Equipment, training pay off for Ukraine

A little known or discussed aspect of our nation’s relationship with Ukraine is that we essentially have been training the Ukrainian army for eight years, which is about the time big, bad Russia sought to reannex the Crimean Peninsula.

Russian henchman Vladimir Putin wanted Crimea back, so he invaded it to take it from Ukraine.

It then fell to administrations led by Barack Obama, Donald Trump and then Joe Biden to continue to train the Ukrainians in using the sophisticated equipment it had shipped to them to fight the Russian aggressors.

All that training — plus President Biden’s insistence on additional equipment — is paying significant dividends as the Ukraine army is showing signs of beating back the aggressors who launched another invasion more than seven months ago.

The Russians are retreating from territory they seized.

I cannot stress this point enough, which is the amazing unity that President Biden was able to build among the nations comprising the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, an alliance formed to protect Europe against potential aggression from what once was known as the Soviet Union.

Putin, therefore, helped Biden keep NATO intact by threatening the alliance if it interferes in what the Russians call an “internal dispute.” It is nothing of the sort. Ukraine is as sovereign a nation as Russia.

That unity has buoyed the Ukraine armed forces as they have fought back hard against the Russian aggressors.

With that I intend now to give Joe Biden considerable credit as he has responded with resolve and determination in assessing what is plainly obvious … that Vladimir Putin’s criminal invasion cannot be allowed to stand.

It stands to reason, too, that Ukraine is drawing strength from the immense aid that is pouring into that country as it battles a once-fearsome military power.

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