During an interview with CNN, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy criticized recent rhetoric from Donald Trump asserting that the former president and continued presidential candidate could somehow end the war currently unfolding in Zelenskyy’s country after an expansive invasion by Russian forces last year.
Trump has not been very forthcoming about what the precise details of his plan would actually be — assuming he even has any specific ideas. In another high-stakes situation where his approach to foreign policy was put to the test, it was a flop. North Korea’s nuclear program continues, even after the highly publicized meetings between Trump and that country’s dictatorial leader, which were… photo ops?
Zelenskyy pointed out the lack of specifics in Trump’s public commentary and criticized the idea from some on the Right for a so-called peace plan that involves territorial concessions to Russia’s Vladimir Putin. “He can publicly share his idea now, not waste time, not to lose people, yes, and say, ‘My formula is to stop the war and stop all this tragedy and stop Russian aggression,’” Zelenskyy said, discussing Trump. “How he sees it, how to push Russians from our land. Otherwise, he’s not presenting the global idea of peace. So, the idea is how to take the part of our territory, and to give Putin — that is not the peace formula.”
The already established record shows that allowing Russians to take over portions of Ukrainian territory would straightforwardly result in continuing, devastating threats. The local populations in areas of Ukraine that have temporarily — or still — fallen under Russian control have been subjected to documented atrocities at a huge, systematic scale. This scenario is what clearly would follow the kinds of territorial concessions supported by unserious figures like Vivek Ramaswamy, a conservative businessman-turned-trailing presidential candidate for Republicans. Though some on the far-right clamor against the U.S. supporting Ukraine at all and have sought to tie weapons deliveries made by the U.S. to impacts on civilians, it’s more easily argued that the presence of these weapons has lessened still serious threats to civilians.