In a few months, Ukraine will commemorate the fourth anniversary of its rebirth as a nation in a military conflict with Russia that has initiated many previously badly missed reforms, changed the security perceptions of many Ukrainians, and reshaped societal values while continuing to influence the country’s socio-economic development.
Despite the prominence of Ukraine on the international agenda, especially as a subject of political negotiations among Moscow, Washington, Berlin, and Brussels, after almost four years it is finally time to stop projecting Ukraine’s situation and its future through a Russian prism. There is no more need to believe, feed, or spread the ugly myth that everything happening in Ukraine is happening because of Russia, or that Ukraine is (temporarily) important just because of Russia.
Now, Ukraine is no longer important because of Russia, but despite Russia. Today, Ukraine is clearly more certain and self-confident, has the best army it could ever possibly have dreamed about, and—most of all—has seen an outpouring of civic energy in the form of dedicated, motivated volunteers willing and able to shape the future of their country’s development, a civic movement that has no comparable equivalent throughout modern European history. Nevertheless, even given all of these accomplishments, almost four years after the conflict began there is still no general consensus on how it should make certain vital choices—or even on whether these choices should be made at all, given that after the war many simply do not want compromise at all.
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