Russian Ukraine Conflict



Ukrainian soldiers stand on a check-point close to the line of separation from pro-Russian rebels, Mariupol, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Friday, Jan. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Andriy Dubchak)

Kylie McAllister, Editor-in-Chief

A brewing conflict between Russia and Ukraine is bubbling up and leaves many wondering what is going on.

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine date all the way back to the collapse of the USSR in 1991. Once Ukraine declared themselves a independent nation they began trying to shed themselves of the imperialist mess left behind in all countries of the USSR. Their foreign relationships with western countries has been incredibly important to them and they have created a democracy style government with seven presidents but have had low luck with two revolutions in both 2005 and 2014.

Russia on the other hand has had few leaders and current president Vladimir Putin has been in power for 17 years and just recently has extended his stay in office till 2036 with a law signed by a former Soviet Union KGB security service. Vladimir Putin is one of the three presidents who has been in office since the fall of the USSR in 1991.

While the countries have some of the biggest surface area in Europe, they have declining fertility rates and a shrinking population. Despite this Russia has one of the most powerful militaries in the world. The country is one of the top 5 spenders on their military in the world. Russia spent $61.7 bn on the military last whereas Ukraine spent $5.9 bn.

Ukraine receives military help from the US and just this past Sunday they received a shipment of weapons, which is their second yet, as part of the $200m defense package signed by President Joe Biden in December of 2021. Russia has almost 4x the troops of Ukraine and since the tensions are rising NATO Allies have been sending assistance to Ukraine.

Now to what the crisis is, over the past few weeks Russia has buffed up its military presence along Ukraine’s border with a estimated 100,000 soldiers on the frontier and 20,000 stationed near Donetsk and Luhansk “republics.” Despite the many diplomatic talks, Russia has failed to back down. Russia is against the NATO bases that have been growing increasingly closer to their border. They have asked that their are written garuntees that NATO will not expand eastward as Russia refuses to join NATO and does not want to become allies. The Kremlin, which is a executive branch of the Russian government, demands that Ukraine not be allowed to join NATO because it considers that a threat and because of the tension between NATO and Russia they have asked that Ukraine not joining NATO be one of the conditions on the written agreement. The Unites States has refused to give into the demands of the Kremlin and so Russia has deployed troops and while many representatives say it is unlikely they will attempt to invade Ukraine, some say it could be as early as February when the troops enter the country. Russian president Putin has declared many times that Ukraine and Russia are “one people” and while Ukrainians reject this claim it is clear that Russia still will be considering this a threat to their people.