Help, or Watch?

Unfortunately, we already know which President Barack Obama will select, as he’s made clear in another venue.

The cause for concern this time is the economic strait in which Ukraine finds itself.

The contraction in Ukraine’s economy accelerated to 17.6% in the first quarter compared with a year earlier, the State Statistics Service said Friday, hammered by a conflict with Russia-backed separatists in its eastern industrial heartland that has slashed industrial output.

Obama—and Europe, to be fair—have already refused to supply Ukraine with the wherewithal to defend itself militarily against Russia’s invasion and support of the rebels in eastern Ukraine and Crimea. Indeed, his Secretary of State already has surrendered both areas to Russian occupation with his offer to lift economic sanctions against Russia if only they will agree to go no further.

If we—or the Europeans, but they seem even more timid than our own administration—don’t start providing serious economic aid to the Ukrainians, Russia won’t need further military advances in order to gain control over all of Ukraine. Ukraine’s economic collapse will hand what’s left of the nation to the Russians without any further ado.

Instead, we should be arming the Ukrainians and ratcheting up the sanctions on Russia, driving the Russians into economic collapse. It’s anybody’s guess, though, whether Ukraine can hold out for another year and a half at which point we might have a more responsible and capable White House.

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