: David J. Kramer: The best ways to help Ukraine

17:36 Apr. 29, 2016

David J. Kramer: The best ways to help Ukraine

The statue of Goddess Bereginya is seen during the commemoration ceremony marking the anniversary of the killings of demonstrators during uprising around Independence Square in Kiev on February 2014. (Getty Images)

Scrap the Minsk agreement, hold the line on sanctions on Russia, and keep pressuring Ukraine's leaders to clean up corruption

The Ukrainian people have made tremendous sacrifices over the past two years, including more than a hundred killed during the Maidan revolution in 2014 and nearly 10,000 killed fending off Vladimir Putin's invading forces in eastern Ukraine, David J. Kramer writes in his article for the American Interest

They have endured disappointment with their own leaders and frustration with the West, which, Ukrainians believe, has fallen short in providing the support their country needs.

Read also 10 things you need to know about Ukraine's crisis

Twice in the past 12 years, Ukrainians formed massive protests against corruption and authoritarianism. The first time was in 2004 against efforts by then Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych to steal the presidential election.

The second time came in 2013–14 over then-President Yanukovych's massive corruption and reversal under Russian pressure to sign agreements with the European Union. No other country in the world can match what the Ukrainian people have done in the past dozen years.

Read also United Nations calls for immediate release of its staff member held captive in Donetsk

The people of Ukraine deserve full Western support. Accordingly, Western leaders need to reassure them that sanctions against the Putin regime will remain in place as long as Russian continues to violate Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The United States and European Union also need to adopt a tough-love approach with Ukrainian leaders to make clear that failure to deal with corruption will come at a price.

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