STILLWATER, N.Y. (NEWS10) – In a historic visit to Washington, D.C. at the height of Ukraine’s war against Russia, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy compared his nation’s fight to the Battles of Saratoga. The president hoping the success seen in that revolutionary battle can be echoed in Eastern Europe.
Well over 200 years ago, American forces fought valiantly on the landscape of the Saratoga Battlefield in Stillwater, defeating the British in the Battles of Saratoga.
“That entire British army is going to surrender to American forces. This is the first time in the history of the world that an entire British army had done that,” said Garrett Cloer, Program Manager for Interpretation & Visual Experience at the Saratoga National Historical Park.
The battles fought in the fall of 1777 are seen as a pivotal moment in the American Revolution. The victory, offering a bright spot at a time where the new nation was struggling in its fight for independence, and also ushered in assistance from a major foreign power.
“It gives Americans hope, it brings the French officially into the war and really gives America credence as a nation,” Cloer explained.
Nearly 90,000 days after the final shot rang across the battlefields of Saratoga, the harrowing victory is again echoed across the world. Just as the battle brought in foreign assistance, a world leader was on American soil hoping for additional assistance of his own.
During his visit to Washington Wednesday, President Zelenskyy made reference to the victory at Saratoga, comparing his nation’s fight to the American accomplishment, “Just like the Battle of Saratoga, the fight for Bakhmut will change the trajectory of our war for independence and for freedom.”
Zelenskyy hopes the tenancity to hold onto to the City of Bakhmut will serve as an inspiration, just as Saratoga did, providing a similar turning point in their war against Russia.
Experts with the Saratoga National Historical Park explain that foreign intervention after the Battles of Saratoga helped lead the United States on the path to victory.
“This is really going to stretch British resources, ultimately leading to American independence,” Cloer said, adding that the historic battles led to both France and Spain eventually declaring war against Great Britain.