Democracy

Expert Voices

After Trump-Zelensky scandal, Ukraine pressed to reset Western ties

Zelensky in front of a wall-mounted UN logo
Zelensky at the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

Ukraine's president, political neophyte Volodymyr Zelensky, appears out of his depth after just 4 months in office, as his relations with President Trump have put him front and center in a political scandal rocking the U.S. and rippling across the globe.

Why it matters: Given the deep challenges facing Ukraine and Zelensky, Ukraine can hardly afford strained relations with the U.S. and European partners. Weakened Western ties would complicate efforts around democratic progress, economic growth and national security — particularly in pushing back against the malign influence of Vladimir Putin's Russia.

Hong Kong official makes "elements of terror" claim amid city-wide strikes

Students take part in a school boycott rally at the Chinese University of Hong Kong on Monday.
Students take part in a school boycott rally at the Chinese University of Hong Kong on Monday. Photo: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

A senior Hong Kong official claimed "elements of terror" had been seen among pro-democracy protesters, as thousands of high school students joined workers in a city-wide strike amid tight security Monday, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Per the NYT, the comments by John Lee, Hong Kong’s secretary for security, mark the first time a territory official has used rhetoric akin to China’s propaganda machine — which has compared the protesters to terrorists on several occasions. Hong Kongers have enjoyed a high degree of autonomy since the former British colony was returned to China in 1997, and protesters are concerned there may be a crackdown by Chinese authorities.