Vladimir Putin, the Ukraine, and student opinion

By Daniel Hernandez

Student Contributor


The European Union decided to delay the full implementation of a trade deal with Ukraine on September 12.  During the closed-door negotiation in Brussels, trade representatives from Russia, Ukraine, and the E.U. agreed to delay the agreement. Russia also got a say as to deciding Ukraine’s economic future. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, had a hard time defending his decision at the 11th annual Yalta European Strategy conference later that day.

The popular YES summit held this year in Kiev housed world leaders, former and acting politicians and global thinkers. “The Summit’s host Viktor Pinchuk, pointed out how nice it would have to make this concession to Russia before, not after, thousands of Ukrainians had been killed.” according to TIME magazine.Wesley Clark, former NATO commander, said “I’ve seen a mistake going to Iraq and I see a mistake not standing up to Putin.” European and American leaders agreed that there would be no military solution to Russian military aggression in Ukraine, the consensus among politicians is that a diplomatic solution should be sought out. “After two nuclear bombs were dropped on Japan, there was still a way for a peaceful solution,” Clark added.

Last winter when the signing of the Ukraine-European Union Association Agreement was postponed thousands of people took to the streets to protest, which quickly escalated into the violent revolution in Kiev, the annexation of Crimea and on-going war in eastern Ukraine.  I asked College of the Desert students what they think about Russian involvement in Ukrainian politics and students like Keisuke Shibata said, “Russia should not interfere in Ukraine’s politics.” Another student stated that Russia is being “unreasonable” and that, “Putin only wants to reform Soviet Russia.” When I mention to students about the comment that Clark said at the YES summit, most students didn’t believe in the same notion as Clark. Students believe that things should be settled with  “diplomatic negotiation first” and a student who would like to remain anonymous said, “I don’t believe in violence necessarily but I do believe in someone needing to do what they need to do to survive accordingly, but that does not mean causing harm to others.” As to what is going to happen next we’ll have to wait and see.


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