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Want Proof Russia’s Ukraine Invasion Failed? Kyiv Could Join the EU

Ukraine Designated Marksman
US Military sniper rifle. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Last week, the European Union official approved Ukraine’s and Moldova’s candidate status, starting a process that could change the trajectory of eastern Europe.

Candidate Status Approved 

To be sure, the approval of Ukraine’s candidate status doesn’t mean that Kyiv is joining the European Union next week. As with all complex transnational agreements, the process will take time as the European Union evaluates Ukraine’s suitability and reforms that would align the country with the democratic values and governing procedures of the Bloc.

“It is sometimes difficult to notice history while it is in the making. Today is not one of such days. As we welcome the European Council decision to grant Ukraine and Moldova the EU candidate status, and Georgia the perspective to become a member, we are witnessing a historic moment for the European continent. These countries all have work to do before moving to the next stage of the process. They know how crucial this is for their democracies, their economies and their citizens. This historic step is making us all stronger,” the European Commission stated.

On his end, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky praised the Ukrainian people for what they have achieved.

“And I want to say the following on this day. Let’s rejoice at least a little. In a quiet, modest way, silently, but rejoice. For ourselves, for our beloved state. Let’s feel the moment and the taste of this moment,” Zelensky said in one of his daily updates.

“Imagine conquering Everest. You reached the penultimate point. You didn’t look around, didn’t even take a breath and talk about the further way to the top. How difficult it will be to overcome the last 1848 meters. Instantly we forgot and devalued our own success. Maybe we should first recall that we have already covered 7,000 meters?! Let’s not be ashamed to talk about our achievements. Let’s not be a nation with a short memory and inferiority complex,” the Ukrainian leader added.

On a side note, with the same decision that approved the Ukrainian and Moldovan candidate applications, the European Union gave Georgia the option to apply for membership too in the future. Georgia is another country that has faced Russian aggression, most notably with the 2008 Russian invasion.

Ukraine’s Journey to the European Union

The European Council’s decision to grant Ukraine candidate statues has been long in the making, and it is a truly historic moment for Ukrainians. In a sense, the current war in Ukraine is a direct result of the Ukrainian desire to become a formal member of the European Union family.

Everything began back in February of 2014 when Ukrainians protested in the streets of Kyiv against the decision of the then Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych not to sign a political association and free trade agreement with the European Union. Yanukovych had decided not to bring Ukraine closer to the European Union, opting instead to enhance ties with Russia next door.

But the Ukrainians didn’t like that, and took to the streets. Fierce clashes with the police left more than 100 people dead and resulted in the ousting of Yanukovych—who fled to Moscow—and the toppling of his government. Since then, Ukraine has been slowly but deliberately moving toward the West.

The fact that Ukraine is now formally moving toward the European Union is a brutally clear piece of evidence of the folly of the Russian strategic thinking that led to the invasion in the first place. Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin invaded Ukraine because they saw that Kyiv was moving closer to the West and calculated that this was their best, if not last, opportunity to change those plans by force.

1945’s New Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business InsiderSandboxx, and SOFREP.

1945’s Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist with specialized expertise in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.