Misconceptions about Ukraine Cloud Western Policies in the Russo-Ukraine War

This Argument appears in Vol. 75, No. 2, "War in Ukraine: The World Responds" (Spring/Summer 2023).

By Dennis Soltys


Harvard historian Douglass North once said that until he had studied a particular country intensively for six months, he did not feel entitled to offer advice.[1] His approach was attentive to the historical and cultural context of specific cases, without which, he asserted, little that was sensible could be said. This attitude is a welcome counterpoint to generalist scholars and officials, who often have only a schematic understanding of target countries and who are misled by an overburden of half-truths and stereotypes that lead to inappropriate policies. In this regard, Ukraine is hardly at all the country that it is assumed to be in the West. Some explanation is in order.

In the spirit of North, this paper begins with an account of Ukraine’s history and culture, which helps account for the cohesiveness of Ukrainian society and its ability to resist the current Russian military invasion. The paper disputes the common notion that Ukrainians and Russians are culturally similar. The main corollary is that Ukraine is a considerably better prospect for Western political and security investments than is often believed—even as these investments are now increasing. The presence of a cohesive and democratic Ukraine opens up vistas for new politics within both Eastern and Western Europe.

History of Western Perceptions of Ukraine

One reason why Ukraine long experienced negative stereotyping by North American and Western European scholars is the country’s geographical location, namely within Eastern Europe, a region that was often disparaged en bloc by Westerners as roiling with ethnic nationalisms. This view ignores the fact that much of the instability in Eastern Europe was caused by external powers, especially Germany and Russia. Another reason was the apparent lesson of WWI and WWII that nationalism was, in all cases, a bad thing. The Western democracies comfortingly considered themselves to have transcended from raw “ethnic nationalism” to a more inclusive “civic nationalism.” Owing to its location, Ukraine was assumed to fall into the raw category, and Western policymakers still tend to discount Eastern European viewpoints and concerns about Russian imperialism and manipulative energy policies.

This situation was abetted by the marginalization of Ukrainian Studies, which, if they existed at all within Western universities, were considered to be outside the academic mainstream. Western university programs were preponderantly Russo-centric, and few doctoral candidates studied the non-Russian republics of the USSR or learned their languages.[2] While the situation was relatively better in North America, Ukraine at the time of its independence in 1991 was practically unknown among the universities and policy communities of Western Europe.[3]

Consequently, Westerners tend to subscribe to home-made false analogies, or be prone to narratives put out by the USSR and now the Russian Federation, alleging that Ukrainians are provincial, exceedingly corrupt, and untrustworthy. Those citizens seeking independence are accused of extremism if not outright fascism. A signal expression of this attitude was George Bush’s 1991 “Chicken Kiev” speech to the Ukrainian parliament, when Bush warned against “suicidal nationalism” and advised his audience to reconcile with Moscow’s rule.[4] This was followed in 1994 by the Clinton administration’s pressure on the ostensibly irresponsible Ukrainians to acquiesce to the disadvantageous Budapest Memorandum, which did not substantively address Ukraine’s security concerns.

Reconstructing the Narrative about Ukraine's History and Ethnic Identity

But if Ukrainians really were as intolerant as depicted, then how could one explain the solidarity of the country’s ethnic communities and social groups, and the country’s impressive popular mobilization against the Russian aggression of the last nine years? The answer is that Ukraine was never as it was described by its detractors. Nor does the country fit into some kind of Eastern Slavic civilizational template, as famously asserted, for example, by Samuel Huntington.[5]

Perhaps surprising to many, the history and politics of Ukraine are conducive to pluralism and civil accord. Whereas the great historical project of Muscovy/Russia was the “gathering of the Russian [sic] lands,” a centralizing and coercive project, the Ukrainian project was the more positive “Cossack freedom” and equality of nations. It is important to note that the historical center of the Ukrainian nation-state was the Cossack republic, formed in the Dnipro region of the 15th to 18th centuries. The republic was populated mostly by Ukrainians escaping from Polish serfdom, but also by refugees from Poland proper, the Russian empire, and other parts of Europe. Accordingly, the Ukrainian nation-state was always multiethnic.

It is also important to note that after the sack of Kyiv by the Mongols in 1240, the Ukrainians were always resource-poor and weak in relation to their Polish, Russian, and Turkish/Crimean Khanate neighbors, who were establishing their own states and dividing Ukrainian territories among themselves. Obviously, a people struggling to regain statehood from three sides could not afford to alienate others. Therefore, Ukraine has always been characterized by ethno-religious diversity and usually by civic inclusiveness through the search for social allies. Inter-ethnic relations were usually better in times of the country’s liberalization or autonomy. In such conditions, Ukrainians and Jews, for example, could engage in a direct dialogue instead of being played off against each other by the ruling foreign regime of the day. Seeking broad support, the short-lived Ukrainian National Republic of 1918-1920 offered cultural autonomy to Poles, Russians, and Jews. Moreover, Jewish units served within the Republic’s army.[6]

The pattern of inclusiveness was repeated during WWII, when partisans from many nationalities served within the Ukrainian Insurgent Army against Nazi and Soviet tyranny. This pattern continued within the Gulag system up to the close of the Soviet era, when Ukrainians cooperated with others in the dissident movement. When Rukh, the national-democratic Movement for Reform and Reconstruction, was an intellectual project in its infancy in the Gorbachev era, some 40% of its members were Jewish.[7] For their part, Crimean Tatars played very visible support roles during the Orange Revolution of 2004 and Revolution of Dignity in 2014. Both of these revolutions provided an occasion for social groups to reach out to each other and learn political trust. The result of this bridging activity was support from all ethnic and religious groups—except for the Moscow branch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The further result is the cohesive and democratic civil society that marks Ukraine today. In Ukraine’s case, democracy has worked the way that democracy should: to reduce social conflict and create civil accord.

Ukrainian Identity Under Attack

A tiresome Kremlin saw alleged discrimination against ethnic Russians. But the 1989 Soviet census showed that 56% of ethnic Russians in the country as a whole were married to a Ukrainian, while 53%, 63%, and 73% of Russians in Crimea, the south, and the east respectively revealed that they had close relatives who were Ukrainians.[8] Such figures do not speak of intolerance by Ukrainians for Russians. The majority of ethnic Russians, especially the younger and better-educated, increasingly identify with the Ukrainian state and its European aspirations.[9]

However, even otherwise fairly balanced Western commentators routinely refer to the right wing of Ukrainian politics as “far-right”—but leave unexplained what exactly is far-right about the demand that public servants should know Ukrainian or that foreign movies should be subtitled and restaurant menus be printed in the language of more than 80% of the population. In the 2014 presidential election, the nationalist Freedom (Svoboda) Party candidate obtained only 1.8% of the national vote,[10] while in the parliamentary election the party received 1.2%—far below the level of support for right-wing parties in Western Europe.[11] A striking example of the country’s political secularism was the election to the presidency in 2019 by a 73% margin of the Jewish Russophone Volodymyr Zelensky, whose electors were evidently more interested in his anti-corruption promises than his ethno-religious background.

It should be noted, on the other hand, that in regions where Russian news media, the Russian Orthodox Church, and Moscow-supported local governments and oligarchs predominated, such as Crimea and the Donbas, left-wing extremism and Russian anti-Ukrainian stereotypes were still strong, though declining. At the height of the “anti-junta” emotion stirred up Kremlin propaganda during the Revolution of Dignity in 2014, 33% of the population of the Donetsk province expressed rhetorical support for the separation of Ukraine. The figure for Luhansk and Odesa was 24% and for Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhia 17%.[12] Hard support was probably even less. Separatists could not have won fair referendums in these regions, nor likely in Crimea.

To be sure, the dislike for Ukraine of this hard section is genuine and deep; nothing a Ukrainian state could do would totally assuage accusations of discrimination. In fact, Kyiv’s rule in the Donbas was always very light, as the region was dominated by holdover communists and the political machine of pro-Moscow Viktor Yanukovych, who in 2010 parlayed his Donbas base to become president of the whole country. All governments in Kyiv heavily subsidized the inefficient coalmines of the region in an attempt to maintain employment and public welfare, in contrast to terminated subsidies under market economics on the Russian side of the coal basin.[13] Thus, the hard Donbas separatism was not motivated either by grievance against purported discrimination or economic policy, but by opportunity for local political entrepreneurs to rise against Kyiv and the party apparatus of Yanukovych himself, under cover of armed Kremlin support.

Ukrainian Culture is Not Russian

Turning from Ukraine’s domestic politics to its relations with Russia, a common error that many Western observers make is to assume a closeness between Ukrainian and Russian culture and identity that was never in fact the case. The belief is that the Ukrainian and Russian languages are similar, that both nations adhere to the same Orthodox religion, and that they share many historical experiences. The alleged similarity of the two nations seems somehow to legitimize the rule of Russians over Ukrainians. However, the cultural differences between the two deserve to be catalogued briefly.

The most profound difference is that while Russians are privileged members of a dominant imperial nation, enjoying full cultural and language rights, Ukrainians were long members of a subjugated nation. This immediately implies a different conception of the relation between civil society and the state in each country. Whereas a Russian state brings benefits to Russians and is legitimate for them, for Ukrainians, the Russian state is identified with repression. The motive of national liberation does not apply to Russians; therefore, there is little likelihood of a color revolution in Russia. Of course, the current invasion of Ukraine by the Russian army creates a vast gulf between the two nations. Attitudes have shifted the most away from Russia in the eastern parts of Ukraine, where Russian bombs fall on all social categories equally.[14]

There are large institutional differences, for where Ukrainians have an independent parliament, regular elections with changes of government, and a free press, Russians have none of these—obviously not caring enough about these to struggle for them. Ukraine also has a strong civil society, while Russia does not. There are also large differences in values, for while Ukrainians’ values pull them toward democracy and Europe, Russians’ values pull them toward authoritarian government and empire.[15] In the run-up to the Revolution of Dignity, Kyiv saw the largest pro-European Union demonstration in history.

The differences of values extend to religion. For Russians, the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) is the Universal or “Catholic” Church. But in Orthodox tradition, each country is supposed to have its own institutionally-independent Church, as Ukraine did until the 17th century, when Moscow liquidated the Ukrainians’ native Church. This Church has now been restored and is much larger than the now-discredited Ukrainian branch of the ROC.[16] The restored Orthodox Church of Ukraine, the eastern-rite Ukrainian Catholic Church, the Roman Catholic Church, various Protestant denominations, and Jewish and Muslim denominations can all be called national-liberation or “Reformation” denominations, inasmuch as they can imagine an ecclesiastical or political order not centered on Moscow.[17] Therefore, Huntington[18] was off the mark in consigning Ukraine to the religious and civilizational sphere of Russia. He was wrong to believe that an Orthodox country was culturally inimical to European-style democracy, and he overlooked the authentic democratic values to which Ukrainians historically aspired, as subjugated people would naturally do. In other words, Huntington, like others, was wrong in imputing imagined similarities to Ukrainians and Russians.[19]

Ukraine's Social Modernization is Not Matched in Russia

Given their inequality of power, the two nations never held a political dialogue or had a “mutual enrichment of cultures,” as Soviet academics liked to assert, but only a Russian monologue conducted through Russia’s propaganda apparatus and bowdlerized educational system. Previously, in some cities of Ukraine, speaking Ukrainian in public could open the speaker to the demand to “speak white” and refusal of services, in a better case, or even to physical assault in a poor case.[20] As a political minority, Ukrainians learned to defer to the Russian ideological apparatus in silence, for persistence in arguing for cultural rights could lead to political trials. But paradoxically, ethnic insults defined the Ukrainians’ identity more clearly, for if they were called village simpletons or treasonous nationalists, then their distinct identity was affirmed.

In conditions of the Russian monologue, Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin currently both follow and promote a script alleging that Ukraine is “not a real country,” and that the population is held in fear of a fascist elite that eagerly serves as a pawn within the aggressive designs of the U.S. and NATO. The large majority of Russians in the Russian Federation likewise genuinely believe in similarity between themselves and Ukrainians.[21] But Russians know very little about Ukrainians, for the latter were never considered worthy of attention, as might be the case for “authentic” nations such as Poles, Czechs, or Germans. Well into the 1990s, there was not a single program of Ukrainian Studies anywhere in the Russian Federation. The monologue character of Ukrainian-Russian relations explains the Moscow establishment’s colossal error in assuming that Russian troops would be welcomed with flowers in their invasion of February 2022.

Unfortunately, some Western officials combine with Moscow to deny Ukrainians agency and even existence. Accordingly, during the Minsk I and II negotiations in 2014, Russian sensitivities over alleged NATO expansion and national security were considered to be legitimate, and Ukraine was frequently called upon to make territorial concessions. However, as at Budapest, less was said about Ukrainian security concerns, when Westerners of the realist school in effect tried to erase Ukrainians from the geopolitical map. Similarly, commentators from the rational actor school could depict the Russo-Ukrainian conflict as an American or NATO proxy war, in disregard of the Ukrainians’ agency and sacrifices demonstrated in nine years of armed defense and two revolutions—first the Orange Revolution in 2004 and later the Euromaidan or “Revolution of Dignity” in 2014. But in fact, the deeper issue here is not even Moscow’s allegations of discrimination or perception of Ukraine as a stalking horse for NATO—but rather social modernization, which Ukraine has achieved and Russia has not. For Ukraine to achieve social modernization, it was necessary to achieve political independence from Russia. The sticking-point is that Moscow does not recognize Ukraine’s right to independence.

As in earlier history, Ukraine’s recent modernizing experiences have made a mark. For example, in both revolutions, the army and police[22] largely refused to support the attempts to create authoritarian regimes in Kyiv in 2004 and 2014. Being demographically representative of the public, the army showed that it would not oppose the public or fire on it. This presents an unusual case, where the largest coercive institution in the country stands for liberal and democratic values, comparable to the American armed forces in the American Revolution. The Ukrainian army can properly be called a people’s army, and is the institution that has the highest approval rating with the public. Lacking the support of the army, any putatively authoritarian government in Kyiv, like that of former president Viktor Yanukovych, would find it necessary to negotiate with and cede power to civil society. Consequently, an authoritarian regime in Kyiv is precluded.[23]

Relatedly, it is worth noting that the Russian aggression beginning in 2014 required Ukrainian civil society to “crowd source” its neglected army by raising funds for soldiers’ personal equipment such as radios, night vision goggles, and proper clothing. An issue that soon raised itself was corruption and misappropriation of the funds raised. Therefore, volunteer groups established oversight into resources collected and delivered, with the result that the largest category of civic organizations is in the area of defense. Following from this civic demand, the Ministry of Defense was the first governmental ministry to adopt a computerized system of supply tendering, intended to reduce corruption. Thus, somewhat incidentally, the army plays an important role not only in defending democracy but also in anti-corruption.[24]

Western Policy Toward Ukraine

Western policy toward Ukraine has at different times been both sound and misguided. In the wake of the country’s fairly-conducted referendum vote for national independence in 1991, Western countries took the correct, principled position that Ukraine’s statehood should be recognized. A significant amount of economic aid and technical assistance was offered, a part of which was properly conditional on progress toward domestic reforms. Unfortunately, as mentioned, the Budapest Memorandum and the Minsk negotiations were colored by negative stereotypes, unfamiliarity, and Russian narratives that contributed to poorly-conceived Western policies. Ukraine, consequently, was shut out of NATO and the European Union and left in a security and civilizational gray zone that later made the full-scale Russian invasion possible. Other doubts about Ukraine’s deservingness abound. Most recently, Kremlin disinformation that American weapons systems were appearing on the black market found a resonance within a section of the Republican Party in the United States.[25] This resonance occurred even though American arms shipments are continuously monitored, as is the technical performance of these arms in the field. When entertained, disinformation reduces support for further assistance, while actual corruption should be treated firmly.

Western policy has tended to be the most inappropriate in the security and military spheres. A notable example is the West European dependence on Russian gas, especially by Germany. Large gas purchases in Western Europe in effect financed the Kremlin’s war machine while externalizing the cost of defending Europe’s eastern wall to the under-equipped Ukrainian army. Deluding themselves with the notion of constructive engagement through mutually beneficial economic trade, Germany and its partners went ahead with the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline over the objections of Ukraine, Poland, and the Baltic countries[26]—which had a better understanding of Moscow’s imperial habits. Germany has subsequently admitted its gas dependence to be a mistake,[27] and Bill Clinton now regrets that he helped push Ukraine into a short-sighted form of the Budapest Memorandum.[28]

Further, Western countries did not answer Ukraine’s repeated pleas for modern air defense systems and heavy weapons. If these had been provided in time, the Russian invasion might have been averted, and in any event current civilian and military Ukrainian casualties would be lower. Almost to this late hour, the West had deterred itself from providing heavy weapons for fear of provoking a Russian nuclear attack.[29] The effectiveness of nuclear intimidation only incentivizes the Kremlin to repeat its threats. In the meantime, numerous moonscaped Ukrainian cities have already experienced the destructive equivalent of nuclear strikes, resulting in high civilian casualties, homelessness, and annihilation of communal infrastructure in what is more and more obviously a genocidal war.

As for the Ukrainian army’s performance, it should be remembered that the army evicted the Russian invaders from the Kyiv and northern regions entirely by its own efforts, and mostly with domestically-made weapons, which lasted for the first four months of the war. Though the Western anti-tank Javelins, NLAWS, and Gustavs were given much media play and were important, while the anti-aircraft Stinger missiles were more important, the preponderant amount of Russian equipment was destroyed by the Ukrainians’ own artillery, which had a shorter range and much less ammunition. This placed a premium on the Ukrainians’ courage and tactical ingenuity and demonstrated again that they are not proxies in an “anti-Russian” Western war, but are motivated by home defense.

The Ukrainian army rightly receives much admiration, but perhaps more credit is owed to the civilian population, which has borne the brunt of Russian terror bombing. The civilians show no hint of submission, but instead demand with growing determination—on the order of 87% in a February 2023 poll—that their country must be restored to its internationally recognized borders of 1991, including Crimea, even if this means continuation of the war.[30] This is an increase from 70% in September 2022,[31] showing that terror bombing of civilian areas has had its opposite intended effect. Any settlement short of full restoration of occupied territory would be a de facto victory for Russia, which would be an abrogation of international security norms and in any case would not bring a lasting peace. Kyiv has a moral obligation to liberate the population in the occupied territories, and would lose legitimacy if it did not attempt to do so. Therefore, the next thing the collective West should prepare for is a complete Ukrainian military victory. The provision of heavy offensive weapons, resulting from the Ramstein-8 and -9 meetings of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, is evidence of belated progress in this direction. The challenge is now to speed up deliveries and maintain a consensus.


In all, it may be reiterated that Ukraine has deep democratic traditions and a cohesive civil society. Events have also made it clear that Ukraine is politically secular and modern. These factors help explain the strength of the country’s resistance to the Russian invasion. Ukraine has amply demonstrated its deservingness on both the civic and military levels and shows every promise of serving as a constructive and responsible member of the European community of nations. With a proper understanding of Ukraine’s history and culture, Western diplomacy could make fewer errors and instead enhance opportunities for increasing security and welfare in Europe.

[1] “Douglass C. North, Maverick Economist and Nobel Laureate, Dies at 95,” The New York Times, November 14, 2015, https://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/25/business/economy/douglass-c-north-nobel-laureate-economist-dies-at-95.html.

[2] Artem Shaipov and Yuliia Shaipova, “It’s High Time to Decolonize Western Russia Studies,” Foreign Policy, February 11, 2023, https://foreignpolicy.com/2023/02/11/russia-studies-war-ukraine-decolonize-imperialism-western-academics-soviet-empire-eurasia-eastern-europe-university/.

[3] Todd Prince, “Moscow’s Invasion Of Ukraine Triggers ‘Soul-Searching’ At Western Universities As Scholars Rethink Russian Studies,” RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty, January 1, 2023, https://www.rferl. org/a/russia-war-ukraine-western-academia/32201630.html.

[4] George H. W. Bush, “Chicken Kiev Speech,” delivered to a session of the Supreme Soviet of Ukraine, August 1, 1991, https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Chicken_Kiev_speech.

[5] Samuel Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 1996).

[6] Henry Abramson, A Prayer for the Government: Ukrainians and Jews in Revolutionary Times (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999).

[7] Seminar of Bohdan Krawchenko, author of Social Change and National Consciousness in Twentieth-Century Ukraine (Edmonton: Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta, 1987).

[8] Paul Pirie, “National identity and politics in southern and eastern Ukraine,” Europe-Asia Studies 7 (1996).

[9] For a more detailed view of Russian public opinion, particularly since the beginning of the war, see Denis Volkov and Andrei Kolesnikov, “My Country, Right or Wrong: Russian Public Opinion on Ukraine,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, September 7, 2022, https://carnegieendowment.org/2022/09/07/my-country-right-or-wrong-russian-public-opinion-on-ukraine-pub-87803.

[10] Interfax-Ukraine, “General Official Results of the Rada Election,” November 11, 2014, https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/233747.html.

[11] Anastasiya Ryabchuk, “Right Revolution? Hopes and Perils of the Euromaidan Protests in Ukraine,” Debatte: Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe 22, no. 1 (2014): 127-134.

[12] Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, “How Relations between Russia and Ukraine Should Look Like? Public Opinion Poll Results,” March 4, 2014.

[13] A. Swain and V. Mykhnenko, “The Ukrainian Donbas in Transition,” in Re-Constructing the Post-Soviet Industrial Region – The Donbas in Transition, A. Swain ed. (London and New York: Routledge, 2007), p. 7-46.

[14] Mansur Mirovalev, “What’s behind pro-Russian attitudes in eastern Ukraine?” Al Jazeera, April 21, 2022, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/4/21/whats-behind-pro-russian-attitudes-in-easternukraine.

[15] See, for example, William M. Reisinger, Arthur H. Miller, Vicki L. Hesli, and Kristen Hill Maher, “Political Values in Russia, Ukraine and Lithuania: Sources and Implications for Democracy” British Journal of Political Science 24, no.2 (1994), 183-223.

[16] For more on the current state of Orthodox churches in Ukraine, see Konstantin Skorkin, “Holy War: The Fight for Ukraine’s Churches and Monasteries,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace | Carnegie politika, April 11, 2023, https://carnegieendowment.org/politika/89496.

[17] For more on religion in Ukraine, especially in light of the war, see David Masci, “Split between Ukrainian, Russian churches shows political importance of Orthodox Christianity,” Pew Research, January 14, 2019, https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2019/01/14/split-between-ukrainian-russian-churches-shows-political-importance-of-orthodox-christianity/.

[18] Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations.

[19] See Dennis Soltys, “Shifting Civilizational Borders in Orange Ukraine: Dilemmas and Opportunities for Western Diplomacy,” International Journal 61, no. 1 (Winter 2005-2006): 161-178.

[20] For more on the historical status of Ukrainian, particularly during the Soviet period, see Michael S. Flier and Andrea Graziosi, “The Battle for Ukrainian: An Introduction,” Harvard Ukrainian Studies 35, no. 1-4 (2017-2018): 11-30, https://www.husj.harvard.edu/articles/the-battle-for-ukrainian-anintroduction.

[21] Volkov and Kolesnikov, “My Country, Right or Wrong.”

[22] For more on the police response, see Masha Gessen, “The Cops Who Would Save a Country,” Foreign Policy, September 8, 2015, https://foreignpolicy.com/2015/09/08/cops-that-would-save-a-country-ukraine-patrol-police-maidan/.

[23] See Dennis Soltys, “Democratic Centralization and Institutional Development in Ukraine from the Maidans of 2004 and 2014: A Holistic Interpretation,” Journal of Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society 6, no. 2 (2020): 283-320.

[24] For more on military reforms since the 2014 revolution, see Adrian Bonenberger, “Ukraine’s Military Pulled Itself Out of the Ruins of 2014,” Foreign Policy, May 9, 2022, https://foreignpolicy. com/2022/05/09/ukraine-military-2014-russia-us-training/.

[25] Connor O’Brien, “Pentagon tells Republicans ‘no evidence’ that weapons for Ukraine are being diverted,” Politico, February 28, 2023, https://www.politico.com/news/2023/02/28/pentagon-republicansweapons-ukraine-00084779.

[26] Steven Pifer, “Nord Stream 2: Background, Objections, and Possible Outcomes,” Brookings Institution, April 2021, https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/FP_20210412_nord_ stream_2_pifer.pdf.

[27] Patrick Wintour, “‘We were all wrong’: how Germany got hooked on Russian energy,” The Guardian, June 2, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/02/germany-dependence-russian-energy-gasoil-nord-stream.

[28] Graig Graziosi, “Bill Clinton reveals regret over Russia-Ukraine deal that saw Kyiv give up nuclear weapons,” The Independent, April 5, 2023, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/bill-clinton-blame-ukraine-russia-nuclear-b2314999.html.

[29] Anne Applebaum, “Fear of Nuclear War Has Warped the West’s Ukraine Strategy,” The Atlantic, November 7, 2022, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/11/russia-ukraine-nuclear-war-fearus-policy/672020/.

[30] Radio Liberty, " 87% українців проти територіальних поступок Росії, навіть якщо через це війна триватиме довше – опитування,” February 23, 2023, https://www.radiosvoboda.org/a/news-opytuvannia-terytorialnipostupky/32284595.html.

[31] R.J. Reinhart, “Ukrainians Support Fighting Until Victory,” Gallup, October 18, 2022, https://news.gallup/poll/403133/ukrainians-support-fighting-until-victory.aspx.