This is (sadly) the second gap filling exercise about Ukraine. You can find the first one here, and this exercise is in two parts.
The exercise is based on an article in The Guardian (theguardian.com), with minor adaptations.
Your task is to find suitable words or expressions to fill in the gaps, taking into account syntax as well as register, and bringing to bear your background knowledge.
I have given some suggestions following the exercise.
- There is still the possibility of a diplomatic __________ that would bring an early end to this dreadful war and Russian military withdrawal while __________ the vital interests of Ukraine. Indeed, if the Russians are ever to withdraw, a diplomatic agreement on the terms of withdrawal will be necessary.
- The West should __________ a peace agreement and Russian withdrawal by offering Russia the lifting of all new sanctions imposed on it. The offer to Ukraine should be a __________ reconstruction package that will also help Ukraine to move towards the West economically and politically rather than militarily – just as Finland and Austria were able to do during the Cold War despite their neutral status.
- The demands by the Russian side are that Ukraine should sign a treaty of neutrality; engage in “demilitarisation” and “denazification”; and recognise Russian sovereignty over Crimea, which was _______________ by Russia after the Ukrainian Revolution. These demands are a __________ of the acceptable, the unacceptable, and the undefined.
- The option of neutrality for Ukraine has often been called “Finlandisation”, and perhaps the ________________ Ukrainian response to Russian aggression over the past week has given a new meaning to that term in the case of Ukraine. For like the Finns in the “winter war” of 1939-40, the Ukrainians have also been abandoned militarily by the West, which has declared publicly and repeatedly that it ________________ defend them.
- On the other hand, it seems that the extraordinary courage and resolution with which the Finns fought convinced Stalin that to rule Finland would be too much of a challenge. Finland became the only part of the former Russian Empire not to be incorporated in the USSR, and during the cold war, though neutral by treaty, was able to develop as a successful social market democracy. Similarly, we must hope that the courage and determination of the Ukrainians has convinced Putin that it will be impossible to run Ukraine as a Russian _________________, and neutrality is the best deal he is going to get.