16:42 Aug. 3, 2016
Where once he demanded a tougher U.S. response to Russian aggression, the GOP nominee now says he can live with a Russian Crimea
Donald Trump sounded like a supporter of Ukraine's territorial integrity last September when he spoke by video feed to a gathering of political and business elites in Kiev.
"Our president is not strong and he is not doing what he should be doing for the Ukraine," Trump told the group of pro-Western businessmen, diplomats, and politicians. "I don't think you're getting the support you need."
That view was in line with other statements Trump has made calling for a firmer Western response to Russian President Vladimir Putin's March 2014 annexation of Crimea and support for a pro-Russian separatist movement in the country's east, according to a review of Trump's public comments about Ukraine since 2014.
In recent days, however, Trump has struck a far milder tone. He now says he might recognize Crimea as Russian territory and lift punitive U.S. sanctions against Russia. The alternative, he warned on Monday, could be World War III.