“[Putin’s] not going into Ukraine, okay, just so you understand. He’s not going to go into Ukraine, all right? You can mark it down. You can put it down. You can take it anywhere you want,” declared Donald Trump during an interview with ABC News.
And even when journalist George Stephanopoulos informed him that Putin is already in Ukraine, he refused to admit his mistake.
“Okay — well, he’s there in a certain way,” replied Trump and added, “But you know, the people of Crimea, from what I’ve heard, would rather be with Russia than where they were.”
Let’s start from the beginning and see what is wrong with his statements (spoiler alert: there is plenty that is wrong).
We have already observed how Trump did not really pay attention during English classes, and now we wonder whether he attended a geography class at all. Crimea is part of Ukraine, and Russia invaded Ukraine, not more than 2 years ago. It was quite a big news back then, a news you would assume a man thinking to run as President should have paid attention to.
It would also be interesting to know what Trump means with “[Putin’s] being there in a certain way”. The way Putin is in Crimea is a way that cost more than 10.000 lives and left behind more than 20.000 wounded on both fronts. Oh, and one Malaysian Airline plane carrying 298 passengers and crew members was shot down during the Russian-Ukraine conflict.
Trump also seems to “have heard” that people of Crimea are happier now than when they belonged to Ukraine. Now, not to be picky, but isn’t someone who wants to sit in the Oval Office suppose to rely on a bit more reliable information than what “he heard”? Crimea is indeed a region with a majority of Russian-born and Russian-speakers citizens. When asked in 2014 to chose between Ukraine and Russia, more than 90% of the population opted for Russia. But the situation is much more complex than that. The referendum, non-compliant with the Ukraine constitution, is considered illegal by the UN, the EU, and OSCE. The few independent observers who managed to reach Crimea reported possible frauds and intimidation.
This is why so far only Cuba, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Kyrgyzstan and (obviously) Russia recognize the current political status of Crimea. But the list might include the USA, too, should Trump become President. He promised to “look into it”, if elected.
What he might have already looked into is his political platform on Ukraine. In the past, his platform included providing Ukraine with weapons to fight Russian Army and rebels. Now, the call to help Ukraine has been completely dropped, in spite of the position of the majority of the Republicans on the matter. When asked about this change, Trump replied “I wasn’t involved in that. Honestly, I was not involved”. This contradicts what the Washington Post reported about Tramp’s campaign frantically working for the last 2 weeks to remove the provision of weapons to Ukraine from the GOP. An unusual interest for the campaign, especially on a topic that Trump himself described as a problem that “affects Europe a lot more than it affects us” less than one year ago.
However you turn it, there is no scenario in this story where Trump comes out on top.
Either he candidly ignored all about the Ukraine-Russia conflict, the Crimean location, and his campaign activities, and therefore is not fit to rule on the ground of ignorance, or he genuinely approves Russia’s claims on Ukraine.
Not sure which one is more cringe-worthy.
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