Tensions Rise as the Ukraine and Russian Conflict Continues

Tensions Rise as the Ukraine and Russian Conflict Continues

David Caine

Wars aren’t a new thing; they’ve been around forever for one reason or another. Whether they are for land, money, people, or something else entirely, people will always find a reason to fight and make conflict. Sometimes, they will even go to great lengths to create a problem themselves, blame it on someone else, and then go to war with them. This ideology is similar to what is happening in Asia and Europe now with the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. 

Russia and Ukraine have had a long history of fighting and disagreements. Since the Cold War and in the Warsaw Pact, Russia has always had some sort of political control over Ukraine, and many more countries. While Ukraine itself wasn’t an actual satellite state, Russia still had political control over the country, and influenced it to become a Communist country. But after the dispatchment of the USSR in 1991, Ukraine started to slowly break away from its Soviet ties, and become its own nation, while depending on another source- the European Union. 

The European Union (EU), is a group of several European nations with a common goal to “provide citizens freedom, security and justice, without internal borders, while also controlling external borders.” In other words, it is an unofficial country that maintains already created country borders. This “westward expansion” of Ukraine worried Russia, but they did not act on these worries until Ukraine started getting close with another global force: NATO. 

NATO, or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, is like the EU, in the sense that it is a union between countries to protect each other if war ever breaks out. Members of NATO include the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Iceland, along with Canada and the United States. 

Russia saw this action by Ukraine as joining the “opposing side” and thought that it was going against its Soviet and Communist roots. Vladamir Putin, the president of Russia stated, “’Not one inch to the East,’ they told us in the nineties. So what? They cheated, just brazenly tricked us!” Russia believes that because NATO started to involve Ukraine in their pact, they went back on their agreement to not involve any former Soviet countries in their deal. 

Sergei Ryabkov, the Deputy Foreign Minister stated, “For us, it’s absolutely mandatory to ensure Ukraine never, ever becomes a member of NATO.” Russia will do anything and everything to make sure that Ukraine doesn’t move to become more Western, which is where many people’s concerns lie. 

No conflict has occurred yet, but by looking at what has happened so far, and the situation Russia and Ukraine are in, things aren’t looking great. While Russia hasn’t officially announced that they will invade Ukraine, they have set up around 100,000 troops near the border between the two countries. This is a stark difference in numbers, as while Ukraine has only 200,000 active troops, Russia has around 900,000 ready, more than four times that of Ukraine. 

This controversy has led to many countries taking the sides of their respective alliances, with the United States siding with Ukraine. President Biden stated that a full-on attack on Ukraine would be a disaster for Russia. It would be “the most consequential thing that’s happened in the world, in terms of war and peace since World War Two.” The Pentagon has stated that there are over 8,500 troops on alert and are ready to be sent to Eastern Europe if it becomes necessary. 

This conflict has been going on for a long time now, and there is little evidence it will be resolved soon. But if one country does attack, the outcome won’t be good for anyone. Many people are calling this a possible World War Three. We can only hope that this issue will deescalate quickly with as little conflict as possible, and another war doesn’t break out.