Reputation and security are at stake


Dear Editor,

Nick Santoro in his Jan. 3 “Try to Imagine Gaza” letter to the MT editor is asking us, Americans, to imagine the horror that “is happening at this very moment somewhere in Palestine/Israel.” It is hard to imagine, and most of us probably can’t. Unfortunately, people of Ukraine can, as they have been living through this horror for almost two years after Russia invaded their country. The documentary “20 Days in Mariupol,” which won an Oscar last Sunday, told the horrific and true story about the early days of Russian invasion. The brave nation is fighting for its survival. The Ukrainian Army, with the help of western weapons, is fiercely defending its land and its people. The steady military support of its friends in the West is crucial. With this help being on hold in the House of Representatives, is Putin encouraged that he could win?

When in 1994, according to the Budapest Memorandum, Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons, the third largest arsenal in the world, in exchange for the assurance of its sovereignty and territorial integrity, the United States, England, and Russia were the guarantors. Russia proudly agreed to store these nuclear warheads. 

Twenty years later Putin’s Russia illegally annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine. On Feb. 24, 2022 Russia, under the same presidency, invaded Ukraine, butchering its population and destroying its economy, infrastructure, and cultural heritage. Ironically, Russia still has veto power in the UN Security Council. Seriously? The aggressor country, which once agreed to provide security to its neighbor and had violated the agreement multiple times, is on the SECURITY Council?

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

When it comes to supporting Ukraine in its patriotic war against Russia’s occupation, let me rephrase this: Fool me once shame on you, fool them twice — shame on US — the United States. Fooled once by Russia, Ukraine shall never sign any agreement forfeiting anything, let alone, its territories. It will be a tragedy to submit to an evil Russia and the mass murderer Putin.  But it would be a shame for the United States not to fulfill its role as a guarantor to Ukraine. The world and Russia are watching. The reputation of our country is at stake. Not just our reputation, but our own security is at risk.

Svetlana Phillips,


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