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Talking Points: Ukraine - Crimea, Ukrainian military power, and Russian terrorism


Soldiers in shadows against a black and white background.
Members of the 209th Battalion of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Photo Credit: Sarah Ashton-Cirillo, Junior Sergeant Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Text Edited by: Sgt. (jr) Sarah Ashton-Cirillo of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

1. Crimea is unconditionally Ukraine

Brazilian President da Silva suggested that Ukraine cede Crimea to Russia to achieve peace.

● Crimea is an integral part of Ukraine, according to history, culture, and international law.

● Ukraine will never cede nor trade its citizens or territory to any other state.

● In 2014, Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula through aggression, terrorism, and violent suppression. This was done to enslave the local population. The alleged “referendum” surrounding Crimea was propaganda and in no way expressed the will of the citizens.

● Russia is still brutalizing Crimea through continued plundering and forced colonization of the peninsula.

● Russian actions in Crimea are the springboard for their continued aggression and expansionism. This became apparent in 2022 during the full-scale invasion and will continue until the Russian military is driven from the peninsula.

● The administration in Kyiv has made it clear it is ready for various options relating to the de-occupation of Crimea. Both military action and diplomatic solutions are possible outcomes in reuniting Crimea with the rest of Ukraine.


2. The military power of Ukraine

According to the American Military Strength Ranking Global Firepower, at the beginning of 2022, Ukraine ranked 22nd among the 145 most powerful armies in the world, and in January 2023, it was 15th.

● The Armed Forces of Ukraine is proving itself the most effective army in Europe by achieving victory after victory against the Russian invaders.

● The Ukrainian army maintains significant advantages against the enemy, including overwhelming support from the civilian population and faith in the cause for which the war for liberty is waged.

● The professional and motivated approach of the Ukrainian military allows it to master the weapons of NATO in a short time frame. That ability is then successfully applied by the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the battlefield.

● The capabilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are constantly expanding.

● True leaders are emerging in military teams across all levels. The skill and battlefield command of Ukraine’s officer corps will be included in the annals of history and taught in textbooks for generations to come.

● Thanks to its Armed Forces, Ukraine is demonstrating its readiness to defend its territory and its ability to deter Russian aggression throughout Europe.


3. The anniversary of the Smolensk disaster

On April 10, 2010, a presidential Tu-154M with Poland's senior political and military leadership crashed near Smolensk in Russia. An investigation into the circumstances of the tragedy points to a possible Russian involvement.

● Ukrainians support their Polish allies in the quest to establish the truth about the Smolensk disaster and to establish justice.

● The traces of explosives on the elements of the aircraft’s wing (as stated in last year's report of the Polish subcommittee on re-investigating air crashes) indicate a terrorist act.

● The sabotage of the investigation by Moscow is suspicious, especially when measured against the Kremlin’s claimed desire to find answers to the crash.

● Moscow's full cooperation with the Polish investigation into the Smolensk disaster must be one of the prerequisites for the resumption of Russia as a member of the civilized world.

● In 1990, the Soviet Union admitted responsibility for the Katyn massacre. The time will come when Russia acknowledges causing the Smolensk tragedy.

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