I was delighted to see that the May issue was focused on Ukraine, the largest European country.  While there is no point in polemicizing with those of your contributors who believe in an amoral Realpolitik—after all, if force trumps ideas, what is the point of words?—most of their analyses of Ukraine merit a response.  I would like to remind those who agree that politics is a human and therefore ethical enterprise of four pertinent facts.

First, Ukrainians are not the passive pawns of some Russian-American chess game.  They are capable of forming their own political views and acting on them.  To assert that “Maidan” was a creature of the United States rather than of the Ukrainians themselves is to give the former too much credit, and the latter far too little.

Second, Ukraine is a real country.  Her historical divisions are no greater than those of such recently formed nation-states as Italy, Germany, and, for that matter, Russia.  Her borders are no more arbitrary or subject to revision than the borders of those states.  Moreover, language, culture, ethnicity, and political affiliation are not coterminous.  Generalizations are thus particularly perilous.

Third, Ukraine is a traditionally Christian society, albeit with Jewish and Muslim minorities.  Her Catholic minority of some five million shares the Byzantine-Slavonic liturgy and ecclesiastical culture of her Orthodox.  Ukrainian Christianity, however, is far less prone than Russian Christianity to anti-Latin and anti-Western phobias.  While Ukrainian Christians share Russian disgust with European secularization and moral decline, they do aspire to the traditional values of the Christian West.  Hence their European choice.

Finally, we should refrain from viewing other nations through the prism of our domestic political concerns.  The inadvisability of U.S. intervention in a foreign dispute does not render it objectively unimportant.

Thus, while I am pleased that you have given Ukraine due attention, I would be even more gratified if your authors accorded it due respect.

        —Andrew Sorokowski
Rockville, MD

Thomas Fleming’s exposé (“America’s Grand Strategy,” Perspective, May) of what lies behind the West’s humanitarian pretensions is a model of lucidity, concision, and temperate analysis.  Not a padded phrase, not a gratuitous word.  I love the precise language and word choices!  I now see that the goal for future globalism is denaturing plus ethnically hybrid entities so that everybody is on his own, and historical backgrounds are wiped out.  The world will be like Fritz Lang’s Metropolis or Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner.

Chilton Williamson, Jr., writes with a judicious erudition that I lunge after like a shark after a school of dolphins.  What other writer discoursing on Putin’s identity and strategies (“Russia’s Way Back,” What’s Wrong With the World) would weave in the Russian thinkers Berdyaev, Ilyin, and Solovyov?  It’s a masterly synthesis that enlarges comprehension.

George McCartney’s review of The Grand Budapest Hotel (“Of Pasteboard and Pastry,” In the Dark) is his all-time best and calls attention to the most winsome, delicate, and inspired film to appear since the silent film that won the Academy Award a few years back.

Chronicles is the indispensable magazine.  Thank you for its distinctiveness and sanity.

        —Ronald Haak
Cork, Ireland