As tensions rise on the border of Russia and the Ukraine, The United States has stepped in to help negotiate peace between these two countries. Politicians are working overtime in hopes of avoiding war. Here’s what we know so far.
Origins of the Conflict
Tensions between these two countries have been brewing for years. After the Cold War, the Soviet Union dissolved and Ukraine became independent. Ukraine has attempted to distance itself from Russia while Russia has been mourning the loss of Ukraine for decades. Ukraine has a large population and Russia has missed their numbers.
During Vladimir Putin’s rise to power, he has made it no secret that he will attempt to regain influence and control over Russia’s previous territories. There have been a series of invasions and confrontations happening for many years. France and Germany brokered a peace agreement in 2015, but small scale tensions have increased recently.
Now, Ukraine is feeling unease because Russia has deployed 100,000 troops to the border between the countries. US intelligence says that this number could grow by 75,000 in preparation for a potential invasion. Ukraine has warned that an invasion will unequivocally mean war. However, Putin insists that the military is simply carrying out standard exercises. This contradicts images the US has of Russia moving a tremendous amount of equipment along with their personnel late last year.
Russia has decided to flex their muscle in an attempt to intimidate Ukraine. This has created a tremendous amount of tension which the US is attempting to dissipate. An article written for aljazeera.com explains, “The United States has called on Russia to pull back thousands of troops it has massed near the border with Ukraine, warning any incursion would be met with a swift, severe and united response from the White House and its partners.”
Russia seems to be unimpressed by where these negotiations are heading. They have countered with some demands of their own. The above mentioned article goes on to say, “Moscow denies it is planning an attack, and demands that the US-headed NATO military alliance end activity in Eastern Europe and Ukraine and never embrace the former Soviet republic as a new member.”
Conversations between the two countries have been largely unproductive. They have met multiple times to discuss their positions but neither will budge on their demands. They are diametrically opposed. It puts everyone involved in a tricky spot.
Russia has a lot to lose if they decide to move forward with an invasion. Not only will they have war with their neighboring country, there will be global consequences. There are many countries who have agreed to internationally condemn Russia is they continue down this road.
Ideally, war can be avoided. However, as these conversations progress, it is unclear whether or not these two countries are going to be able to come to an agreement.