President Trump and his allies nearly succeeded in consigning the Mueller report to oblivion. And Robert Mueller himself invited a certain measure of confusion by telling his story in dense, legalistic prose. Barely six months after he delivered the report, it had already faded into the mists of Trumpiana: post-Sean Spicer, pre-whistle-blower. The request was so plainly an abuse of Presidential power—Zelensky was awaiting delivery of military aid already approved by Congress—that Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, launched an investigation focussed on impeachment , to be led by Adam Schiff, the chair of the Intelligence Committee. Mueller and Russia are out; Schiff and Ukraine are in. But the Russia and Ukraine scandals are, in fact, one story. Just two years earlier, Putin had invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea.
A Testy Relationship with Russia
The subject who is truly loyal to the Chief Magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures. This article was published more than 6 months ago. Some information in it may no longer be current. Before , he also served for six years in the Canadian embassy in Moscow, including as deputy head of mission.
The Globe and Mail
A portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen on a cover of a woman's phone as she takes pictures during celebrations of the Russian national holiday - Defender of the Fatherland Day in Sevastopol, Crimea, February 23, Ukrainian citizens—unlike Russians—distinguish between Russian leaders and state institutions, which three-quarters of them abhor, and the Russian people, whom a majority of Ukrainians continue to view positively. Divergent attitudes of Russians and Ukrainians to one another is clearly visible in opinion polls.
Until Russia's invasion of Ukraine in , the two countries maintained relations that at times were testy, but manageable. That changed in , when the Kremlin used military force to seize Crimea and then supported armed separatism in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas. The end of the Soviet Union in left newly independent Ukraine with a number of difficult issues with Russia: 1 the fate of the Soviet nuclear weapons systems in Ukraine, 2 division of the Black Sea Fleet, 3 resolution of energy and other debts, and 4 Crimea, which had been transferred from the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in With U. Kyiv and Moscow separately struck an arrangement on dividing the ships of the Black Sea Fleet, and Ukraine agreed to allow Russia to use ports and other facilities in Crimea for its warships, an agreement that was later extended to The sides resolved their differences over debts and, while they had occasional spats over energy, particularly natural gas contracts, they usually found a solution. As for Crimea, the only part of Ukraine with a majority population of ethnic Russians, tensions periodically arose. But the Russian government in the s and s generally respected the agreement reached among the newly independent states when the Soviet Union fell apart: those states would be recognized within their borders at the time, i.