To the Editor
I had the great pleasure to live in Ukraine from 2010 to 2014, serving as country director for the Peace Corps. I oversaw the work of some 1000 Americans of all ages who served across that nation, teaching English, developing communities, and supporting youth. I traveled throughout the country and found the Ukrainians to be warm, welcoming, and ready to embrace a better future after so many years of Soviet and Russian domination.
In my last year, we evacuated all the American volunteers just before the Russians invaded Crimea and areas of eastern Ukraine. I cannot begin to describe how heartbroken our Americans were to depart this nation they had come to love, leaving behind so many friends and colleagues.
I returned to Ukraine in 2019 as part of an international election observer team organized by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The election of President Zelensky was free and fair and totally consistent with the will of the Ukrainian people.
Now the Russian government has attacked again, and this time it is much worse. I want Americans to know that Ukraine is a beautiful country with so many warm and dedicated people. They want to embrace the key values of the Western world: democratic governance, a free press, and rule of law. This Russian invasion is in total opposition to these principles, a troubling effort to dominate by force another country that has done nothing to deserve this treatment.
I am heartened, but not surprised, to see so many Ukrainians putting their lives on the line to defend their country. Please extend prayers to Ukraine and support whatever our government can do to end this war and sustain a free Ukraine.
Thank you very much.
Pike, N. H.