Two-Minute Take: Update on the War in Ukraine

Learn more about David J. Kramer.
David J. Kramer
David J. Kramer
Executive Director, George W. Bush Institute and Vice President
George W. Bush Presidential Center

David J. Kramer, the Bradford M. Freeman Managing Director of Global Policy at the Bush Institute, argues that the West should continue to focus on providing military assistance to Ukraine rather than calling for cease-fire, territorial concessions, and neutrality.



Amid real serious fighting in the eastern part of Ukraine as Russia continues its invasion and attacks against Ukraine in a wholly unprovoked and unjustified manner, the Ukrainians continue to put up a heroic and brave front in defending their country and defending their freedom from Mr. Putin. At this same time, we are hearing growing calls from the West for a cease-fire, for a peace agreement, for territorial concessions, for neutrality – all of these things.


I think it’s important to understand that will have a very demoralizing and discouraging effect on the Ukrainians. On the contrary, that will have a boosting effect for the Russians, as the Russians see this as a sign of weakening unity and solidarity on the part of the West and they view it as an opportunity to outlast the West ability to stand with Ukraine.


These decisions are for the Ukrainians to decide. After all, it is the Ukrainians who are fighting and dying for their country [and] for their freedom, and to make sure that they can live in peace. Ukrainians more than anyone want the fighting to end, but that is because Mr. Putin invaded their country for no reason whatsoever. So for the West, it seems to me we should stop talking about neutrality or cease-fires or peace agreements or territorial concessions. Ukrainians are the ones who should be making these decisions and instead we should focus on providing the military assistance that Ukraine needs to defend its country.


They’re not asking us to fight their battle for them – they’re asking us for the help and assistance to defend their country more capably. We also need to continue to help Ukraine with economic reconstruction assistance as that country tries to recover from the terrible devastation inflicted by Mr. Putin and Russia’s invading forces. So for the West we’ll stop talking about concessions – let’s stop talking about neutrality, let’s stand with Ukraine, and make sure that we help Ukraine succeed in this epic battle.