News Release

Ukraine Crisis: Overlooked Facts


Publisher and editorial director of The Nation, Katrina vanden Heuvel is president of the American Committee for U.S.-Russia Accord. She just wrote the piece “Putin’s Invasion.” While repeatedly condemning Putin’s actions, she writes: “NATO expansion provided the context for this crisis — a fact often ignored by our media. … Putin’s demand — essentially that the status quo, i.e. Ukraine remain outside of NATO — be codified was scorned as violating NATO’s ‘principle’ of admitting anyone it wanted.”

“One immediate result was to encourage parallel irresponsibility in Ukraine. President Volodymyr Zelensky promised voters, when he ran for and won Ukraine’s presidency in 2019, that he would pursue a path to peace and end the war in the Donbas. Upon taking office, however, his government refused to implement the essential provisions of the 2015 Minsk Protocols — signed by Russia, Ukraine, France, Germany, and the EU — that essentially would have guaranteed Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity in exchange for Ukrainian neutrality.

“Now, sadly, Russia’s illegal actions will embolden the hawks and armament mongers on all sides. Already armchair strategists are calling for doubling the US military budget, for grasping the ‘strategic opportunity’ to bleed Putin in Ukraine while pushing the Europeans to build up their military forces. …

“What is needed is not a rush to arms and to hawkish bluster, but a return to intense negotiations — at the UN, at the OSCE, and among the signatories to the Minsk Protocols. It is time to recognize that there remain options that, if pursued in good faith, could bring the current crisis to a peaceful conclusion.”

The Nation also recently published the piece “Neo-Nazis and the Far Right Are On the March in Ukraine” by Lev Golinkin.