Russia has been accused of invading Ukraine, but why? Here are some possible explanations for Russia’s actions.
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The crisis in Ukraine has its roots in a long-standing disagreement between Russia and the West over the future of the country.
Russia wants Ukraine to be a close ally, while the West would prefer it to be a prosperous, democratic nation with strong ties to Europe.
The disagreement came to a head in 2014 when pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted after months of protests.
Russia then intervened militarily in Ukraine’s Crimea region, sparking international condemnation.
In recent months, there has been a sharp escalation in violence in eastern Ukraine, with Ukrainian forces struggling to contain a pro-Russian separatist rebellion.
More than 9,000 people have been killed since the conflict began in April 2014, according to UN estimates.
The Russian Empire collapsed in 1917 after a series of revolutions and civil wars. The Soviet Union was established in its place in 1922. The Soviet Union and Nazi Germany invaded and partitioned Poland in 1939.
Soviet Union and Ukraine
The roots of the current crisis in Ukraine go back to the Soviet Union, which included both Ukraine and Russia. After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Ukraine became an independent country.
However, many ethnic Russians remain in Ukraine, and Russia has kept troops in Crimea, a peninsula on the Black Sea that has a long history as a Russian naval base. In recent years, Russia has been trying to increase its influence in Ukraine, including by offering economic incentives.
In November 2013, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych announced that he was suspending plans to sign a trade agreement with the European Union, opting instead for closer ties with Russia. This decision sparked mass protests in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, and Yanukovych was eventually ousted from power.
Russia responded by annexing Crimea and supporting pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. The resulting conflict has killed more than 10,000 people and displaced more than 1 million others.
In 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed, leading to the creation of 15 new countries, including Russia and Ukraine.
After the Soviet Union collapsed, many people in Russia felt like they had lost their status in the world. The Russian economy was in shambles, and poverty was rampant. In addition, Crime rates soared and corruption was rampant. Meanwhile, the United States and other Western countries were prospering.
In response to this decline, Russian president Vladimir Putin has worked to restore Russia’s power and status on the global stage. Part of Putin’s strategy has been to rebuild ties with other former Soviet states, particularly those in Central Asia.
In 2014, Putin took things a step further by invading Ukraine. The reason for Putin’s invasion is two-fold. First, Putin wants to keep Ukraine from joining NATO or the European Union. Second, Putin wants to maintain control over Crimea, which is a key strategic location for the Russian navy.
At first, it appeared that Putin’s strategy was working. However, international sanctions and falling oil prices have hurt the Russian economy in recent years. In addition, Ukrainian soldiers have been putting up a fierce resistance against the Russian invaders. As a result, it’s unclear how much longer Putin’s aggression will continue.
In less than a week, Russia has taken over Crimea, a peninsula in southern Ukraine. Why? There are many theories, but let’s start with the most obvious one: Putin wants to make Russia great again.
Reestablishing Russian power
President Vladimir Putin’s goals in invading Ukraine are to reestablish Russian power and influence in the region, to protect Russian speakers in Ukraine and to undermine NATO and the European Union.
Putin believes that the Soviet Union was dissolved unfairly, and that Russia has a right to reestablish its influence in its “near abroad,” which includes Ukraine. He also believes that Russians and Russian speakers in Ukraine are under threat from the Ukrainian government and from Ukrainian nationalists, and he wants to protect them.
Finally, Putin sees NATO and the EU as threats to Russia’s power. By destabilizing Ukraine and undermining these organizations, he hopes to weaken them.
Protecting Russian interests
Why Is Russia Invading Ukraine?
The short answer is that Vladimir Putin is trying to protect Russian interests in the region, both political and economic.
Ukraine is a critical ally for Russia, providing both a buffer against Europe and a market for Russian goods. It’s also home to a large Russian-speaking population, which Putin sees as needing protection from what he sees as the hostile West.
Putin’s main goal in invading Ukraine appears to be to keep the country within Russia’s orbit and prevent it from moving closer to the West.
The West’s response
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been met with condemnation from the international community. The United States and its European allies have called on Russia to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. They have also imposed sanctions on Russia in an attempt to pressure it to withdraw its forces from Ukraine.
In response to Russia’s aggression, the United States and European Union have imposed sanctions on Russia. These sanctions are having an impact on the Russian economy, but they have not stopped Putin.
The goal of the sanctions is to change Putin’s behavior. The hope is that by making it more difficult for Russian businesses to operate and by making it more expensive for Russians to travel and do business abroad, Russians will pressure Putin to stop his aggression in Ukraine.
So far, however, there is no sign that the sanctions are changing Putin’s behavior. If anything, they seem to be making him more determined to continue his aggression.
Military aid to Ukraine
The United States and its European allies are exploring ways to provide military aid to Ukraine, as Kyiv struggles against a better-armed and -trained Russian proxy force in the east.
The Obama administration is looking at a range of options, including providing lethal assistance, such as anti-tank missiles, small arms and ammunition. But no decisions have been made, and any U.S. assistance would have to be coordinated with Europe, officials said.
“We are looking at all options,” a senior administration official told Fox News on Tuesday. “We are not ruling anything out.”
The U.S. also is considering boosting non-lethal assistance, such as night-vision goggles, body armor and vehicles outfitted with communication gear that would enable Ukrainian forces to better coordinate their efforts, the official said.
In conclusion, Russia is invading Ukraine because of the strategic importance of the country, the presence of Russian speakers in the country, and because of Ukraine’s close ties to the West. While there are other factors at play, these are the most important reasons for Russia’s actions.