Opinion | Ukraine Is Already Paying Us Back

Our investments in Ukrainian democracy are paying off. Now is not the time to pull back.

Ukrainian soldiers ride in a Humvee in Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, on Dec. 21, 2022. | Libkos/AP Photo

POLITICO – Opinion by DANIEL TWINING – 01/04/2023 04:30 AM EST

Daniel Twining is the president of the International Republican Institute (IRI), a nonpartisan nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing democracy worldwide. IRI has worked in Ukraine for nearly 30 years.

Ukraine is doing something no one thought possible: defeating the Russian army and, in doing so, crippling one of America’s most dangerous adversaries. This is primarily a credit to the fortitude, patriotism, and skill of the Ukrainian people. But it’s also something Americans can take pride in — and not just because of our decisive role supplying weaponry and training.

For decades, Washington has invested in supporting the institutions that enabled Ukraine to take a different path than Russia, a path toward democracy and independence and away from autocracy and subservience, and to tackle corruption to serve citizens instead of fostering kleptocracy to steal from them. As President Volodymyr Zelenskyy put it in his historic address to a joint meeting of Congress, U.S. support for Ukraine “… is not charity, it’s investment in global security and democracy.” continue reading

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