What should the U.S. and the international community do about the situation with Russia in Ukraine?

Readers express doubts about Russia and Ukraine.

Posted on March 7, 2014 at 7:07 p.m.

Street Talk for March 8, 2014 in Middlebury

Question: What do you think the U.S. and the international community should do about the situation with Russia in Ukraine?

Tim Vaughn, sales consultant, Goshen

I think they need to fight for freedom. I think if the Ukrainians want America to be involved to help them keep their independence, Americans and European countries need to help them in each way they possibly can. When it comes to war or conflict, no, I don’t agree upon that, but I do agree upon helping a country like Ukraine get from a country that just wants to rule with an iron fist. The people are tired of the restrictions. They don’t have the freedom of choice with the independency they have. Putin is trying to get the Soviet Union back to where it once was. I don’t think you can stand up to them to a point. Russia is going to do what Russia wants to do, but at the same time as Americans we have lost our credibility with threats and no follow through. And I’m not talking war, I’m just talking sanctions. There’s a lot of talk, but there’s no action.

Jody Modl, cabinet maker, Elkhart

I always feel a little bit uncomfortable when the United States starts getting involved in other countries business. I know we have a responsibility to maintain peace and help more unfortunate countries and their civilians. Follow-up question: Had you thought that the Cold War was over? No. I don’t think Russia has ever thought that. I think they’ve always maintained the idea that some day they would be a prominent force again, and I think Putin is definitely trying to make that happen to make a statement. I think he has always wanted to make that statement. I think now with the uncertainty with Kiev it’s his time to make that statement; that Russia is going to become a power again.

Dave Perkins, elementary teacher, Goshen

I think they need to get the two leaders (the new leadership in Ukraine and Putin) together, which is going to be very difficult. They need to start talking. How can we resolve this? What needs to happen? But I don’t think that they’re going to resolve it for some time. I don’t think that the United States is going to be able to change it. Follow-up question: Had you thought that the Cold War was over? I had thought so, yes. Is it coming back? Is it still going on behind the scenes? I don’t know.

Lanny Kimes, retired RV supervisor, Middlebury

I think about what they’re doing right now - putting pressure on them - I think Putin realizes, uh oh, I shouldn’t have done this. I think he’ll back down. Russia wants to hold that bottom corner (the Crimean Peninsula) on account of the oil and the Black Sea. That’s a Russian area down there with the people. Follow-up question: Had you thought that the Cold War was over? No. I always thought it was still in the background just like before. Follow-up question: Do you think it will ever get back to the worst days of the Cold War? I don’t think so. Not like it was during the Cuban Crisis when I was in the military.

Jennifer Cook, sales & dental hygienist, Middlebury

I don’t know enough to give an educated answer because I go by the Biblical terms. I do know that it is prophesied that Russia is going to be involved in the end times. (Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 makes it clear that Russia will lead an invasion against Israel in the latter years near the end of the age.) They will have a main part in the end times as far as Christian religion goes. I think all the nations should get together. It shouldn’t be just the U.S., I think all the countries should get together - in a perfect world, sir - in a diplomatic matter and settle it. But they don’t abide by that anymore. They don’t care. I really do think there should be a diplomatic answer - a diplomatic gathering with the U.N. It doesn’t have to come to war.


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