Ukraine and the American Revolution: Some parallels

Vladimir Putin and his generals never thought the Ukrainians would fight this hard and long.  Putin thought this invasion and takeover would be over in a week.

In many ways, it reminds me of our American Revolution and King George III.  The British never imagined that the conflict would last nearly a decade and peace would finally prevail.  The tenacity of the American colonists astounded the British commanders.  So, too, the Russians.

When war was declared on Britain in 1775, the British troops were much better equipped, had vastly superior weaponry, and were much larger in numbers.

Historically, Ukraine had been treated like a colony since its existence into the Russian orbit in the mid 18th century, exploited for its resources, and its people often treated like second class citizens.

Today, the Ukrainian forces, scattered and with many ordinary citizens taking up arms, have taken to guerrilla tactics, just as the American colonist-soldiers fought the British forces against overwhelming odds.

The United States and other nations, as did France and Spain in the American Revolution, have supplied the Ukrainians with arms and supplies to defend their homeland with stubborn and effective success.

The British, during the American Revolution, employed Hessian (German) soldiers to supplement their forces, just as the Russians are now asking Syrian mercenaries to do.

The Russians have ravaged Ukrainian cities, as did the British burning towns during the Revolution.

However, the Ukrainians have not given up, just as the American colonists fought on in the darkest of times.

The American Revolution ended only when the British forces were effectively cut off at sea by the French fleet and the surrounding American forces at Yorktown.  Unfortunately, the Ukrainians have no such naval support in the Crimea.

Legend holds that as the British marched out to surrender at Yorktown, the British fifes and drums played "The World Turned Upside Down."  How fitting.

Is Volodymyr Zelensky the George Washington of Ukraine?  Yes. 

In the interim, the United States and NATO must do more for the Ukrainians, covertly or overtly. 

In today's conflict, economic sanctions imposed on Russia can work only if all of the loopholes are cut off, especially with oil and natural gas.

Bottom Line: The fight in Ukraine is the watershed event for Vladimir Putin if he fails to take over.  It could mean the end of his reign, or at least the end of the expansion of the Russian state.  The United States and NATO must hold firm and re-establish NATO's relevancy in Europe against Russian expansion.

Image: The Presidential Administration of Ukraine via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 4.0.

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