WHY DOES UKRAINE MATTER?
(1) Because peace matters.
(2) Ukrainians just want peace.
(3) This isn't just about Ukraine.
Russia’s leaders seek to re-establish control over countries that have spent centuries resisting colonialism. Ukraine wishes only for the freedom to pursue its own future, and it poses no threat to Russia.
Russian aggression against Ukraine since 2014 is a blatant violation of international norms and agreements, including the Helsinki Final Act, the Budapest Memorandum, the UN Charter, and the Minsk agreements, all of which Russia signed.
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AND HUMAN RIGHTS
Russia continues to oppress the indigenous Muslim population of Crimea, the Tatars, and even outlawed the Mejlis, their elected national representative body.
Congregations of Catholics, Protestants, and Ukrainian Orthodox cannot practice their faith freely in the Russian-occupied territories.
The Kremlin’s political persecutions in Crimea are well-documented. Example: sentencing 7 activists from Crimean Solidarity (a group that provides financial and legal assistance to Crimean Tatar families) to prison terms of 13–19 years.
WEAKNESS AGAINST RUSSIA — A GREEN LIGHT FOR CHINA
China is carefully watching to see the reaction of the U.S. and EU to Russian aggression.
Despite Ukraine making good progress on Minsk agreement implementation, Russia has not. It has refused to pull back heavy weaponry or return control of the border to Ukraine, in addition to limiting the mobility of international observers and constantly violating the ceasefire agreement.
Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic.
GLOBAL FOOD INSTABILITY
Instability in Ukraine genuinely threatens world peace at a time of global food insecurity — many countries in the Middle East and South Asia depend on Ukraine's food exports (CSIS). Israel and Libya import FORTY PERCENT of their total wheat consumption from Ukraine (Foreign Policy, Haaretz). Studies show that political instability and terrorism are correlated with food scarcity. AAEA.
UKRAINE WANTS PEACE -
Russia has invaded Ukraine roughly every century since 1149 A.D.
Ukraine has never invaded Russia.
Ukrainians just want peace — peace to live freely in their own land.
U.S. CREDIBILITY WITH OTHER NUCLEAR POWERS
In 1994, Ukraine gave up its nuclear arsenal in exchange for security assurances from the US and other countries. American support for Ukrainian sovereignty will reassure other countries considering denuclearization in the future.
Read more here from the Brookings Institution's Steven Pifer.
Humanitarian toll. Russia's illegal occupation of Crimea and the war in Ukraines easternmost regions has cost 14,000 lives and displaced nearly 1.5 million people (United Nations). In the event of a full invasion, the US government projects up to 50,000 civilian deaths and one to five million refugees fleeing from Ukraine into the EU (the Washington Post).
Analysts say that an invasion or bombing campaign of Ukraine could generate "one million to five million refugees" fleeing to Europe. Read more about the analysts' estimates from the New York Times.