If all of Trump’s roads lead to Russia because of his foreign policy that supports Putin’s goals, many also go through Ukraine. Why does Ukraine matter? Ukraine is considered extremely important to US national security and to Putin’s. Trump’s actions and words throw doubt into Trump’s commitment to Ukraine and embolden Putin’s attempt to control eastern European former Soviet satellites. Ambassador Bill Taylor, currently the chief envoy to Ukraine, worried aloud in his deposition that he was afraid “Trump might be willing to trade away Ukraine’s interests as part of a grand bargain with Russia.”  

There is a bipartisan consensus in the Senate of those who believe keeping Ukraine’s independence from Russia’s domination is the first line of defense against the spread of Russia’s control of Europe. Control that may result in an eventual conflict involving the US. Support of Ukraine is America’s way of sending a message to Russia to stop its aggression into eastern Europe because the US would react to further incursions as they had reacted in Ukraine, giving that victim country full US support.

Trump’s attempt to force Ukraine to do him some favors to help his re-election campaign in 2020 in return for the restoration of critical military aid (the Javelin anti-tank missiles) benefits Russia by signaling to them he does not care that much about Ukraine’s independence.  One coming out ahead is Putin. Putin has wanted sanctions lifted on his oligarch friends and Russia itself imposed for interference in US elections and the grabbing of Crimea from Ukraine. It is a critical time for Russia and Ukraine. There is a hot war between Russian forces and Ukraine, a war that has claimed 13,000 Ukrainian lives. They are involved in negotiations to end the war but Ukraine is now in a weakened bargaining position with evidence of Trump’s shaky support. 

Ukraine is no small country. It is the largest country in the region with boundaries entirely in Europe and a population of 46 million. The country is strategically located bordering Russia and some NATO countries and others like Ukraine who are not protected by NATO’s mutual defense treaty.  Membership in NATO is a major deterrent to Russian’s control spreading throughout Europe. Nonetheless, one of the first newly elected Donald Trump’s expressed policy desires was to declare the mutual defense treaty of NATO obsolete and attempted to defund it. Fortunately, he failed because members of his own party and Democrats in Congress were in agreement and have supported both a strong NATO and lethal military aid to Ukraine. 

Testimony by State Department and the US ambassador  to Ukraine, Bill Taylor November 13 confirmed Trump used withholding military aid as a threat to force the new reform-minded Ukraine president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to go before microphones and announce he would re-open investigations into the Bidens and find evidence that Ukraine, not Russia, was to blame  for the 2016 US presidential election interference. Zelensky had been reluctant to interfere in US domestic politics, fearing he would jeopardize bi-partisan support in the US Congress. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland in Wednesday, November 20 open hearing confirmed the quid pro quo, using exactly those words:  Trump would give the Oval Office meeting Zelensky wanted to have for Trump to confirm continued America’s support of Ukraine, but only if Zelensky would commit to the investigations. However, Sondland was slow to realize the military aid/Javelin release also was dependent on Zelensky’s agreement to investigate the two conspiracy theories and announce it publicly.  Under questioning, Sondland agreed opening the Biden investigation would benefit Trump in 2020. The issue that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 elections, contradicts the findings of Mueller,’s investigation, all of the US intelligence services, and bi-partisan Senate committee findings. For more, visit www.mufticforumblog.blogspot.com