Jackson Foundation Stands in Solidarity with Ukraine

The Henry M. Jackson Foundation joins others around the world in condemning Russia for its unprovoked violence against the democratic government of Ukraine.  But our condemnation is aimed not at the Russian people; it is reserved entirely for their autocratic leader, Vladimir Putin.   Putin’s recent actions implicate at least three principles of longstanding interest to the Foundation.  First, Scoop Jackson fought for human rights, particularly in the former Soviet Union, and we have done our best to carry that mission forward for nearly 40 years.  That’s why we spoke out when Russia’s Supreme Court ordered the closing of Memorial, an organization that has spent decades chronicling the atrocities committed by the Soviet Union against its own citizens.  Putin’s manipulation of the legal system to silence the truth was a clear human rights violation, as would a military invasion of a neighboring nation. Second, Scoop recognized the geopolitical importance of energy independence.  Putin’s ability to create havoc is largely derived from oil and gas revenues.  Without that revenue, Russia would soon face a choice – fundamental reform or economic collapse.  To hasten that day, while at the same time addressing the global climate crisis, we need to move as quickly as possible away from fossil fuels.  Finally, Scoop stood up for freedom and democracy in the face of assaults by the Soviet Union, but recognized that the road would be long and difficult. The Ukrainian people have chosen democracy over the autocracy imposed on them by the Soviet Union.  While young by historical standards, Ukraine’s democratic institutions deserve to continue and strengthen, inspired by principles of self-determination and respect for human rights.  Putin, on the other hand, stands on no principle, and his volume in the history books will soon be shelved alongside that of other tyrants.  But in the meantime, we recognize that there’s no substitute for staunch and unyielding support from the U.S. and its European allies for Ukraine, and we stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people as they endure the threat at their doorstep.

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