The unannounced war between Ukraine and Russia has put the world on edge. Left us in questions on how and why the conflict started?
Well, it is a war that actually started after Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity. When the then-president Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign a political association and free trade agreement with the European Union. There started a protest and continued for months. The president, who had asked Russia for help to put down the protests led to the death of 14,000 Ukrainians. The invasion of Ukraine is the expansion of this hybrid war.
SOVIET UNION (USSR)
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a social state that spanned Europe and Asia from 1922 to 1991. After World War II, when the Soviet Union refused to withdraw forces from Eastern Europe. It prompted the US to counter the Soviet Union through NATO.
The Soviet Union and the US were two superpowers. But after the fall of the Soviet Union, the countries from the Soviet Union joined NATO. But Ukraine couldn’t join the military alliance. Later, when Ukraine declared itself an independent country, Russia lost its power and influence. Due to this, the Russian president Vladimir Putin nursed a deep sense of grievance.
UKRAINE AFTER INDEPENDENCE
After the independence, there were two parts of Ukraine, eastern and western. Those who live in the western part of Ukraine were aligned to the European Union while the People living in the eastern part consider themselves close to Russia. They had control over the eastern Ukrainian territories. Crimea was the only part of Ukraine to have the majority of Russians and in 2014, Russia annexed Crimea.
In comparison, Ukraine’s military is very much smaller than Russia’s military. Ukraine has just 2 lakh active soldiers while Russia has 8.5 lakh, active troops. Ukraine’s defense budget is 10 times low, then the Russian’s. Under these circumstances, Ukraine needs a military organization that guarantees its protection, and what is better than NATO for Ukraine?
But Russia wants NATO’s expansion in East Europe to stop. Russian President Putin is demanding NATO, to guarantee that Ukraine would not be given its membership. Russia fears that if Ukraine joins NATO, the NATO countries will be at its borders.
On Thursday, February 24 Russian president launched a military operation in Ukraine with explosions being heard all over the country. 40 Ukrainian soldiers and 10 civilians were killed. Inturn Ukraine killed 50 Russian occupiers without providing any insights.
On 25th February, the UNSC resolution against Russia’s Ukraine invasion was set up. And eleven countries voted in favor of the resolution while India, China, and UAE abstained from the UNSC. But as Russia holds the “veto power” it vetoed the resolution.
On its third day of the invasion, Russia claimed to have captured the southeastern Ukrainian city Melitopol. 35 people including children were injured in this overnight fight in Kyiv (Capital of Ukraine). The United States and other European nations have joined to impose sanctions on the foreign minister’s and Putin’s attempts to halt the Russian invasion.
Lately, President Putin vowed that Russia will not compromise in fighting against militants of nationalist armed groups. And the threat of using nuclear weapons in the Ukraine war looks serious.
With this increasing tension between Ukraine and Russia, many are speculating whether it could be an outbreak of World War III. If the tensions prevail, this conflict could be the beginning. In case of a global war, there will be a huge impact on the economy as the trade, investments, and services of each country are dependent on another and their economies are interconnected.