First, my apologies for not writing anything for a couple of days. My editor sent me his changes to my novel, and going through them is taking some time. Monday and Tuesday had long morning appointments that ate up the time.
Second, while I am not a diplomat and haven't even interviewed any as a journalist, I can't help but notice the current standoff between the U.S./NATO/Ukraine and Russia consists of each side taking absolute positions.
Russia: NATO and the U.S. must promise that Ukraine will never join NATO.
U.S./NATO/Ukraine: NATO membership must always be open to any country its members want to admit, including Ukraine.
How about this as a compromise? Each side agrees to take the following steps for the next ten years, until 31 December 2032.
Russia: Pull troops back from the Ukraine border and cease threatening the state militarily.
Ukraine: Promise not to apply for NATO membership.
The U.S./NATO: Should Ukraine break its promise and use, NATO promises not to admit.
This moves the conflict over the horizon into the future. Who knows what there might be ten years from now? Russian could have returned to democracy again. The trade value between Russia and Ukraine might have grown to the point where such defense concerns make no sense. Just a thought.
One of the best, if not the best, novels of Ukraine that I have ever read was written by Anatoly Kuznetsov, who came of age under Nazi occupation in the Ukraine capital of Kyiv. Babi Yar, his account of both the war years and the Soviet periods before and after the Nazi occupation, is one of the books I make a point of reading at least once each year. Sadly it is out of print now, but used copies are still available from Amazon here. Today, our photo is of Mr. Kuznetzsov soon after he defected from the Soviet Union to the west, in part so he could publish the novel in its original form and without the restrictions of "Soviet Truth."