I’ve been trying to understand what’s happening in Ukraine, but I’ve read contradictory views of the facts.

On one hand, I read that the people in Ukraine rose up against an illegitimate ruler when he chose not to accept a bailout offered by the Euopean Union. I read that Ukraine’s economy was in dire straits, and there were demonstrations for many weeks. I read that the government went berserk and shot many demonstrators, but eventually the government was overthrown. I read that Russia illegally invaded the Eastern part of the Ukraine, Crimea, to protect its interests.

Given the experiences of the Greek people, I wondered why any country would want to join the EU.

On the other hand, I read that the uprising was sponsored by neo-Nazi nationalists. I read that the demonstrators actually were shot by snipers hired by these nationlists. I read that one of their first actions was to outlaw the use of the Russian language, which is spoken by most of the people of Crimea. I read that the Russians had legitimate fears that Ukraine would be taken over by NATO forces, in opposition to an agreement when Ukraine split from the Soviet Union that it would not become an extension of NATO.

Every friend I have who lived under Russian rule, however, wants no part of it ever again.

Our country has a very spotty history in our choice of allies against our enemies. We supported Osama bin Laden in his battle against the Russians in Afghanistan. We supported Saddam Hussein in Iraq’s long war with Iran. Now, we’re offering support to this new government of Ukraine. Maybe, before we support it, we ought to make sure that we’re not making the same mistakes again. Maybe there are no good guys here.

Abby ShahnSolon

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