Former U.N. ambassador discusses one year anniversary of Russian invasion
The one year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine is Feb. 24th. Since then, millions have fled the country while others remain refugees.
Former U.N. Ambassador to NATO and Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, Kurt Volker discussed the situation.
What are your thoughts on the anniversary of the invasion?
“So many of us were concerned that Ukraine would not make it for a year, and of course here they are. The obvious conclusions we can call today: Ukraine survives as a sovereign, independent European democracy, and Russia has proven it’s unable to take over Ukraine, and it’s going to remain a pariah state now as long as Putin is in power and its forces remain in Ukraine,” said Volker.
“We do have a rough year ahead; we can’t be complacent and it’s not time for a victory lap. Ukraine still has to win the war, and they are going to need more help to do that,” Volker further explained.
Why did Russia invade Ukraine?
“Putin believes that he has a right to reestablish the Russian Empire. He doesn’t believe Ukrainians are a different people; he doesn’t believe in Ukrainian state as a nation. He thinks Russia has a right to rule them,” said Volker.
Has he accomplished any of his goals so far?
“No, it’s really amazing; he hasn’t. He has taken a little bit of Ukrainian territory in the south and the east, particularly establishing a landline of communication that goes from Crimea to Russia itself. That’s southern Ukraine and he has controlled that corner, and that corner is now under threat. In the mean time, he has destroyed about half of his military capability, he has the economy under sanctions, he has lost Europe as a market for Russian oil and gas, he’s lost GDP, and he’s losing more this year even than last year. It has gone incredibly badly for Russia,” said Volker.
Volker goes on to name a few strategies that can help Ukraine and if they do so, “There’s an opportunity to see some changes in Russia’s attitude. Until then, Ukrainians just have to keep fighting,” Volker said.