Commentary by Alex Morozov
Today, Europe is on the brink of the biggest war since World War II. What is going on between Ukraine and Russia? As a Ukrainian-born American, I am often asked to explain what is going on. In fact, to understand this conflict, we need to examine history. Ukraine is an old country with a rich history. The city of Kyiv was established in the fifth century as the capital of Kyiv Rus, a mighty country ruling Eastern Europe for hundreds of years. Kyiv Rus founded Moscow in the 13th century, along with many other cities that eventually made up the Moscovia kingdom, which became known as Russia in the 18th century. As Moskovia grew into an empire, it coveted the rich land and resources of neighboring Ukraine. For centuries, this Russian empire has tried to occupy Ukraine and seize Ukraine’s assets for itself. Ukraine has fought back and gained its independence many times, but Russia continues to covet what it does not possess.
In 1991, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine was once again free. Today, the Russian occupation of Ukraine and the restoration of the old USSR is paramount for Russia’s internal and foreign policy. This latest violation of Ukraine’s independence began in 2014 when Russia started another war by invading and occupying Crimea and territories in eastern Ukraine. For eight years, Russia has waged war against Ukraine, involving hybrid war tools, ongoing cybersecurity attacks; Russian media generating propaganda, fake news and false reports; and snipers taking the lives of hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers — all targeted to destabilize Ukraine’s people and economy and to create panic and fear. The current Russian buildup of almost 200,000 soldiers on Ukrainian borders is the culmination of its ongoing campaign.
Years of this hybrid war has united the Ukrainian people and strengthened their patriotic spirit. Even my 82-year-old father, who lives in Kyiv, told me that he will not leave Kyiv, and if needed, he will fight. The Ukrainian army is among the top 20 armies in the world and grows stronger every day. The Ukrainian people are ready to defend their land and their country. In 2014, Ukraine stood alone. Today, NATO, the United States, Great Britain, Poland, Latvia and Estonia are helping Ukraine with modern defense weapons to assist in defeating the Russian invasion. My company, Swan Software Solutions, headquartered in Carmel, is deeply integrated in Ukraine. Even in the midst of this Ukrainian-Russian hybrid war, Swan is doing everything possible to protect people, assets and uninterrupted business processes for all Swan clients. This is the highest priority for Swan and hundreds of other U.S. companies with Ukrainian ties.
We all hope the big Russian invasion will not take place. U.S. and Western allies have already gained an upper hand in this proxy war when the United States rejected a Russian demand to shrink NATO and limit its power in Europe. The U.S. and Western allies continue diplomatic efforts and warn of the severe sanctions they will impose in case of invasion, which would lead to devastating losses for the Russian economy, Russian oligarchs and Mr. Vladimir Putin personally. The Russians can see that the United States and Western allies have united with Ukraine. This invasion will not be an easy walk for the Russian army and most likely would lead to unprecedented losses of human life. No one needs a bloody war. We hope this will stop the Russian force, lead to de-escalation and give peace to the region. I believe in the strength and resilience of the Ukrainian people. Both Ukraine and Swan Software Solutions will weather this storm. One thing I can state for sure: Eastern Europe and Ukraine are strong U.S. allies, and the Ukrainian people will always be thankful to America for all the help and support given in these tough times.
God bless America.