Russia's war against Ukraine is just America's first challenge

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On the sidewalk in Kyiv, in front of a key government office is a bronze statue of St. George spearing the dragon. The statue reflects the conviction of every Ukrainian I met. Ukraine is St. George, and Russia is the dragon.

In May 2021, I led a delegation from the American Foreign Policy Council to visit Ukraine. I visited over a dozen ministries in Kyiv, traveled to Mariupol, engaged with the Ukrainian Navy on the Sea of Azov, and went out onto the battlefield of Donbas.

PUTIN VOWS THAT UKRAINE WAR GOALS WILL BE ‘UNCONDITIONALLY FULFILLED’

A Ukrainian serviceman looks as smoke rises after a Russian troops shelling, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Luhansk Region, Ukraine April 26, 2022.  REUTERS/Serhii Nuzhnenko (REUTERS/Serhii Nuzhnenko)

During my visit, Kyiv was calm, but every Ukrainian I met was determined to remain out of the clutches of Russia. The consistent message of every person I met in Ukraine was that Ukrainians are not Russian and would never be made into Russians even if conquered. The Ukrainian officials made it clear that, as a people, they had decided that Ukraine’s future was to be a democratic

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