Recent events in and around Ukraine have improved substantially since the United States re-assumed its leadership role. In fact, on the battlefield, Ukraine has stopped the Russian onslaught in the northeast near the city of Kharkiv, and Ukrainian defense systems most recently knocked out 29 out of 30 Russian drones and missiles.

Ukraine was the primary subject of the G7 Summit in Italy concluding with a ten year Security Agreement signed between the United States and Ukraine. Ukraine was the main subject at a NATO convocation of defense leaders in Brussels.

Internally Ukraine stepped up, announcing further privatization of its state-owned assets which not only may bring in valuable currency but diminish governmental corruption, provided auctions are conducted in a uniform and transparent manner. Much of this may be difficult to evaluate at this stage, but will be more prime for analysis in the near future.


These issues are not only about Ukraine. Europe and the United States are also very much in focus. Europe because of the recently concluded European Union elections and the imminent parliamentary elections in both the United Kingdom and France, and the United States with elections not only for the president, but both houses of Congress in November. These are all sobering factors.

Even the recently signed US-Ukraine Security Agreement is quite elusive as it depends on the November elections. Specific matters such as the use of profits from Russian sanctioned capital for Ukraine’s reconstruction has at the very least moved forward with all parties agreeing. China, with its duplicitous policies towards Russia, remains not so much a conundrum, but more a work in progress, which hopefully may be swayed for the sake of its economy.

The United States recently imposed new sanctions on China. Whether they work is mostly an issue of economic opportunity. China needs the West to buy its goods. It also need Russia for energy supply and perhaps a politically strategic alliance against the United States. Strategic alliances between autocratic states are always ephemeral. In this case, America must be smart by not antagonizing the Chinese with additional tariffs, yet maintaining its resolve towards Taiwan. There are plenty of differences between Russia and China which can be exploited.


Two matters need to be addressed. One is the nonsense that Ukraine is not ready for NATO. The second is that Ukraine is abnormally corrupt.

In any event, the symbolism of Ukraine’s peril and its needs are very much apparent globally. Even some right-wingers within the European community have expressed their support in favor of Ukraine and much in opposition to Russia.

Ukraine despite the accusations of corruption has managed throughout its little more than 30-year history to excel in pursuing democratic processes, elections and a peaceful transition of power. In two instances there was a problem, but the people of Ukraine prevailed each time, and that is what democracy means.   

Two matters need to be addressed when analyzing Ukraine. One is the nonsense that Ukraine is not ready for NATO. The second is that Ukraine is abnormally corrupt.

The first has been debunked seriously over the last two years. Ukraine is the paramount military force in Europe today. The war has not only manifested Ukrainian military resolve but wherewithal as well. Ukraine’s soldiers are militarily ready and Ukraine’s defense industry has stepped up, manufacturing much of what it needs, including cost efficient weapons. Russia has proven to be somewhat of a paper tiger, primarily due to Ukrainian efficiency, the sacrifice of the entire population, and Western help with supplies. Ukraine will not be invited to NATO at the Washington Summit in July not because it is not ready, but because of politics, and in this case misguided politics.


Corruption is the other issue. Ukraine is a descendant of a Soviet society predicated entirely on corruption. In a Communist system boasting of equality there was an oligarchy known as the Communist party. All others had to fend for themselves. You could not survive unless you stole in one form or another. After only 30 years, and with much of the oligarchy remaining in place, Ukraine has made tremendous progress in this regard.

In 1997 I attended a Congress in Lviv of Ukrainian attorneys from all over the world. The biggest difference between former Soviet attorneys from Ukraine and those from the West was that the former insisted that the duty of attorneys was to protect the interests of the state, while the latter argued that the role was to protect the interests of the individual from the overreaching of the state. Such was a diametrically different understanding of the rule of law. That Soviet culture prevailed for a long time.


I am an American attorney. I am 72 years old. I remember that 200 years after the Declaration of Independence, law enforcement and low-level government officials were susceptible to bribery. Even today members of the Supreme Court and the Senate of the United States are open to bribes.

Let’s not stop there. While Donald J. Trump was in White House his daughter accrued more than a few trademarks in China. His son-in-law has become a billionaire with Saudi money since his White House tenure. The President himself reaped the benefits of having a hotel close to the White House. My message to American detractors of Ukraine on the issue of corruption is, look at ourselves and then cast the first stone.

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