A Breakdown of the Ukraine-Russian Conflict
Interests in Eurasian natural gas pipelines and vastly different political ideologies within Ukraine lie at the core of this geopolitical dispute – Although the war has dragged on for years, a conclusion does not seem to be on the Horizon.
Hidden Economic motives behind the Ukraine-Russia Conflict
Ukraine is undoubtedly one of the most geostrategically important countries within the Eurasian hemisphere. It lies at a crossroads between the dominant-European Union economy and Russia, as well as having easy access to the Middle East and even Asia.
Russia-Ukraine Gas Disputes
In January 2009, this disagreement resulted in supply disruptions in many European nations, with eighteen European countries reporting major drops in or complete cut-offs of their gas supplies transported through Ukraine from Russia. In September 2009 officials from both countries stated they felt the situation was under control and that there would be no more conflicts over the topic, at least until the Ukrainian 2010 presidential elections.
Ukraine politics deeply intertwined with Russia’s – A melting point for conflict
The Revolution consisted of a series of violent events in February of 2014. Involved were riot police, violent protests, and unknown shooters, among others. The protesters took control of government buildings in the capital city of Kiev, along with the city itself. As the police abandoned their posts across the capital Kiev and the opposition established control over key intersections and the parliament, President Yanukovych fled Kiev for Kharkiv in the east of Ukraine, where he traditionally has had more support.
One of the first issues the parliament approached was that of the language, annulling a bill that provided for Russian to be used as a second official government language in regions with large Russian-speaking populations occupied primarily in the South-Eastern regions of Ukraine. The parliament adopted a bill to repeal the 2012 law on minority languages, which protected the status of languages other than Ukrainian. The proposal alienated many in the Russian-speaking regions of Ukraine and a few days later, on 1 March, acting President Oleksandr Turchynov vetoed the bill, effectively stopping its enactment.
This heavily disputed referendum was followed by the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation in mid-March. Ukraine and most of the international community refused to recognize the referendum or the annexation. On 15 April, the Ukrainian parliament declared Crimea a territory temporarily occupied by Russia.
Renewed Conflict In Ukraine
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko warned that Russia was preparing for a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, something that Europe is too weak to prevent it from doing. However, I will argue that this statement is nothing more than media propaganda, to try and sway the Ukrainian populace in a direction that favours NATO alliances.
Military conflict between Ukraine and Russia has ceased recently, but tensions between the two nations remain. Russia will continue to push for dominance within Eastern Ukraine at least on a political, economic, and social scale, to avoid further casualties. The proposition of the South Stream natural gas pipeline is one that is important to Putin; he understands that in order for Russia to have continued economic prosperity with the Eurasian economies, he must secure natural gas exports.
Knowing Putin’s intentions, one cannot exclude all chances for future conflict – it is almost inevitable. Ukraine is ethnically torn between East and West, and Putin wants to capture the pro-Russian west populace of Ukraine, as well as the land and money that comes with it. If the conflict in the region continues, expect Putin to use possible threats of terrorism as a backbone for promoting pro-Russian media coverage.
The dispute between these two countries is complex. Their history leading up to this point has led to vastly differing ideologies on politics, language, religion, and social status. Including economic forces, all of these variables come into play with this issue, which is why it is so difficult to understand, and even more perplexing to completely solve.
As a curious onlooker, I am eagerly awaiting what will happen next between Ukraine and Russia, because the implications affect us all.
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