President Zelensky was in Washington this week to ask Congress for support.

It is right to stand by Ukraine in this war.  It is a situation of unusual moral simplicity.

Ukraine was attacked in violation of international law and is defending itself.

Russian occupiers in Ukraine commit war crimes, which cease only when territory is liberated.

Russian propagandists say the goal of the elimination of the Ukrainian nation as such.

And America has done well by supporting Ukraine.  It is a situation of unusual strategic gain.

Ukrainians are fulfilling the entire NATO mission by themselves, absorbing and halting a full-scale Russian attack.

Ukrainians are deterring a Chinese offensive in the Pacific by demonstrating how difficult such an operation would be.

Ukrainians are defending the notion of an international order with rules, making war elsewhere less likely.

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And there is an important way that doing right and doing well come together.

Ukraine was attacked as a democracy and is defending itself as a democracy.  It is historically unusual for a dictatorship to try to destroy a democracy by force.

That Putin's Russia is trying to do so reminds us that we are a historical turning point.  On one side of the scale are Russia's ruthlessness and resources.  On the other side are Ukrainians' sacrifice and our support.  Their sacrifice will be enough, if our assistance will be enough.

Historians will look back at these two years of war and marvel at how much the Ukrainians did for their allies.  I expect they will describe this turning point for what it was, including in its moral dimension. 

ISW Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, February 20, 2024
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ISW Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, February 20, 2024

Latest from the Institute for the Study of War.

What I can't predict is which way matters will turn, since that depends upon us, and what we do in the next few days.  We have an unusual chance to do well by doing right.  Will we take it?

Timothy Snyder is an American historian and widely acclaimed author and lecturer specializing in the history of Central and Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, Ukraine, and the Holocaust. He is the Richard C. Levin Professor of History at Yale University and a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna.

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Reprinted from the author’s blog: Thinking About. See the original here.

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Comments (2)

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Joseph Swanson
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

Part 2
With exception to WW2 the US needed 50 plus other nations to help it defeat little nazi germany, LOST ALL OF THEM! The greatest military power on the planet, virtually unlimited resources, almost a never ending supply of money, technologically advanced weapons...AND STILL LOST.
Now, on December 5th 2023 the 29th anniversary December 5th 1994 signing of the Budapest Memorandum...The US Speaker of the House throws a temper tantrum to find justification to NOT honor a legally binding agreement representatives from his nation's government signed their national word to.
But, this is the way of the white anglo saxon protestant. They profess from the highest mountain tops in the world about their noble wasp concepts of "truth, justice, integrity, ethics, and morality" YET fail every chance they get to practice these concepts.
The wasp has a friend in communist russians...both a culture of criminality. Their histories are littered with examples of breaking laws / international laws, treaties, agreements, and taking the land / resources of others by force and normalizing it.
Let this be a lesson to all...NEVER do business with the wasp OR communist russia.

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Joseph Swanson
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

Part 1
The reality of the offensive is the west especially the US is to blame for my nation's counteroffensive failing. Two of our soldiers were recently executed despite having surrendered to russian soldiers because...they ran out of ammunition. The west has blood of my people on it's hands just as communist russia does and the leaders of the west and communist russia should be put on trial in the Hague for war crimes against Ukraine.
Delay F16 fighter pilot training.
Delay F16 deliveries.
Delay ATACMS.
The US knew when UA's counteroffensive was going to take place and the delays coincided. They deny us the necessary equipment we have been begging for and refuse to give THEN complain how we are not performing any hollywood type miracles where wars are won in thirty minutes or less.
Hey US...how long did it take you to win WW2?
Korea?
Vietnam?
Iraq?
Afghanistan?

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