The prevailing mood in Ukraine has changed dramatically. It is more upbeat again and America has recaptured a good portion of its respect and adulation– which it recently was losing. Generally, Ukrainians are fans of America, so the mood swings with each considered victory. 

President Biden’s speech about quick delivery of more weapons was an added factor for optimism. 

Even with regard to Poland the feeling was palpable. Ukrainian-Polish friendship may prove to be more durable and resilient for the long-term, even on a societal level, as long as Ukrainian grain is not an impediment to Polish farmers and the Poles recognize that Ukrainians are dying to defend themselves as well as to protect Europe from the scourge of Russian imperialism. 

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The new Polish prime minister Donald Tusk continues to embody Poland’s good will and support. And Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski’s strong rebuff to Moscow this week and reaffirmation of his country’s respect for Ukraine’s territorial integrity, including regions that Poland once controlled, were greatly appreciated.

So, the sun has come out in Lviv which is a rare occurrence in April. The city’s markets have beenpreparing for Easter Week – which will begin in two days. Ukrainian baked goods and elaborate Easter eggs (pysanky) are displayed prominently.

Biden Reaffirms No US Troops for Ukraine
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Biden Reaffirms No US Troops for Ukraine

US President reaffirms his position on Ukraine: support will continue, but no American boots on the ground.

Certainly, the best of all Ukrainians are not slumbering, lulled into a false sense of security by apparent American goodwill and tangible support. They’ve learned a hard lesson not only over the last six months, when American aid was not forthcoming, but also from the past, when American F-16’s had been promised and not delivered for a year. Ukraine must rely upon itself essentially, producing its own ammunition, including drones. While the future is not bright, it is at least hopeful. 

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But the single most potent weapon Ukraine possesses is the spirit of its own people. I received a hopeful text from a Ukrainian soldier, a one-arm amputee from the Cherkasy oblast that he has been cleared for battle, this time not as infantry but as a sniper. 

But back to the US.

Following the vote in the House, I wrote to Congresswoman Victoria Spartz who had voted “nay” on Ukraine. I admonished her for her traitorous behavior towards her country of birth. She wrote back, disingenuously:

“The bill completely failed to include funding for border security, as promised. Additionally, the bill allocates $77 billion to Ukraine: of that, $61 billion in budget outlays and $16 billion in a blank check for drawdowns and loans for any foreign country or international organizations, only $13.8 billion is dedicated only somewhat to military aid. Further, the Spartz Amendment that would have eliminated the $16 billion blank check written to President Biden in this supplemental package ultimately failed… 

“It is important to know exactly where every American taxpayer dollar is spent, and this bill’s slush fund provides no ability to do so. Congress failed the American people yet again by failing to include any funding for border security in this package.”

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The Ukrainian American Congresswoman from Indiana fails to mention that she had manifestly and loudly opposed a bipartisan bill submitted by the Senate that did include border security and aid in one package. 

Congresswoman Spartz is not the only problem in the US Congress. There are also members Marjorie Taylor Greene, Jim Jordan, Elise Stefanik, Ted Cruz, J.D. Vance, Marco Rubio and others. Then there is the frightening specter of Donald Trump triumphing in November, unless he is incarcerated beforehand on state charges.

And so it goes. American military assistance to Ukraine has a two-prong effect. The first is the weaponry, which can be measured in dollars, and the second is the spirit lifting effect not only in Ukraine but throughout Europe which is immeasurable. That is something that the members of the US Congress who voted “nay” on Ukraine seem not to understand.Fortunately, most of our neighbors do.

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