned that the
Ukrainians have not been provoked to retaliate, thus escalating the invasion to
the level of a massacre.    

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