My thanks to Jon O’Connell for his colorful article about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, “Ukrainian turf war reverberates in Luzerne County” (timesleader.com, Aug. 3).
This Ukrainian Independence Day, celebrated on Sunday, will underscore the power of the people as well as the commitment of the West. Without the West’s continuous help, overt and covert, Ukraine might have been absorbed into Russia 20 years ago.
As a U.S. Army veteran of the Cold War era, who travelled Eastern Europe and the old USSR, I am glad that NATO is in Poland and the Baltic States and that our airborne is maneuvering there. Without NATO, I believe Russian President Vladimir Putin would have invaded Latvia. Wherever the Russian empire goes, there is misery.
The U.S. and bankers have also had strong interest in Russia since the Soviet collapse. And it wasn’t only about the greatest plundering of an empire in history. Our FBI was battling a new breed of transnational mobsters, the so-called Red Mafiya, which had gained a foothold here at home.
Incidentally, my latest work, the screenplay “Adrian in Mobsterland” about a sex slavery rescue attempt in Ukraine, is now on Kindle. And my first novel, “Scimitars over Ukraine,” was reviewed by The Times Leader in July 1979.
Peter B. Hrycenko