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Since Russia invaded and annexed Crimea, and began massing troops and armored columns on the eastern border of the Ukraine, we in Ukraine have been living through a "phony peace".Next month, the citizens of Ukraine will freely choose a new president – the best rebuke possible to Russian propaganda about our supposed failure to uphold democracy.Today, Putin is seeking to make the West complicit in the dismemberment of Ukraine by negotiating a Kremlin-designed federal constitution that would create a dozen Crimeas – bite-size chunks that Russia could devour more easily later.Ukraine's constitutional structure is for Ukraine's citizens alone to decide.Ukraine is a fully sovereign state, recognized as such by the world, including Russia.The reason is simple: There is no oppression of Russian speakers in Ukraine, and there never has been.If there is no oppression of Russian speakers in Ukraine, there is no reason to change the country's political structure. The terms that Russia is demanding, if accepted by the West, would fatally undermine Ukraine's sovereignty; worse, accepting Russia's terms would ratify the idea that powerful countries may bully less powerful neighbors into doing their bidding, to the point of surrendering their independence.
The meaning of Chernobyl, a quarter of a century later
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