March 10, 2014 |
Last week, I wrote that the Ukraine crisis did not mean the return of the Cold War. Since then, I've received e-mails from readers confused about what it does mean and why it should matter to Americans. Their confusion is warranted. The Ukraine crisis is far more complex than a simple matter of East vs. West or Obama vs. Putin. So here are some answers to a few of the queries I've received. If the Cold War is over - meaning the end of an existential and global conflict between two superpowers armed with nukes - why should the United States involve itself with Ukraine?
March 7, 2014 |
German Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly told President Obama on Sunday that Vladimir Putin was out of touch with reality. When it comes to Ukraine, however, it's not just Putin who seems to be operating in a parallel universe. In Washington, this crisis is causing politicians from both parties to lose their grip. I don't just mean Republican hawks, who see an opportunity to bash Obama for foreign-policy weakness. Or Florida's presidential hopeful, Sen. Marco Rubio, who opposed authorizing force in Syria and now claims Russia's use of force in Crimea threatens to reverse "the hard-fought gains of the Cold War. " Democrats, too, have joined the chorus.
March 6, 2014 |
SOLOMIYA IVAKHIV is like many of her fellow Ukrainian natives living in Philadelphia: waiting on any development in her homeland and praying that Russian President Vladimir Putin pulls back his troops from inside the sovereign nation. And while she and others wait, members of the local Ukrainian community peacefully take to the streets in support of their people back home. They want "to show, to tell Mr. Putin to take his hands off Ukraine," said Ivakhiv, 33. "We will send a message to Putin to stop playing games [by]
March 3, 2014 |
Russia's apparent seizure of Crimea stirred new outrage Saturday from Philadelphia-area descendants of the former Soviet republic, and spurred plans for a demonstration to protest what they call the "aggressive military provocation. " "Events have escalated to an emergency level," said Mary Kalyna of Mount Airy, an organizer with the local group Razom, United for Ukraine, which is cosponsoring a 2 p.m. Sunday rally on Independence Mall. Also expected to demonstrate with banners and flags are members of the Belarus, Georgian, Polish, and Russian communities of Philadelphia.
February 25, 2014 |
At once saddened and inspired by historic events unfolding in Ukraine, demonstrators solemnly gathered Sunday in Center City to bring attention to the loss of life in the Eastern European nation - and to pray for peace. About 200 people assembled in Thomas Paine Plaza across from City Hall initially intended to mourn the loss of nearly 100 lives in Kiev. But news of the swift dismantling of President Viktor Yanukovych's government boosted spirits. "We are both mourning and celebrating," said Mary Kalyna, 59, an organizer who lives in West Mount Airy.
February 21, 2014 |
To understand why President Obama's Syria policy has failed so badly, look no further than the brutal regime crackdown on political protesters in Ukraine. The link is Vladimir Putin. U.S. officials foolishly banked on the Russian leader to squeeze Syria's dictator into a political compromise at Geneva peace talks. But Putin - who prides himself on displays of bare-chested machismo - disdains political compromise. He prefers strongmen, whether in Syria, Ukraine, or elsewhere, and will back Bashar al-Assad, no matter his war crimes.
February 21, 2014 |
THE RAIN, ice and lingering snow yesterday did not stop Ulana Mazurkevich. "We are here to show solidarity," Mazurkevich said. With about 20 cohorts, Mazurkevich - president of the Ukrainian Human Rights Committee, a Philly-area group - held a candlelight vigil on Independence Mall in support of rebels in Kiev who have been defying the Ukrainian government. They held signs: "Sanctions; No Going Back to the Gulag!" and "President Obama - Do Not Let Putin Dictate U.S. Foreign Policy.
January 27, 2014 |
The deaths last week of antigovernment demonstrators in Ukraine rocked the former Soviet republic and shocked the large Ukrainian immigrant community of Philadelphia and its suburbs. Pennsylvania has the nation's second-largest Ukrainian-descended population, after New York. New Jersey ranks fourth. "We were raised in households that told us to remember where we came from, cherish our heritage, and keep it going," said Zoriana Strockyj, 21, of Philadelphia, a Temple University junior.
December 6, 2013 |
ANYONE WHO has ever heard Michael Buffer intone "Let's get ready to rummmmmble" knows ring announcers can come up with some very clever and creative banter. If Vitali Klitschko gets his way, he may one day have the most unique introduction in boxing history. We can hear Buffer now: "Ladies and gentleman . . . In the blue corner, at 6-7 and weighing in at 243 pounds, the man known as Dr. Ironfist, the heavyweight champion of the world - and president of Ukraine - Vitali Klitscho-o-o-o-o.