A history of the tensions between Russia and Ukraine

Russia and Ukraine share a border, but do not hold a friendship. Starting in 2014, tensions between Russia and Ukraine began building up following the Russian annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. Britannica explains an annexation as when a state proclaims its sovereignty over territory outside its domain.

Many citizens and worldwide audiences were taken by surprise when poll results showed 97 percent voted in favor of integration of the region with Russia. Speculation and doubt still circle the results of the status referendum. Despite this, the days continued and Russia did not wait, March 18, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin formally signed the treaty of accession. This treaty officially declared the Republic of Crimea as part of the Russian Federation. Shortly after this formal accession, Russian troops quickly moved in and stormed government offices, buildings, roads and occupied buildings. Today, Crimea is still annexed by Russia and remains a federal subject of Russia. 

The fall of the U.S.S.R., or the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, officially happened on December 26, 1991. Causes for this collapse include economic, military, and social factors. The Soviet Union was the largest country in the world for several years. President Putin views the disintegration of the Soviet Union as the greatest catastrophe of the 20 century according to the New York Times. Putin has the goal of restoring the Soviet Union and regrouping the broken states that formerly were a part of the Soviet Union. In doing this he would put himself next to the world’s great powers of China and the United States.

Ukraine and Russia share a 1,426-mile border on land and 199 borders along the sea. This puts Ukraine in a difficult position and raises concern. More than 100,000 Russian troops are currently on the border and surround Ukraine on three separate sides. Moscow denies any plan of assault and says they pose no threat. Despite this, the United States and other NATO allies fear for the worst and are planning for war. 

NATO is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. This treaty was created and put into effect in 1949 on April fourth. NATO is an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 member countries. NATO is working together to manage fighting crises globally, fighting terrorism, and assisting fellow members when in need. Knowing this information can help us further understand the importance of NATO’s members to help Ukraine in their time of need as troops begin to overwhelm Ukraine and its citizens. 

Ukrainian leaders are comforting their citizens by issuing statements that say, “an invasion from neighboring Russia [is] not imminent.” Even though they acknowledge that the threat is real. Ukraine has received some shipments of U.S. military equipment to prepare its defenses. Relying on companion NATO members, Ukraine has gained support and is being given as much support as possible. Historically, NATO was first used after the devastating attacks of 9/11 when two passenger airplanes flew into the Twin Towers in New York City on September 11, 2001. Since then NATO has aided Syria and now is being called to help the current Russia-Ukraine crisis.  

New events are currently unfolding and evolving. If you would like to read about the events happening now in Russia and Ukraine, there is a new news article that includes all the additional and in-depth information happening now. Each day new information and statements are being released and published evolving this predicament.