The story of the Ukraine-Russia Explained
Why Russia declared war on neighbour Ukraine? Here’s what you should know about Russia Ukraine Crisis
The tensions between Russia and Ukraine continue to escalate as Russian President Putin has finally launched a military operation against Ukraine on February 24. Russia has deployed its soldiers and troops encompassing Ukraine from all the possible directions and commenced its invasion of a foreign land. Many are speculating this forced intervention of Russia as the commencement of World War 3.
In the following article we are going to discuss the history of differences between Russia and Ukraine, the reasons for war, and the current scenario:
Fall of the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics)
From 1988 to 1991 the Soviet Union underwent disintegration which resulted in the formation of 15 independent countries: Russia, Ukraine, Estonia, Georgia, Armenia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Latvia.
Beginning of tensions between Russia and Ukraine:
After the disintegration of the Soviet Union Ukraine became an independent nation and start forming close relations with the west. Due to the internal division and corruption, the eastern region of Ukraine wanted to integrate with Russia while the western region of Ukraine wished to be with the European Union. Internal conflict arose after the rejection of the association agreement of the EU (European Union) by the Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych for maintaining closer ties with Russia. The protestors drove Victor Yanukovych out of his post which is called the Revolution of Dignity. This resulted in the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. Since 2014 the relation between Russia and Ukraine were poor due to the annexation of Crimea by Russia.
The conflicts of the separatists:
In the eastern side of Ukraine, lie two regions Donetsk and Luhansk. Some portion of these two regions is under the control of separatists. Due to such conditions, these areas were given special status by the Ukrainian government.
Due to constant interventions by Russia, the conflict between the Ukrainian force and Separatists (backed by Russia) continued and Ukraine accused Russia of supplying weapons and deploying troops to the rebellions which Russia denied. Russia as a means of increasing its territorial expansion continued aiding these two areas by supplying covid vaccines, giving people Russian passports, and helping financially. This resulted in the growth of Russian ethnicity and support for Russia.
Russia identifying NATO as big threat:
Russia always criticized NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and the US for providing support to Ukraine with joint military drills and weapons. Ukraine stocking up war machinery was always a potential threat for Russia given that the majority of the Russian population resided in the eastern region of the country, which is geographically close to Ukraine.
As of now, Ukraine is not a part of NATO but it aspires to be one. Russia does not want Ukraine to be a part of NATO as well as the European Union. Being a part of NATO Ukraine requires the approval of all 30 NATO member countries. Estonia, hungry, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic joined European Union in 2004 followed by Romania and Bulgaria in 2007.
Russia feared that Ukraine’s membership in NATO and European Union will result in restricting Russia from accessing the Black Sea. Since March 2021, the Russian military build-up near Ukraine arose tension between both the countries while still, Russia refused of having any plans of invading Ukraine.
The onset of Russo-Ukrainian war
On 21st February, after the end of the Beijing Olympics on 20th February President of Russia Vladimir Putin signed an official order recognizing Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic as independent and ordered the Russian military to maintain peace in these regions. With this action, the Russian president denied the Minsk agreement signed on 5th September 2014 which aimed at keeping peace in the Donbas region of Ukraine.
Before the Russian invasion, the German chancellor and president of France Emmanuel Macron initiated talks with Moscow in which Russia asked for assurance that Ukraine would not join NATO but they refused to provide a guarantee.
A joint statement issued by the nations of G7 also stated that Russia will face financial and economic consequences if Russia attacks Ukraine.
On 24th February morning, President of Russia Vladimir Putin launched an attack on Ukraine after the speech announcing a special military operation against Ukraine and warning other nations of consequences it they interfere after which explosions were reported in several cities of Ukraine.
On 25th Feb, Ukraine President Volodymyrn Zelenskyy said that Ukraine is left alone to fight with Russia, and anyone who is willing to defend the country will be given weapons. In the latest images President Zelenskyy, as a means of arousing patriotism among the country, can be seen in Military attire. He has also vowed to stay in the capital Kyiv till the war continues.
Reason of US concerns:
On December 5, 1994, the Budapest Memorandum Security Assurances was signed in Budapest, Hungary between Russia, the UK, and the US in order to protect Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus against the use of force or threat.
As a result of the Budapest Memorandum Security Assurances Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan gave up their nuclear arsenal, at that time Ukraine have 3rd largest nuclear arsenal in the world. Assurance of security was provided to Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus in exchange for adhering to Non – Proliferation Treaty. This is the major reason of concern of the US as well as the UK in the Ukrainian crisis.
Is India’s intervention in between a ray of hope?
On 24th February Ukraine Ambassador Igor Polikhaplead requested India’s support. On Thursday Night Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to President Vladimir Putin on the telephone and appealed for ‘immediate cessation of violence, President Putin briefed about the recent development in Ukraine. PM Modi also raised the concern about the safety of Indian students in Ukraine and he suggested that the differences between Russian and NATO groups can be resolved through honest and sincere dialogue.
Russian Deputy Chief of Mission Roman Babuskin on an online media briefing said that “Russia welcomes India’s independent position which India took at United Nations Security Council and it is reflecting merit of our special and privileged partnership”. “Russia – India partnership is based on a solid and strong foundation and mutual trust” he added.
US president Joe Biden in a white house news conference on the Ukrainian crisis said that “We are going to have a consultation with India”. But the US officials are displeased with the latest Indian position because they are seeking full support from India on the Ukrainian crisis. PM of India maintained its own strategic independence.