RUSSIA UKRAINE CONFLICTS AND NATO'S ROLE

  Russia Ukraine Conflicts

What is the cause of Ukraine's and Russia's current conflict?

In recent months, Russia has moved roughly 100,000 troops to its border with Ukraine. This sparked fears of a third World War. Despite US intelligence warnings of a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine but Russia has maintained its denial. It then sent specific security requests to the West, which they declined but offered to discuss.

Russia's security deal with the West included a treaty with the US and a NATO agreement. Russia requested a commitment from NATO that it would deny Ukraine and other former Soviet countries membership, de-escalate military deployments from Central and Eastern Europe, and cease its eastward expansion as part of its security demands.Russia sought assurances from the US that it would not send troops to the Baltic States or the Black Sea.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that their security requests have gone unmet two days after delivering them to the West, but that they are ready to have diplomatic talks.The US President and his Russian counterpart held video conference conversations in February 2022. President Biden expressed worry about Russia's invasion of Ukraine, emphasising the human suffering that will result from the armed confrontation.

Russia reported a de-escalation of part of its forces near the border three days later, which Ukraine's Foreign Minister disregarded, stating that they don't believe what they hear. If these words are followed by a genuine pullback, people will believe they are witnessing the start of a genuine de-escalation.Russia made an agreement with separatist leaders and recognised two Ukrainian regions, Donetsk and Luhansk, as independent held entities just days before declaring war on Ukraine.He then ordered Russian troops to maintain peace in the two regions, providing a safe passage for the Russian military to enter Ukraine.

What is Russia's problem with Ukraine?

Ukraine attained independence in 1991, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. In 2014, it annexed the Crimean Peninsula after residents overthrew Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych in a 'Revolution of Dignity.' Since World War 2, the annexation of Crimea has been the largest land grab on the European continent.

Russia then launched an attack on Donbas, Ukraine's industrial heartland, which Russia has denied to this day. In the armed battle, almost 14,000 individuals were killed.

Despite the fact that Ukraine is a sovereign country, Russia nevertheless views it as a sphere of influence rather than a separate country. It does not want Ukraine to join NATO because it worries Ukraine will try to retake Crimea by force. It should be mentioned that Kyiv is currently a NATO partner country and will be permitted to join the military alliance in the future.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine signals its desire for recognition of the Donbas and Crimea regions, complete control of the Sea of Azov shoreline, dominance of the Black Sea, and the reunification of Ukraine and the former Soviet republics.

What is Russia's main issue with NATO?

NATO is at the centre of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. Given NATO's history of expansionism, the Russian side is cautious of the military alliance's eastward expansion and the possibility that the West, with NATO's support, may encroach on Russia.

In addition, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that the United States violated a 1990 security deal guaranteeing that NATO would not expand eastwards.The Eastern European military alliance, NATO, and Russia signed the Founding Act on mutual ties, collaboration, and security in 1997, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

NATO, according to Russia, violated the spirit of the Founding Act by undergoing five rounds of enlargement in the late twentieth century as it drew ex-Soviet countries into its orbit. NATO, on the other hand, has dismissed Russia's accusations, insisting that it is a defensive alliance.

A number of European countries have joined NATO in the previous two decades. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, and Bulgaria are the countries in question.

What is NATO?

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

NATO is a military alliance that was founded in 1949 to counter Soviet expansion in Europe after World War II. The United States, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and the United Kingdom were the 12 founding members of NATO. It currently has 30 member states.

BELGIUM (1949)
CANADA (1949)
DENMARK (1949)
FRANCE (1949)
ICELAND (1949)
ITALY (1949)
LUXEMBOURG (1949)
NETHERLANDS (1949)
NORWAY (1949)
PORTUGAL (1949)
THE UNITED KINGDOM (1949)
THE UNITED STATES (1949)
GREECE (1952)
TURKEY (1952)
GERMANY (1955)
SPAIN (1982)
CZECH REPUBLIC (1999)
HUNGARY (1999)
POLAND (1999)
BULGARIA (2004)
ESTONIA (2004)
LATVIA (2004)
LITHUANIA (2004)
ROMANIA (2004)
SLOVAKIA (2004)
SLOVENIA (2004)
ALBANIA (2009)
CROATIA (2009)
MONTENEGRO (2017)
NORTH MACEDONIA (2020)

North Macedonia is the latest country to join NATO member states while Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia and Ukraine are aspiring members of NATO.

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