Many, if not all, of the Ukrainian troops like Oleksandr with whom I marched received military training from the U.S., the U.K., Canada and other NATO countries. The United States is providing $200 million in 2019 for military support to Ukraine. And the Trump administration delivered a Javelin anti-tank missile system to Ukraine in 2018, support that President Barack Obama was unwilling to offer.
But in recent weeks there are signs of a shifting balance among these powers. Russia is continuing its military push in Ukraine while U.S. support is waning.
The Trump administration announced in December 2018 that it wanted to drop sanctions on companies tied to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, which where levelled in part because of Moscow’s aggression in eastern Ukraine and Crimea.
The month before, Russian ships fired on three Ukrainian naval vessels and arrested 24 sailors traveling from Odessa to Mariupol. The clash follows the opening of a Russian-built bridge over the Kerch Strait that has acted as a choke-point for any ship entering the Sea of Azov that services eastern Ukraine.