The Ukraine is a great country (as I am reminded daily when I look at my Ukrainian-born wife.). I visited the country’s beautiful capital, Kiev, a few years ago and it reminded me of a small, pleasant European city — it wasn’t scary, it wasn’t third world.
Today, the images resemble a war zone with the death count already above a hundred, and thousands injured. The scenes are shocking.
My firm, 5WPR
, has worked extensively in the Ukraine, including for Vitali Klitschko (the current opposition leader and former boxer) when he ran for mayor of Kiev, so I know the region's political situation well. Hearing my wife on the phone constantly with her family, I know firsthand that this is a very difficult situation.
As one who works in communications, imagine someone today in politics who is wavering between potential allies: Russia or America. Who do you choose in this battle?
President Obama today spoke and said: "I want to be very clear as we work through these next several days in Ukraine that we're going to be watching closely, and we expect the Ukrainian government to show restraint, to not resort to violence in dealing with peaceful protesters.
"We've also said we expect peaceful protesters to remain peaceful, and we'll be monitoring very closely the situation, recognizing that with our European partners and the international community there will be consequences if people step over the line."
The Ukrainian situation today is the same as Syria — and the same as Iran — and we know well that America has continually muttered empty words to foreign nations. The Ukrainians are tough people — after seeing how Obama reacted after the Syrians crossed every single red line, they are laughing and doing shots of vodka right now when thinking of Obama’s empty threats.
Obama abandoned Mubarak, a longtime American ally. He forgot the need for nations to protect their strategic interests. In the midst of chaos in Egypt, all sides in the civil war fault America, and this nation was formerly a staunch American ally. While few remember the names of the Americans killed in Benghazi, Putin stands by his Syrian allies.
There are many consequences to the Ukrainian crisis, but in the midst of it, any observer must agree that there has never been a time in recent history when America was less well respected worldwide. Thank You, President Obama.
Ronn Torossian is one of America’s foremost Public Relations executives as founder/CEO of 5WPR, a leading independent PR Agency. The firm was honored as PR Firm of the Year by The American Business Awards, and has been named to the Inc. 500 List. Torossian is author of the best-selling "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations." For more of Ronn Torossian's reports, Go Here Now.
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