Russia Ukraine Border Dispute

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The world’s attention is on the borders between Russia and Ukraine, the site of the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has already annexed Crimea, part of the Ukrainian territory, and plunged Donbas, in Ukraine’s southeast into a separate conflict.

Vladimir Putin disputes whether a border between Russia and Ukraine should exist. He says that the Russians and Ukrainians are one people, and claims that Ukraine is not a state. On the other hand, the Ukrainians are proud of their independence.

Meanwhile, Russia and Ukraine have a shared ancestor, a union between Moscow and Kyiv in the 17th century formed the basis of the Russian Empire, and Moscow sees Kyiv as the cradle of its civilization and faith

Ukraine has become a flashpoint between Russia and the West and where Russia can not afford to step back by leaving their interest compromised in Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin is in a dispute over whether there should be a border between Russia and Ukraine. He says that the Russians and Ukrainians are one people, and claims that Ukraine is not a state. Ukrainians, on the other hand, are proud of their independence.

Russia and Ukraine share a common ancestor, and the 17th-century alliance between Moscow and Kyiv formed the basis of the Russian Empire. At the same time, Moscow sees Kyiv as the cradle of its civilization and faith.

Moreover, over the centuries both countries have been intimately connected, Ukraine was the cornerstone of the Soviet Union until the bloc collapsed in 1991, at that time, the Ukrainian independence went hand in hand with the new democratic Russia, but over the years Moscow comes to view Ukraine’s independence as a strategic blow as well as an emotional one too.

Meanwhile, about 13 percent of Ukrainians today are morally Russian, and nearly a third speak Russian as their first language.

Despite these connections, recent events have turned Ukrainians against Russia. Most of them see their future as in the European Union rather than with Russia, but a democratic Ukraine’s ties with the West are unacceptable to Russia, mainly due to its strategic significance of it.

Currently, Ukraine is caught between the two spheres of influence, the West and its defensive alliance NATO on one side and Russia on the other. While President Putin is determined to keep Ukraine in Russia’s orbit by not allying with other countries, he does not want Ukraine to join NATO because he sees Ukraine as antagonistic to Moscow.

With 100,000 troops lined up on Russia’s border with Ukraine, the world is watching and waiting to see if Russia actually invades its neighbors, igniting the spark for what could be another world war.

In 2014, Ukraine’s worst fears were realized, and now its continued independence is in question by the 100,000 strong Russian forces massing on its border. If Russia invades, how can Ukraine be fair without Western aid?

Ukraine has a population roughly a third the size of Russia, and its Military is ranked at the no 22 spots according to Globalfirepower.com, which ranks world military powers according to the strength of their militaries, their economies, and demographics. Moreover, Russia, despite slowly slipping out of it, still retains the number second spot as the world’s second strongest military power, and its overmatch with Ukraine is significant.

Russia’s military numbers at 850,000 active personnel, versus Ukraine’s 200,000 strong Military- a mismatch of 650,000 in Russia’s favor. Due to the growing threat of an all-out war with Russia, Ukraine and Russia have the same number of reservists, 250,000, as Ukraine has significantly increased the preparation and training of its reservists. Since 2014, it has created dozens of additional reserve units that can be activated quickly against Russian forces.

In the air, meanwhile, Russia absolutely dwarfs Ukraine, with the world’s second-best Air Force at 4,173. Ukraine, on the other hand, has only 318 available aircraft, of which only 69 are fighter jets, while Russia has 772 fighter jets. Russia also enjoys a massive advantage in attack aircraft, with 739 dedicated attack platforms versus Ukraine’s 29, Moreover, with the world’s second-largest air mobility fleet, Russia can call upon 445 aircraft to rapidly move troops into combat areas, or launch airborne invasions deep into Ukrainian territory.

In addition, Ukraine’s 32-person air fleet, by comparison, would have difficulty transporting large numbers of people or supplies in a theater of operations. Russia’s attack helicopter fleet is also significantly larger than Ukraine’s, with 544 attack helicopters and 32. On land, Russia claims to have a tank force of more than 12,000 men – but it is widely believed that only a few thousand of them, possibly around 6,000, are ready for immediate combat action. Because what’s left are leftovers from the Cold War era, they’re in the back-up and take weeks to reactivate and deploy.

Lastly, the comparative analysis of both countries paints a picture as if it’s “babies versus the Might,” whereas, as long as Putin’s political woes continue, Russia’s border with Ukraine is unlikely to be left in peace.

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