(CNN) – The Russian invasion of Ukraine It didn’t come out of nowhere.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has sparked tensions with the West over the past decade, annexing Crimea, interfering in US elections, poisoning a former spy on British soil and so on. At almost every step, former President Donald Trump reiterated the Kremlin’s rhetoric, forgiving Russian aggression and sometimes fully accepting it.
It is easy to forget that a few years ago, the President of Ukraine. Volodymyr Zhelensky, He was not known for his iron fist wartime leadership, but for being dragged by Trump into the American political scandal that led to the first indictment against Trump.
Experts say Trump’s actions have weakened Ukraine, split NATO, boosted Putin and helped us get back to where we are today. Although Trump is no longer in office, his influence lives on in the form of pro-Putin comments. In the conservative media And some Members of the Republican Legislature.
One of the main reasons why Putin was comfortable launching the invasion of Ukraine is how weak and destabilized the West has become in the five years since we attacked our elections in 2016, democracy has been dug up and political divisions have been sown, ”Garrett said. Groff is a historian and journalist with experience in national security and Cold War affairs.
Here are four things to keep in mind about Trump, Ukraine and Putin.
Trump sided with Russia when the conflict began
A popular uprising in 2014 overthrew the pro-Russian regime in Kevin, led by President Viktor Yanukovych, and replaced it with a Western-leaning government. Russian troops soon invaded the Ukrainian territory of Crimea, sparking an escalating armed conflict this year.
In a few weeks, Trump Elogio and Putin How he handled the takeover of Crimea and predicted that “the rest of Ukraine will fall … very soon.” Echoing the Kremlin’s campaign, Trump said In a TV interview The people of Crimea “will be with Russia”, that is a condition Personal promotion. One of his 2016 campaign aides Was falsely stated “Russia did not capture Crimea.”
“Trump called Crimea a Russian language because people speak Russian,” said Elena Petukova, a Kiev-based business intelligence agency based in Molfar, which “completely supports the Kremlin.” “According to this logic, the whole of the United States should belong to Great Britain.”
Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine They shot down a commercial plane in 2014Killed 298 people, Trump questioned Russia’s intervention. He embraced Putin’s denials even after US and European officials Will end in public Russia was complicit.
Paul Manford, the leader of the Trump campaign — a decade later Azoresranto and Yanukovych In Ukraine – In 2016, he joined a Russian spy in a covert plot to get Trump to help Russia control eastern Ukraine. Report by Special Adviser Robert Mueller. The plan imagined Yanukovych returning to lead a Russian puppet government in eastern Ukraine.
This pro-Russian rhetoric has not always become the policy of the Trump White House. His government, for example, has said sanctions will continue until Russia withdraws from Crimea. But the rhetoric gave Putin unexpected excitement in Washington and created tensions within NATO.
Trump’s mixed record in arming Ukraine
President Joe Biden has dramatically increased the flow of weapons To Ukraine, including anti-tank missiles, anti-aircraft systems, drones, guns and other weapons. Importantly, in a major shift away from the Obama administration refusing to send assault weapons to Ukraine, Trump first sent death assistance. Early stages of fighting in the eastern Donbass region.
But Trump has a verified past on this issue. As a candidate, his position is not clear. Trump campaign aides weighed in During the 2016 Republican National Convention, the GOP called on the United States to send deadly weapons to Ukraine to block language on the platform.
Y and 2019, Trump Nearly $ 400 million was put on hold in disgrace Military aid as part of his attempt to pressure Zhelensky to report bogus corruption investigations into Biden and his family’s businesses. The weapons in the banned aid package include javelin missiles, which have become an important part of Ukraine’s remarkably strong defense against Russian tanks.
This led to the first Inquiry into Trump’s dismissal, But was acquitted by the GOP-led Senate. Some Republicans who opposed his dismissal are now urging Biden to send more weapons.
“The Republican Party is Russia’s hawk party. For half a century, countering the Soviet threat has been one of its main organizational policies, “said Graf, who turned the story upside down and softened some Republicans on Putin. “
Trump launched a defamation campaign against Ukraine
Throughout his presidency, Trump has publicly and privately propagated misrepresentations about Ukraine. He rarely missed the opportunity to criticize the country. A respected diplomat testified before Congress that Trump believes that “Ukraine is a country of corruption, of terrible people.”
He dismissed the biggest lie Trump told about the 2016 election, the fact that Russia interfered in his victory. Instead, he lied that Ukraine had intervened and that he was a victim. These are lies Repeat that dozens of timesThey were a double boon to the Kremlin: they underestimated Russia’s shameful attack on American democracy, while at the same time slandering Ukraine.
Although leading Russian pundits such as Fiona Hill publicly warned that this was all a Russian campaign, these comments soon became a party hierarchy for Republican lawmakers and conservative pundits.
It broke with decades of hot American policy on Ukraine, especially when it came to leaders like Zhelensky who sought to turn the country west. Former President George W. Bush. Bush praised the Ukrainian people for opposing a fraudulent election in 2004, and Obama celebrated the 2014 coup that overthrew the pro-Kremlin government in Kiev.
Jordan Kons-Morse, a Northwestern University professor who was a Fulbright scholar in Ukraine, said, “When Trump pours water on praising Putin, or undermining Zhelensky and spreading lies about Ukraine, there are real implications for how this crisis will play out when he is president.” Shaping public opinion in a way that builds Biden’s hands. “
Trump reiterated to Zhelensky
Three years ago, Zhelensky was a rising politician who was exploited by Trump and his allies as part of a vicious attempt to insult candidate Pita. The relationship between the United States and Ukraine was pushed into the background and replaced with Trump’s personal and political needs.
Gelensky’s top priorities are exporting more U.S. weapons and meeting Trump at the White House. Senior U.S. diplomats in Kiev shared this goal. But they were stigmatized and sidelined, and a mob of Trump loyalists replaced them They made their demands clear: Zhelensky can get these things only if he announces that Ukraine is investigating Pita for corruption.
This heavy arm of the Trump team forced Zhelensky, in his first months in office, to maintain surprisingly hostile relations with the United States, which is said to be a key ally in his struggle against Russia.
“His plate was more than enough when Zhelensky came to power,” Cons-Morse said. “The country is already at war with Russia.
He is a political newcomer. And then on top of that, he was threatened by the most powerful man in the world, and he had to spend time and energy to deal with it. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. ”