Trump was using Ukraine as a plaything for his own purposes — Fiona Hill quoted by Robert Draper
Robert Draper, interviewing Fiona Hill, reports missteps by several US Administrations with respect to V. Putin in The New York Times Magazine. Dr. Hill was a national security advisor for Presidents Bush, Obama, Trump, and currently, informally for Biden.
Hill advised President G. W. Bush that expanding NATO would provoke Putin and not appeal to NATO allies. She credits Bush for listening, but Bush went ahead proposing that Georgia and Ukraine be invited to join. Bush thought he could sell this idea, but as predicted, European Governments objected and it didn’t happen.
During the Obama Administration Russia invaded Georgia and annexed Crimea. Hill faults Obama for indifference and public comments which she thought would barb and incite Putin.
Draper writes little about Hill’s involvement with the Trump Administration, turning to other sources possibly because Hill has a book forthcoming. Hill’s testimony at the impeachment hearings is well known. Here is more from Draper’s article:
Ukraine became radioactive for the duration of the Trump administration. There wasn’t serious engagement. Putin had been wanting to reclaim Ukraine for eight years, but he was trying to gauge when was the right time to do it. Starting just months after Jan. 6, Putin began building up forces on the border. He saw the discord here. … These folks sent the signal Putin was waiting for. — Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman
The refusal to lend aid to Ukraine, the subsequent disclosure of the heavy-handed conversation with Zelensky and then the impeachment hearing all served to undermine Ukraine’s new president. It made it impossible for Zelensky to establish any kind of relationship with the president of the United States — who, faced with a Russian Army on his eastern border, any Ukrainian president would have as his highest priority. So basically that means Ukraine loses a year and a half of contact with the president.— former Natl. Security Advisor John Bolton
Putin has been there for 22 years. He’s the same guy, with the same people around him. And he’s watching everything. — Fiona Hill quoted by Robert Draper