Russia and Ukraine Conflict


Yuri Kochetkov/EPA

President Vladimir Putin speaking on the Ukraine Crisis

What is happening right now with Russia over Ukraine? Here is what you need to know.

More former Soviet states have joined the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) since the fall of the USSR in the 1990s. Russia had once viewed these states in their sphere of influence, however, the EU and NATO have taken a larger role in Europe causing political tension to spike between Russia and Western Europe.

Russia invaded and annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 which led to more tension between the two countries. The 2014 Crimean crisis resulted in the Russo-Ukrainian War with Ukraine being supported by the EU and NATO. Russian warfare on Ukraine backfired on them as it resulted in Ukraine, Sweden, and Finland growing closer with NATO. Russia continues to lose its influence on Eastern European countries with Ukraine’s desire to join the NATO alliance.

Recently, Russia is contemplating invading Ukraine once more which has led to meetings between the US and Russia to prevent the invasion of Ukraine. President Biden responded to Russia’s threat by stating that he would cut them off from the global economy which would devastate Russia’s economy. The two countries continued to negotiate with Russia demanding that Ukraine is not offered membership in NATO and that the US must remove its troops from the eastern border.

With a stalemate in negotiations, Russia has made several attempts to overthrow the Ukrainian government while telling the west that they don’t plan to invade Ukraine. Because Russia fails to act with diplomacy, President Biden has averted from his original plan to practice restraint out of fear of an invasion to his recent decision to deploy troops to eastern Europe and Ukraine. NATO allies such as the UK have also deployed troops in Ukraine because of the significant amount of Russian supplies and troops being sent to the Ukrainian border.

On January 31, 2022, the UN met over Russia’s aggression on Ukraine while Russia and China voted against having the meeting. During the meeting, the United States insisted that Russia wanted war and failed to act with diplomacy, while China sided with Russia on the matter. The Ukrainian President responded by warning that a Russian invasion will result in a full-scale European war. Russia continues to insist that the US and NATO have ignored its demands claiming that the US wants war. Russia’s additional troops along the Ukrainian border have caused panic in the NATO alliance on whether or not Russia will invade Ukraine. Russia continues to exhibit aggressive behavior which has deviated from NATO’s aspiration to resolve the conflict through diplomacy instead of war.