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Taylor Johnston and Ellen Wagner make important decisions about the Post in the editors' office on the evening of Wednesday, February 5, 2020.

Editorial: Ukraine still needs your attention

It has now been 646 days since Russia launched its war on Ukraine. On Tuesday, Russian shelling struck Ukrainian homes, killing four and injuring at least five. The wife of Ukraine’s intelligence head has been poisoned but survived. And while the EU quadruples its spending on training Ukrainian soldiers and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz deemed military and financial aid for Ukraine “Of existential importance,” the U.S. is getting bored.

The 24-hour news cycle has created a world in which an ongoing war can cycle almost completely out of the collective consciousness far before the suffering ends. With the emergence of the Israel-Hamas war flooding television screens and social media feeds, it is easy to forget that somewhere else in the world, thousands are dying in a long, grueling battle.

Americans must keep up with Russia’s war in Ukraine or risk the conflict falling out of the U.S. public eye altogether. By not covering the war, fewer people are thinking about it, and when people stop paying attention, an already horrific conflict becomes even worse. 

Although President Joe Biden recently requested $106 billion in new funds for various defense and aid projects, including funding for Ukraine and Israel, the package has neither been approved nor denied by Congress as Republicans demand focus on the U.S.-Mexico border. 

The end of funding to Ukraine would virtually ensure Russian victory. Not only would this signal the end of Ukrainian sovereignty, but it would also create massive problems for the U.S. and democracy as a whole. It has long been suspected that Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to revive the USSR, and many Ukrainians say they feel the war is a continuation of Stalin’s genocide. By abandoning Ukraine right now, the U.S. would effectively give one of the largest threats to democratic government a bullet with democracy’s name on it.

The more Ukraine suffers, the more Ukrainian Americans and Ukrainian refugees will suffer as a byproduct. Members of Congress can argue all they want that we do not owe Ukraine our support, but it is non-negotiable that the U.S. looks out for its own, as Congressional research found foreign aid to be a crucial part of U.S. foreign policy. Then again, it does not always seem to work out that way.

Providing funding to Ukraine was a rare bipartisan nonstarter in Congress when the war initially broke out. Now, various Republicans are squirming under NATO’s pressure to pass long-overdue aid for Ukraine. There is even a bicameral effort to withdraw the funding led in part by Ohio’s own Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH). 

What Vance needs to remember is the state he serves demands Ukrainian representation. Parma alone is home to over 4,000 Ukranians. There is an area of Parma called Ukrainian Village, and Parma has a sister-city relationship with Lviv, Ukraine. Athens, too, maintains Ukrainian connections, establishing a sister-city connection with Ostroh, Ukraine, earlier this year. At least 4,000 votes rest in the hands of Ukrainian Ohioans alone.

The 24-hour news cycle is dizzying to watch, yet it doesn’t even cover half of what is going on in the world. Whether Wolf Blitzer or Tucker Carlson is spoon-feeding it to the masses or not does not mean a very real war is not wreaking havoc on the lives of everyday people halfway across the world. 

Please keep up with what is happening in Ukraine regardless of what is on the news. When constituents stop paying attention, they are left behind by policymakers uneager to reel them back in.

Editorials represent the majority opinion of The Post's executive editors: Editor-in-Chief Katie Millard, Managing Editor Emma Erion and Equity Director Alesha Davis. Post editorials are independent of the publication's news coverage.

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