In spite of the evidence that Russia’s aggressive war with Ukraine is accompanied by documented war crime, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis categorized it as a “territorial dispute”.  We can pigeon-hole his comments as a display of ignorance and a lack of humanity, but many of DeSantis’ supporters back his views and will say that, if he “misspoke” as a state governor, his unfamiliarity with matters of foreign policy should be excused.

Frankly, if you’ve been to Florida met many of Florida's residents, particularly from DeSantis’ Republican base, you would not be surprised by his attitude.

DeSantis has not yet formally announced that he will run for the Republican nomination. He is nevertheless already unofficially campaigning against, perhaps, the most primitive former U.S. incumbent ever and trying to appeal to that same “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) base of voters. His recent, purported, views on Ukraine are supported by a number of Putin “acolytes” including Tucker Carlson, the conservative political commentator, Tulsi Gabbard, a right-wing former Congresswoman and other fellow- travelers.

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In 2014, when a Congressman, DeSantis was critical of President Obama for his failure to act against Russia's aggression in Crimea and the Donbas. His present posture is another example of the political expediency, political amnesia and a lack of integrity that will appeal to the “Trumpshevik” base which makes up almost 50% of the Republican party.

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Johnson leads a Republican majority in the House of Representatives and has refused to put a vote on a supplemental funding bill in which Joe Biden has asked for $61 billion in assistance for Ukraine.

DeSantis behavior is symptomatic of the current U.S. political climate. He is an unprincipled politician within a party that relies upon the support of an electorate that is increasingly accused of being devoid of principles or morality. After all, he is vying for the leadership of a party where the current de facto leader may be indicted for crimes well before the election but promises to run irrespective, and who is currently being accused of malfeasance by a former pornographic actress. What a country!

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If Ukrainian Americans Republican supporters, of which there are many in Florida, have any remaining dignity they should immediately take DeSantis to task. He will play up to them for the sake of their support. It is obvious that DeSantis has no really strong feelings on this issue and, if he changes his position to appease his Ukrainian American electorate, at least he will stay with it until it next becomes expedient to change.

Whether we like it or not, President DeSantis will never be as supportive of Ukraine as President Biden has been. Ron DeSantis is a viable presidential contender and, at least he is significantly more astute, better educated and, perhaps, more principled and morally composed than his predecessor.

We have to hope for the best for Ukraine in 2024. Some commentators say the best scenario will be for Trump to be disbarred, for DeSantis to return to Tallahassee and Joe Biden re-elected. In the meantime, Ukrainian American Republicans need to step up and engage with Ron DeSantis so that he can be re-educated in the realities of Ukraine and the threats Russia poses.

The views expressed in this opinion article are the author’s and not necessarily those of Kyiv Post.

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Comments (6)

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AliBee
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Wow, calling this an "opinion piece" is one thing, but this is pretty disgusting writing. Honestly, claiming that "if you've been to Florida [and] met many of Florida's residents... you wouldn't be surprised" is simply ridiculous. In Florida as well as everywhere else in the US, Ukraine continues to enjoy broad support from across the political spectrum. The piece then continues to indulge in the most crass character assassination of DeSantis (and of course Trump, who seems to be considered fair game by leftist globally), showing the partisanship of the author.

Frankly, the KP has been publishing way too much of this stuff lately, basically US domestically oriented polemics, that have more to do with the author venting his or her hatred against Republicans rather than being relevant to Ukrainian-US relations and perspectives. Today's ridiculous article though is a sort of high water mark for this foolishness.

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Blip
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As an American Citizen who has been around for a while, it is wrong to call DeSantis unprincipled. He has almost daily, effectively resisted those who would undermine the Constitution and traditional values, and he has taken a lot of heat from the Socialist leaders of the Democrat Party, and the press, which largly leans Socialist. DeSantis is wrong on Ukraine; very wrong. Perhaps he will learn his mistake. As for Trump - Yes he was a primitive, but despite his weakness in speaking, etc, his policies produced economic prosperity in the US, that had not been seen in years, and he was not a war monger. Yes, Trump is wrong about Ukraine. Biden is correct about Ukraine, but he is also starving Ukraine for the weapons it needs, because he is using Ukraine as a pawn to bleed Russia dry - problem is, he is also bleeding ukraine dry by not supplying them with what it needs to win. I doubt he cares about Ukraine at all. Biden is the most corrupt politician since I was born over 70 years ago. He is ok for Ukraine, but a devisive, self enriched crook, in nearly every other aspect. Trump was primitive, at least verbally, but nobody owned him, and he surprised many in his decisions. There is a reason Russia didn't invade Ukraine during the Trump administration - They were afraid of him; he was not predictable like the common batch of US Politicians.

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michael walters
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Any politician who states Ukraine and Russia's war is a “territorial dispute” shows their true colours, ignorance and their lack of knowledge outside their own surroundings and complete lack of empathy (the ability to understand and share the feelings of another)....How could anyone believe in and trust this person.

Blip
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@michael walters, Because he is correct on most issues, but Ukraine. I support Ukraine. I hope, as this governor learns more about Ukraine, he will modify his position. By the way, "territorial dispute" is a factor, as some Ukrainians prefer to be part of Russia (enough to cause a problem). This in no way justifies Putin's desire to invade or destroy Ukraine as a nation. It is simply an excuse for him to perpetrate his evil lust for power and territory. You seem to favor the current POTUS, and his administration. Biden clearly picks and chooses which Amendments of the US Constitution he supports and which he wishes to destroy. And he seems to have greatly enriched himself through the deals his son has made with China and other countries. In fact, it is likely that China owns him, because of these deals, which "the big guy" has made quite a bit of money off of. Pretty good for a guy on a government pay check. Unfortunately, he is just one of many, on both sides of the aisle. I appreciate why Ukrainians like Biden - He offers (limited) support, and Ukraine is about survival. In reality, he cares little about Ukraine, because he will not give Ukrainians what they need to win. So what happens is Russia bleeds dry, while Ukraine does the same. Ukraine is simply a pawn in a bigger picture. I grieve for Ukraine; I want it to win, but unless Biden changes his approach, it will be a negotiated draw, and Ukraine will loose a lot of what it hoped to retain.

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L. Martin
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Why are comments never published? Trolls I get it. But sober thoughts deserve to be read.

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L.Martin
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Perfect answer for a prospective Republican Primary contender. He has to beat Trump. Why get in a debate over something that very well could be over before the primary season starts.

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sereda
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This article is rubbish, full of half-truths and miss leading. The situation is much more complex and convoluted then this article represents.

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