Moscow possesses the ability to launch an amphibious operation on Ukraine’s coast to isolate Mariupol and the southern Ukrainian coast all the way to Odesa from Ukraine. It did this by steadily reinforcing its ground, air, and naval forces in and around Crimea.
McCain’s moral leadership was captured well during his final meeting with Boris Nemtsov, leader of Russia’s main opposition political party and chief critic of President Vladimir Putin. Only a few months before Nemtsov’s assassination in Moscow, I organized a meeting for McCain and Nemtsov in Vilnius, Lithuania.
There McCain showed his prescience when he inquired about Nemtsov’s safety due to his steadfast criticism of Putin as a murderer, thug, and KGB agent. Nemtsov looked McCain directly in the eye, smiled and said, “You know, Senator, Putin really hates you.”
Today, numerous billboards and TV ads remind us of the beginning of the election campaign, or to be more precise, of presidential candidate and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. The word “new” is abundant in all of her advertising: “The New Deal,” “New People’s Constitution,” and even “New Peace Plan.” The word “new” seeks to evoke the most positive associations in voters and make them forget that she is far from a novice. Tymoshenko was first elected from the Kirovohrad district to the parliament in 1997 with a fantastic 92.3 percent of votes.
Ukraine’s volunteerism has served as the foundation for the country’s new civic identity. It has also been seen as problematic, establishing a parallel, second state as an antidote to the weakness and ineptitude of the state.
As the military has rapidly professionalized and attained the capacity to fight and supply the front, the activists of the Euromaidan have moved to fill another critical gap. They are now supporting combat veterans. After four years of war, there is still no systematic provision for Ukraine’s veterans beyond monetary benefits.
In April, I sat down over coffee and sweets in Kyiv with investigative journalist Oleksa Shalayskiy, editor-in-chief of Nashi Groshi (Our Money), who explained in detail how corruption functions in Ukraine.
Shalayskiy knows what he’s talking about. His watchdog organization regularly uncovers examples of corruption that the top anticorruption organizations use in their public crusades.
But Shalayskiy is anything but loud. Soft-spoken and detail oriented, I had to lean forward multiple times and ask him to speak up.
Shalayskiy said the problem is that officials still believe they must steal.
However, things changed this week.