Strik­ing right note

Kyiv Post - - Opinion -

When it comes to ris­ing to the oc­ca­sion at im­por­tant events, Ukrainian Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko has ex­celled since be­com­ing pres­i­dent on June 7, 2014, through the right­ness of his coun­try's mes­sage and, un­doubt­edly, be­cause of the tal­ents of his speech­writ­ers.

The lat­est ex­am­ple came dur­ing Poroshenko's speech to the 73rd United Na­tions Gen­eral Assem­bly on Sept. 26. For too long, the world has been asleep to the threat posed by Russian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin's gang­ster state. In­stead of putting an end to the Kremlin dic­ta­tor's de­struc­tion, ap­pease­ment has been the re­sponse of much of the world. This weak­ness has only whet­ted Putin's ap­petite.

One ex­cerpt: "Ukraine made a sov­er­eign de­ci­sion to live its way and pro­mote the Free World based on demo­cratic val­ues and rules. Rus­sia pun­ishes Ukraine for this de­ci­sion. It kills. It ru­ins homes. It lies on in­dus­trial scale. It pre­tends that Ukraine, as well as Ge­or­gia 'at­tacked them­selves.' Do we know which neigh­bor of Rus­sia will 'at­tack it­self' next? Or will the world be 'com­fort­ably numb' in a hope that 'the next one won’t be me'?

As we de­fend Ukraine’s land and our free choice, as we counter the resurg­ing neo-im­pe­ri­al­ist power will­ing to di­vide the world anew – we de­fend the Free World." And: "Noth­ing will stop Moscow from con­tin­u­ing its ag­gres­sive ex­pan­sion­ist poli­cies if it does not face a united stand of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity, if pun­ish­ment for its ac­tions does not be­come in­evitable. It is due to the lack of rel­e­vant pun­ish­ment that af­ter Ge­or­gia came Ukraine, that af­ter (Alexan­der) Litvi­nenko came Skri­pals, that af­ter Aleppo came Idlib (in Syria)…The Kremlin has no in­ten­tion to stop."

Poroshenko's moral call for in­ter­na­tional lead­er­ship against the Kremlin's mur­der­ous ways and sub­ver­sion of demo­cratic na­tions should be joined by free­dom-lov­ing peo­ple ev­ery­where. His pitch, how­ever, would be be more per­sua­sive if the pres­i­dent showed that Ukraine is lead­ing by ex­am­ple. Un­for­tu­nately, Ukraine's cor­rupt elite don't match the no­bil­ity of the pres­i­dent's words or ac­tions at home or the noble sac­ri­fice of its solid­ers and cit­i­zens.

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