This moment is one of four in a series about Russia, Ukraine, and U.S. relations in a world of post-Ukrainian independence. The series, “From 1991 to 2022: Russia, U.S., and Ukraine Relations,” explores how the post-Soviet Union era presented unique challenges to each nation’s foreign policy. The reignited tensions between Russia and Ukraine pose important questions about how the nations’ histories inform the conflict today. The four moments in the series— U.S.-Russia Competition in Ukraine in the ‘90s, Russia-Ukraine Tensions, Ukrainian Nationalism in an Independence Era, and Beginning a U.S.-Ukraine Relationship —seek to shed light on the 2022 conflict between Russia and Ukraine by examining its history.
Recent events in Ukraine have made it more than obvious that Russia is changing its foreign policy footing, seeking expansion and world influence once again. However, first-person oral history evidence indicates that this is a process that began almost as soon as the collapse of the Soviet Union. From 1993 to 1998, William Green Miller was the United States Ambassador to Ukraine, serving through numerous challenges, including nuclear disarmament, after a long and storied career. In this “Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History,” we see U.S., Russian, and Ukrainian grand strategy collide even as Ambassador Miller walks the tightrope of keeping close personal relationships with geopolitical adversaries. Read more