‘A battle for freedom’ | Former Ambassador reacts as war in Ukraine passes one year

Victor Ashe was a former Knoxville Mayor and served as ambassador to Poland for five years.
Victor Ashe was a former Knoxville Mayor and served as ambassador to Poland for five years.
Published: Feb. 24, 2023 at 3:42 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Russia’s war in Ukraine surpassed one year Friday.

Previous coverage: US announces sweeping new Russia sanctions 1 year into war

As the death toll rises, and American investment does as well, some are beginning to question whether it is the country’s battle to be involved in the first place.

Victor Ashe is the former U.S. Ambassador to Poland and Knoxville Mayor.

”It means whether or not they’re going to be free, should Putin by some chance win in Ukraine, the next battle is Eastern Europe, most of which are NATO countries,” said Ashe reacting from his Florida home.

Ashe has a deep knowledge of Eastern Europe and is battling back on the notion America should throttle its involvement.

”If anyone thinks this is all that Putin has in mind, they need only to go back to Adolf Hitler taking in the Sedatin land and then invading Poland and obviously kicking off World War II,” said Ashe.

America has sent billions of dollars in military and humanitarian aid, funding Ashe supports.

”We must support Ukraine. The cost and consequences of not supporting Ukraine are so overwhelming and potentially devastating that we’ll wonder why we didn’t,” said Ashe.

Ashe finds himself optimistic that the war will end with a Ukrainian win, but that win isn’t on the horizon any time soon.

”I think it’s going to last a while. I think we have to hunker down, and I think we have to realize we could be having this conversation in 2024,″ said Ashe.

While the battle ensues, Ashe stressed that the support needs to stay because if Ukraine falls, world powers will no longer be able to sit by and watch.

”I think we need to understand this is a battle for freedom, not just for 45 million Ukrainians. This is a battle for western Europe and for the values we as a nation hold strong,” said Ashe.