Ukrainians: ‘Calm’ and ‘prepared’

They tell me they approve of President Joe Biden's tough talk, but they also want to see his rhetoric matched by a more proactive policy that sends Ukraine more weapons before a Russian attack.

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Columnists

February 8, 2022 - 8:33 AM

The Wall of Remembrance in Kyiv, with photos of 15,000 Ukrainian men and women soldiers killed by Russian and pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine since 2014. (Trudy Rubin/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS)

KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s Memory Wall of the Fallen Defenders stretches down a city block. It is covered with rows of portraits of the 15,000 young volunteers and bearded veterans who died fighting the Russians over the past eight years.

Most Americans don’t realize that Moscow’s current threat of war against Ukraine — which is surrounded by more than 100,000 Russian troops — is a continuation of the battle that began in 2014, when Russian forces invaded the Ukrainian territory of Crimea.

Until now, the war has continued mostly in eastern Ukraine (which borders Russia), where Moscow organized and armed a proxy force in 2014 that still occupies much of the Donbas region. Many of the faces on the memory wall fell on that front long before Vladimir Putin began threatening Kyiv.

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