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The Current State of Support for Ukraine

Yurii Stechyshyn is a 2023 McCain Global Leader from Ukraine. He is a representative (deputy) at the Lviv District Council, a member of the European Democracy Youth Network (EDYN), a digital consultant with a focus on the FinTech area, and a fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) Policy Designers Network program (PDN). 

A few months ago, the U.S. Congress unfortunately did not pass a bill for additional assistance for Ukraine to defend itself and keep its economy afloat from Russia’s unprovoked aggression. I will not dig deep into why it happened or discuss whether it was the right or the wrong thing to do. I have no legal and moral justification for interfering in American politics. Americans know what is best for them. But I would like to help explain why we, Ukrainians, are sure it’s in the best interest of the United States to support Ukrainian democracy against tyranny.

At the risk of sounding like a cliche, if Ukraine fails to win, dictatorships and major U.S. adversaries will achieve moral victory and a boost to launch illegal wars elsewhere. I do not want to speculate whether Taiwan will be the next target, but it’s likely to be. Top U.S. adversaries, such as North Korea and Iran, are Ukrainian adversaries, too, as they supply Russia with arms to keep the unjust war and kill the Ukrainians by striking at civilian infrastructure.

Support for Ukraine has been astonishing so far, and we are grateful for every U.S. dollar received. As a great friend of Ukraine, Sen. Mitch McConnell said, “American support for Ukraine is not charity. It’s an investment in our own direct interests.” Yes, it is. It’s an investment, indeed. Russia’s military power is degrading; it is, by far, not the “second army in the world” anymore, a cliche the Russian president used to say to threaten the world. And all this degrading happens without U.S. troops being involved in active combat. Weakening Russia helps deter China, too, a country that, according to U.S. polls, possesses the greatest threat to America. This is, again, without active U.S. combat involved.

It’s important to keep explaining to American taxpayers that their money is dedicated to supporting democracy and the international security of the United States. But Americans need something tangible, too. The tangible fact is support for Ukraine helps create jobs for ordinary Americans. It’s not a paradox. Even though money is designated to Ukraine, a significant portion remains on American soil to pay for new arms equipment, train Ukrainian soldiers within the U.S., invest in new warfare know-how, and support local arms manufacturers.

Without a doubt, the 2024 U.S. presidential race has begun. And we definitely need to avoid Ukraine being a trade-off between the two major parties. Ukrainian diplomacy must keep working closely both with the Republicans and the Democrats: only bipartisan support can sustain turbulence, as well as the attacks from the radicals. With that said, I welcome the administration’s decision to ask Congress for appropriations for Ukraine to last through the U.S. presidential elections.

I want to pay tribute to the late Sen. McCain, who would have been the strongest voice advocating for the Transatlantic Alliance and Ukraine being an integral part of it, capable of defending itself.

Slava Ukraini!
Glory to Ukraine!

DISCLAIMER: McCain Institute is a nonpartisan organization that is part of Arizona State University. The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not represent an opinion of the McCain Institute.

Yurii Stechyshyn, 2023 McCain Global Leader, Ukraine
Publish Date
December 11, 2023