The New York TimesThe New York Times

A trip to Ukraine clarified the stakes. And they're huge

By Thomas L. Friedman

15 Sep 2023 · 15 min read

informed Summary

  1. During a visit to Kyiv last week, almost everyone Thomas L. Friedman of the NYT spoke to was at once exhausted by the war and passionately determined to recover every inch of their Russian-occupied territory — but no one had clear answers about the road ahead.

KYIV, Ukraine — While visiting Kyiv this month, my first trip to Ukraine since Vladimir Putin’s invasion in February 2022, I tried to get my exercise every morning by walking the grounds of St. Michael’s Golden Domed Monastery. Its serenity, however, has been disrupted by a jarring exhibit of destroyed Russian tanks and armored personnel carriers. During my walks, I’d poke my head into these jagged, rocket-pierced hulks, wondering what a terrible death must have come to the Russian soldiers operating them.

But the shock of this tangled mass of rusting steel, sitting in the middle of this grand, whitish-stone piazza, evoked a different image in my mind’s eye: a meteor.

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