The country should do more for Ukraine

Joseph Talarico, Staff Writer

The Russian invasion of Ukraine three weeks ago marked a turning point in European affairs. For the first time since World War II, a large-scale war is being fought between two states on the European continent.As the war enters its third week, it is clear that a Russian military victory is unlikely to occur in the near term. Rather, the Russian offensive has seemingly stalled. The key Ukrainian cities of Kharkiv, Mariupol, Dnipro, and the capital, Kiev, still stand. It is also clear that occupying Ukraine will be an extremely challenging task for the Russians. Ukrainians have been holding large demonstrations in the occupied city of Kherson, even in the face of possible Russian reprisals.

The Kremlin’s belief that the majority of Ukrainians would welcome Russians as liberators has turned out to be a falsehood.The United States, NATO, and most of Europe has voiced support for Ukraine. Multiple countries, including the U.S., have given diplomatic, humanitarian, and military aid to Ukraine.Why should the U.S. care? Ukraine is not a member of NATO, nor of the European Union. Yet it is a democratic and young nation. It is also the victim of an unjust war of aggression launched by its more powerful neighbor. It will set a bad precedent for the world if powerful countries are able to invade their weaker neighbors with little to no consequences.

The United States is the only country in the world that has the ability to lead and organize such a response against Russia.Multiple proposals have been made to increase the West’s support for Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky has repeatedly requested that NATO impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine. This would require NATO to destroy any Russian aircraft flying over the country. A no-fly zone would heighten the risk of a direct NATO-Russian war, and so it will likely never be implemented.More pragmatic, and just as effective, ways exist to aid Ukraine militarily. Poland has proposed to transfer its fleet of MIG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine, but this proposal has been rejected by the Biden administration.The U.S. should support the delivery of advanced weapons systems to Ukraine, such as the aforementioned jets, anti-aircraft, and anti-armor weapons.

The Ukrainian military has proven its skill in effectively using the weapons it has in its arsenal. Increasing the amount they have would give the Ukrainian military the chance to wear down the Russian forces to the point where Putin would have to seek a ceasefire.Diplomatically, the West must make it clear to Russia that relations will never be normalized and sanctions never lessened until Russia withdraws from Ukraine. The economic sanctions campaign must continue to be strengthened, and the U.S. should work to convince other key, non-western countries such as India and China to join the effort .Russia is a vast and powerful country. Yet its resources are still finite. The United States and its allies must continue to support Ukraine diplomatically, economically, and with military aid.Russia will eventually become exhausted and the Kremlin will try to seek a diplomatic solution and withdrawal from the country.