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Did We Really Help?

US-Russian Relations and the US’ Position in the War
Did We Really Help?

“A few months ago, two-year-old Lisa was quietly eating dinner with her parents in their kitchen in Bakhmut, in Ukraine’s Donetsk region. It was due to be the family’s final evening at home before they fled the war – their suitcases had already been packed and lined up in the hallway. Then, suddenly, a rocket flew through the house. Inna, Lisa’s mother, has suffered a complex fracture of the left forearm and a craniocerebral injury as a result of the strike. Neighbors helped the family to reach a nearby bomb shelter. Several days later, after fleeing Bakhmut, they watched footage of their five-story apartment building collapsing. In Dnipro, Lisa was admitted to the intensive care unit in serious condition, with a shell fragment lodged in her lower back, a fracture in both of her bones in her right shin and numerous wounds. As soon as she was stabilized, she was transferred to the National Rehabilitation Center ‘Unbreakable’ of the First Medical Association of Lviv. Today, Lisa can no longer use her legs. Recently, she saw her first snow of the year, while sitting in a wheelchair far away from home.” (UNICEF Youngster on road to recovery after missile strike) Lisa’s family is among the countless who find themselves in a dire situation, forced to abandon their home due to the overwhelming fury of Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin has shown no regard for human rights or the rights of the nations to dictate their own future. What’s more, Putin has committed over 65,000 war crimes in Ukraine and the U.S. has done little to directly help Ukraine in the war. (Ukrinform President Zelensky: Russia violated about 400 international treaties since 2014)

“The war against Ukraine has brought U.S.-Russian relations to their lowest point in modern history. Russia is demonstrating that it has no regard for human rights, nations’ sovereignty and territorial integrity, or nations’ right to determine their own future.” (Carafano America and Russia are in a new kind of war) Following the years of peace, antipathy began to rise among anterior Cold War adversaries, Russia and the U.S. The cardinal contradiction among the countries was evident early on, throughout the serving years of President Yeltsin and has burdened relations since 2000, under President Putin. Moscow and Washington rarely agree on difficult matters but nothing is as schismatic as Ukraine. Russia has violated approximately 400 treaties since 2014 and has continued to disregard international agreements, further weakening its position. The relationship  between Russia and the US has changed significantly over the past 10 years and has been unsteady since the end of the Soviet Union. “We’ve had good correlations, and then we’ve had very low correlations and has been like that half a dozen times over the past 30 years, but the state of the US-Russia relation at this point is the worst it has been since the height of the Cold War.” (Dimmick and Ingle Interview with Matt Dimmick)

An inadequate amount of US support was sent to Ukraine. Biden has clarified that he intends to take a defensive approach rather than being directly involved with Russia. He demonstrates his commitment by providing remote assitance, such as sending weapons to Ukraine, among other actions, while deploying troups to exclusively neighboring nations. When Biden announced that he would not send troops, the Spirit of America intervened. Spirit of America is the only non-profit organization working with troops and diplomats to assist them in saving and improving lives. They are recognized by Congress and approved by the Department of Defense to work with deployed American troops. Furthermore, Spirit of America has provided 200 tons of protective assistance, including bulletproof vests, helmets, first aid, food, and more to Ukrainian soldiers and frontline civilian volunteers. Then in an interview with Matt Dimmick, Regional Program Manager – Europe, he explains that “In the grand scheme of things, we’re [US] probably doing too little in the sense that the kind of things that our interest in protecting US interests. There’s a lot to do in Ukraine and we’re probably not doing as much as we should.” (Dimmick) With that being said, Biden is more concerned with US interests than supporting Ukraine and isn’t expected to change.

Contrastingly, certain politicians and US citizens assert that actively participating in the war would inflict more harm upon the US than it would Russia. One compelling reason to support this viewpoint is that Russia possesses the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons, totaling 5,997, with the US closely following with 5,428 nuclear weapons. (ICANW) We wouldn’t stand a chance against Russia economically, and in the event of war, we would experience the devastating collapse of global food systems, resulting in over 5 billion people dying of hunger. (Thomson What would happen if there was a nuclear war?) However, the likelihood of Russia initiating a nuclear war remains extremely low despite the threats. Vladimir Putin adeptly employs the rhetoric of a nuclear threat to his advantage, firmly believing that other nations must heed his words as he asserts his willingness to utilize nuclear weapons. Using nuclear weapons would lead to the downfall of Putin and would result in a placement in his government, arrest, or even his murder. (Dimmick) With that, a nuclear war is unlikely in the near future.

The relationship between the United States and Russia is currently at its lowest point since the peak of the Cold War. Unfortunately, the US is not providing significant assistance to Ukraine in its ongoing conflict. There is a lot of evidence that supports this claim, and while it remains a topic of controversy, it is undeniable that the United States is failing to fulfill its obligations. You can support Ukraine and its citizens by making a donation, participating in protests in your city, offering accommodations and employment to Ukrainians, as well as volunteering or providing professional assitance. Go to www.rescue.org/article/how-can-i-help-ukraine to find out more about how to get involved. All in all, Russia has no regard for human rights, nations’ sovereignty and territorial integrity, or nations’ right to determine their own future. The US needs to do more to help Ukraine and needs to determine how we associate with Russia.

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