Russia-Ukraine Ties and the Recent Conflict


The Russia-Ukraine crisis is a hot topic for discussion now a day; nevertheless, it has a long history behind it. Ukraine formally declared itself an independent state on August 24, 1991, when Ukraine’s Communist Supreme Soviet (Parliament) declared that Ukraine would no longer follow USSR rules and only Ukrainian SSR rules, in fact Ukraine got independence from the Soviet Union. These countries have a strong relationship with each other from the start of their relations.
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine started from the collapse of the Soviet Union in early 1990s. The former Soviet republic of Ukraine had the world’s third-largest nuclear weapon. The US and Russia have worked with Ukraine to rid the country of nuclear weapons, and in a series of diplomatic agreements, Ukraine returned hundreds of its nuclear warheads to Russia in exchange for security assurances. But Russia proved these security assurances mere words by invading Ukraine in 2014. Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula and supported a pro-Russian separatist uprising in the eastern Donbas region. However, Russian deny this claim and calls it a merger rather than annexation. Geopolitical competition is also impacted the Ukraine crisis.
Unfortunately, the world has become a battleground for the great powers, and the majority of these powers have nuclear deterrence. The nations with nuclear power are the most powerful nations on earth in terms of hard power. Power plays an important role in International Relations. Powerful countries think that they have the right to impose their will on the weak states. Furthermore, in an anarchic international system, weak states have no protection against the powerful ones, and they face the tyranny of powerful states without any protection. In the case of Russia and Ukraine, Russia adopted an aggressive posture towards Ukraine and now has attacked it. There is a stark difference between the power of both countries. Ukraine is weaker than Russia in terms of population, economy, and military. Russia always tried to keep the states that got independence; however, people had different directions.
Viktor Yanukovych, who was a pro-Russian president of Ukraine, paid the price for supporting Russia by losing his presidency as a result of protests in Ukraine. But the other major reason behind this was rejecting a trade agreement with the European Union. West always backed Ukraine, but due to the very strong military power of Russia, they remained reluctant to confront Russia directly. There are many other examples where Russia has shown its military power, Georgia in 2008, Crimea in 2014 and Syria after 2014. European countries, the United States, and NATO saw it all as a silent spectator, but never did NATO dare to confront Russia. The NATO expansion also played a role in this conflict.
West interference is fueling the potential of this possible war between Russia and Ukraine. The reason for the recent escalation of tensions is NATO’s eastward expansion. But the question is, why does NATO want to include Ukraine into its orbit? NATO (North Atlantic Alliance) was founded after World War II. Securing peace in Europe, promoting cooperation among its members, and protecting their liberties were the main objectives and all in the face of the threat posed by the Soviet Union at the time. It was founded to maintain peace after a Great War, but now why NATO wants to expand towards East. NATO says that it is a defensive alliance and doesn’t possess any threat for Russia.
Russia considers Ukraine its sphere of influence where western powers are interfering and the inclusion of Ukraine into NATO is called a strategic threat to Russian security. As Putin clearly said that action will be taken in case of any foreign interference. It is a clear threat to all other great powers from a military superpower. Putin who seems eager to invade Ukraine on an immediate basis, says in a recent statement that Ukraine was completely created by Russia. Ukrainians and Russians “were one people a single whole,” and intervention of external forces have created a “wall” between both countries. Furthermore, Russia sees it as threat for its security. Ukraine has high aspirations to become part of NATO and Russia will do anything to stop it doing from that. engagement in UKRAINE. To keep Ukraine in its sphere of influence, Russia has attacked Ukraine.
Russia has cleared its path in Ukraine by recognizing the Russian-backed areas as independent states (Donetsk and Luhansk). Soon after this declaration Russian President Mr. Putin sent troops on “peace keeping “mission in Donbas region which is Russian-backed area. It seems that Ukraine is not the one who is being targeted; however, the stability in whole Europe is at risk. Countries at international level are showing concerns related this conflict.
At international level big giants seems very concerned about this conflict between Russia and Ukraine. As UN member of Ukraine has requested all the UN members to do anything to stop this war. Different countries including Canada, EU, UK and US are already imposing economic sanctions on Russia. US president Joe Biden said that the whole world is praying for the Ukrainian people and US along with its allies will take any collective action to stop this war in Ukraine. He further added that Russia would be the only one responsible for any kind of consequences. Western countries are with Ukraine for their interest; albeit cannot do much to stop Russia.
The West, which has never felt sorry for a poor state, has reached a point where it has become increasingly difficult for it to choose a path. What maximum they can do is to put economic sanctions on Russia and try to isolate it. But Putin who has dared to take intense actions in Ukraine through military actions, will be able to afford sanctions against Russia? And time will conclude the real Putin’s intentions in Ukraine.

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