Former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch Interviewed by Terry Gross

(E) Former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was interviewed by Terry Gross on Fresh Air this week.

On what mrs Yovanovitch is hearing from friends and colleagues in Ukraine right now:

I’m hearing all sorts of things — their anger at Russia, their concerns for their children and the future. But most of all, what I’m hearing is their resolve that they are going to fight this and that they are going to win. And they’re also asking for U.S. assistance, international assistance to beat back the Russians. …

They view this, I think rightly so, as a campaign of extermination, exterminating Ukraine, exterminating the Ukrainian people. You’ve heard the things that Putin has said that Ukraine is not a country, the Ukrainian people are not a separate people from the Russians, and he is doing his best to eradicate the Ukrainian people, the Ukrainian country, Ukrainian culture.

On the leadership of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy:

They are being led by a president who has masterful communication skills and has really met his moment. Zelenskyy is a hero. As improbable as it was that a comedian became president, perhaps as improbable that that president becomes a really effective wartime hero, but the man has really met his moment.

On the possibility of the war spreading into Poland and further west:

If [Putin] is successful in Ukraine, I think he will continue to move forward, maybe not immediately, because he’s bitten off an awful lot with Ukraine. That’s what the history shows us: where he invaded Georgia in 2008 and got away with it. He invaded Ukraine in 2014 and got away with it. And now, 2022, he’s invading Ukraine again. And we need to make sure he doesn’t get away with it, because if he does, then I think there is the likelihood that at some point he will continue moving west. … I would add, though, that as we’ve seen as we are recording this on Monday, the [recent] attacks on a base just on the Polish border, there are always possibilities of miscalculation. And that’s what makes this especially dangerous.


Full interview at the following link:

Reference: Also from NPR, and worth reading: “How Former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch Became A Target In Ukraine”

Note: The picture above is the cover of Mrs Yovanovitch’s memoir “Lessons from the Edge“.

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Categories: Humanitarian