The War between Russia and Ukraine is Shaking up the world. On a fine morning on the 24th of February when everything seemed calm and normal in Ukraine, suddenly the country shook with explosions afterward. The country knew about the warnings and signs from the west about a possible Russian attack. But it was unimaginable that in today’s world with all the interconnected economies and the proctoring of the UN such an act of invasion is even possible.
Background of the War Between Russia and Ukraine
Throughout the past few months, there has been an influx of news and coverage in the world about the Russia and Ukraine war. US intelligence service predicted the possibility of Russia’s imminent plans to invade Ukraine. The US embassy in Ukraine was cleared out as the US called their employees back. On the morning of February the 24th the fears proved to be well-founded.
Russia declared war on Ukraine and authorized the Russian military to invade the country. Before the official declaration, the Russian army had amassed around 200,000 soldiers along with their tanks, artillery equipment, and field hospitals across Ukraine’s border. At the same time, the border between Belarus and Ukraine was also flocked by Russian military personnel.
The intensity and the scale of the troops were huge. For comparison, the border troops sent by Russia were as much as the entire troops that Ukraine had in their Arsenal. The Russian government issued a decree as a justification for the invasion. The decree stated that the Russian government has recognized the independence of the two breakaway states inside of Ukraine.
Russia stated that Donetsk and Luhansk wanted to be a part of Russia as the people and culture have pro-Russian roots. The Russian military presence was already stationed in Crimea which was also invaded by Putin’s Russia. Now as the conflict has broken out it has the potential to unleash the most serious conflict seen in Europe since the second world war. Now, as the conflict rages on and has started a chain of events impacting the world economy in an unstable way, the question: what exactly does Russia and especially Putin want with Ukraine?
Putin’s perspective of the war
The origin of this war is often labeled as Vladimir Putin’s war. Putin saw the collapse of the Soviet Union back in the 1990s when Ukraine was a part of it along with other surrounding nations which broke away from it. The people in those countries have largely moved between them across generations as there wasn’t a distinct border. These countries are intimately connected by their shared history and culture. At the same time, the Soviet Union was a powerhouse in the world that dominated the world’s economic, industrial, and scientific sectors. It was in direct competition with US and Europe to become the undisputed super nation.
But all of that changed when in the late 1991s the Soviet Union which formed and existed in some form or another for centuries collapsed. The residue of that collapse was 15 newly independent nations. The cold war and the former President Gorbachev’s weak leadership allowed a form of the election system which was a multi-party system in the communist communication instigated a vibe of democratization among the people.
This created a consistent imbalance in the communist control and thus bringing an end to the era of Soviet Union dominance. Vladimir Putin was a KGB agent who saw the downfall of his nation with his own eyes. It struck him emotionally and later in his life he often quoted that the fall of the Soviet Union was the biggest Geopolitical disaster. It was his grudge and anguish for the fall that caused the war between Russia and Ukraine.
NATO and The War Between Russia and Ukraine
Again, the formation of NATO by the capitalistic west directly challenged the newly formed Russian state so that its influence remains under the control of the NATO members. Putin considers this a direct insult and injustice to Russia to this day. NATO is still growing as more nations try to gain its membership and this growing the concern of the Russian President.
Ukraine’s ambition to join NATO as an official member and to bring back the glory days of Russia, President Putin has embarked upon a personal mission. This mission to tackle NATO and capture the glory days of the USSR back again, fueled by Putin’s desire to leave behind a legacy of his own is a major catalyst for this war.
Why is Russia invading Ukraine?
The border of Russia and Ukraine is now the site of the largest ensemble of Europe since the cold war. Russia has already annexed Crimea the former peninsula of Ukraine. Now, after surrounding Ukraine from all the sides Russia plans to conduct a full-on assault.
Let us try to. probe deep and understand the key factors influencing the decision of invading a sovereign nation by Russia. The West and its allies have issued numerous sanctions on Russia some countries are pro-Russian and others are neutral. But how did Ukraine become a flashpoint between Russia and the West? And why will Russia not leave Ukraine alone?
The Russian President firmly believes the Ukrainians and Russians are people connected through history, language, and culture. If we dig deep into history, there is a shared ancestry between Russia and Ukraine. There was a union between Moscow and Kyiv in the 17th century which formed the base of the Russian empire. Moscow considers Kyiv a cradle of its civilization and faith. And over the centuries since the two countries have been intimately connected. Almost thirteen percent of the Ukrainians are ethnically Russian and almost a third of the population speak the Russian language.
The newly formed government of Ukraine is against the Russian influence of power and wants to strengthen its ties with the US and its allies. At the same time, they want to be a member of NATO to tackle the sphere of influence under Russia. But a democratic Ukraine with ties to the West is unacceptable to Russia mainly due to Ukraine’s strategic significance. So we see that Ukraine is caught in the middle of two spheres of influence. It is a prime contributing factor behind the war between Russia and Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin is determined to keep Ukraine in Russia’s orbit and out of any alliances with the west. Putin mainly fears NATO’s growing influence around the Russian border. Russia is also slowly losing its control over Ukraine after mass protests and uprising has toppled the pro-Russian government in Ukraine. Putin wanted to regain his influence over Ukraine and set an example. He had to show that such events and revolutions end badly and they end in civil war.
Ukraine’s Natural Resources
Again Ukraine is a natural resources-rich country. Coal, iron ore, natural gas, manganese, oil, and many other mineral resources are abundant in Ukraine. This is also a reason why put in strategically wants to keep his influence over the nation.
The present president of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy is also against any pro-Russian ties and wants his country to be integrated into NATO as soon as possible. Putin’s decision to wage an invasion in Ukraine is to keep the EU and NATO at arm’s length from Ukraine.
At the same time, Vladimir Putin’s popularity is falling and opposition to his regime is increasing particularly among the young. Putin portrays himself as Russia’s defender against a failing West. Western-style democracy can’t be allowed to contrast favorably against its rule. He thinks that a successful democracy in the neighboring coy try may lead people to demand the same thing at home.
Global consequences of the War Between Russia and Ukraine
So far at least 4,031 people have been killed along with 200 children according to a report made by Al Jazeera. Europe is set to experience another refugee crisis. It also opens the potential door for China to support its Russian ally and try to make advancements to annex Taiwan. On the other hand, the prolonged conflict would affect global markets. This is one of the by-products of the war between Russia and Ukraine.
Energy prices have already gone up all over the world. Raw material shortages are being faced globally as sanctions and counter-sanctions created a disturbance and halted the supply chain system. 29% of the wheat supply is halted due to this prolonged conflict as both Russia and Ukraine account for it. The Sri Lankan government has fallen due to the ripple effect of this conflict and prices of commodities like cooking oil have skyrocketed. Global gas and oil prices are already fluctuating and the world economy is now heading towards an uncertain future.