The U.S. State Department released an updated report on Human Rights in Ukraine, and it honestly reads like a big bag of excuses. This is a report the State Department releases every year, and every year they admit that Ukraine is a serious offender of human rights.
Only this year, it is because of Russia. The report admits that Ukraine does the following bad things: “unlawful or arbitrary killings; forced disappearances; torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment; harsh or life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrest or detention; serious problems with the independence of the judiciary; restrictions on freedom of expression, including for members of the media, violence or threats of violence against journalists, unjustified arrests or prosecutions of”journalists, and censorship; serious restrictions on internet freedom; refoulement of refugees to a country despite risks they would face torture or persecution; serious acts of government corruption; lack of investigation of and accountability for gender-based violence; crimes or threats of violence motivated by antisemitism; crimes involving violence or threats of violence targeting persons with disabilities, members of ethnic minority groups, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex persons; and the existence of the worst forms of child labor.”
But, the report says, Ukraine is “not comparable to the scope of Russia’s abuses.” Also, the report says that Ukraine had to do a lot of these things because of the conflict with Russia. Except previous years’ reports admitted that Ukraine was doing these things long before the conflict began.
Are we saying Russia did not do those things too? No. Are we saying that Ukraine should get a pass because Russia did those things? Absolutely not. We are merely questioning why the State Department wants to give Ukraine a pass for corruption and give them the “they did it too” excuse. We are also questioning why the U.S. wants to continue supporting a country that it admits has been guilty of human rights abuses for years now. And yet that is what it will do. This week, U.S. committed to send Ukraine an extra $350 million in weapons and equipment for this “expected spring offensive.”