Ukraine Is Defending Not Only Itself, But The Future of Democratic Europe

Ukraine is currently under attack from Russia. The Kremlin aims to undermine the stability of Ukraine, a potential pivot state between East and West, and gain control over its strategic territories. If successful, this would mark a definitive end to the post-Cold War era and spell doom for democracy in Europe. Moreover, if left unaddressed, the consequences could be irreversible. This is why the world needs to stand with Ukraine today. With political and military support from Western allies — especially Canada — Ukraine has proved resilient against the Russian assault over the last four years. But it’s not enough. We need to double down on our support for Ukrainian sovereignty and defend democracy in Europe.

Why Ukraine Matters

Ukraine is a critical front in the battle for democracy in Europe. Its fate can either end the post-Cold War era, or mark a turning point that defends democracy in the face of authoritarian aggression. Ukraine is also a potential pivot state a country that can serve as a bridge between East and West. If Ukraine pivots Westward, it would put it in a position to shape the future of Europe. However, if Ukraine pivots Eastward, it would serve as a critical foothold for the Kremlin’s aggressive expansionism into the territory of its neighbours.

Russia’s War on Ukraine

Since 2014, Russia has been waging a hybrid war against Ukraine. While this war has taken many forms, it has always been guided by three overarching objectives: Achieve territorial control over the Donbas, a Russian-speaking region of Ukraine that borders Russia. The Donbas is of strategic importance to the Kremlin. It contains the Donets Basin — the largest concentration of coal and steel production in Europe — and is also home to Russian military bases. To achieve its goals in Donbas, Russia has deployed its most powerful military tools.

A Russian Win Means a European Loss

A Russian win in Ukraine can destroy the post-Cold War security order and spell doom for democracy in Europe by: Many Western allies have ignored these consequences — choosing to view the conflict through a narrow lens of geopolitics, or by arguing that the situation is too complex to address. If we don’t act now to defend Ukraine against Russian aggression, we risk losing the battle for democracy in Europe.

Helping Ukraine Defend Itself against Russia

To defend itself against the Russian aggression, Ukraine has requested military assistance from the United States and its allies. While the United States has been the only Western country to commit military assistance to Ukraine, Canada has provided significant support. In 2015, Canada deployed its soldiers to Ukraine, where they trained and modernized the Ukrainian Armed Forces. A key component of Canada’s assistance was the deployment of the Canadian-U.S. multinational brigade in western Ukraine. This was the first time since the Cold War that Canadian troops were deployed on European soil. A crucial strategic objective of this brigade was to help defend the Donbas from Russian aggression. Today we see how each country reacts to Russia's actions and how each country supports Ukraine


Ukraine protects not only its own freedom, but also the future of democratic Europe and the entire Western civilization, and not only the fate of Ukrainians, but also the future world order will depend on how this war ends. In this confrontation between totalitarianism and democracy, the free world must win, a world in which every people has the right to live according to civilized rules. This war is also, of course, a clash of two value systems. For these reasons, the world needs to stand with Ukraine today. The fate of the post-Cold War order and the future of democracy in Europe depend on it.