In no small measure, Donald Trump contributed to the crisis in Ukraine by his actions and inactions during and after his presidency.

By enabling Vladimir Putin to pursue his personal agenda of glorifying Russia and enhancing his status, and by his disabling of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in his effort to be re-elected, Trump’s narcissistic behavior can be listed as a major factor in what is occurring.

Even Trump’s immediate response to the invasion of Ukraine, commending Putin for this unjustified attack, had to have fueled Putin’s belief that he would not be deterred in his territorial aspirations.

Continuously and throughout his presidency, Trump fawned and favored Putin with compliments, even choosing to believe Putin in the face of contrary evidence from U.S. security departments.

“Putin envy” always obvious from Trump’s remarks over the last five years, had to have convinced Putin that a large segment of Americans and some legislators, would be minimally critical of his attack on Ukraine.  

And Trump’s denigration of legitimate news sources also contributed to “alternate facts” promoters, who have rendered their followers incapable of discerning the reality and seriousness of the Ukrainian situation.

Betty Ussach, Dartmouth