Russia-Ukraine Conflict Explained


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Flag of Russia and Ukraine painted on a concrete wall. Relationship between Ukraine and Russia

Samuel Behar, Staff Writer

100,000 Russian troops are stationed at Ukraine’s border along with weapons and fighting vehicles due to a long history of tension with the Ukrainians. While the Russians currently deny that they plan to invade Ukraine, it is possible they could do so within one to two months. There are two sides to this conflict, the Russian perspective and the Ukrainian perspective which will both be explored in this article.

The history of tensions between the two countries began in 2013 over trade with the European Union and a dispute of a political landmark. Later in 2014, Russia made the decision to annex Crimea, which is a small peninsula with mostly people who are loyal to Russia. Finally, Russian separatists in Ukraine’s cities of Donetsk and Luhansk declared their independence from Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital. Many months of bloodshed resulted in a ceasefire in 2015 between Russia and Ukraine despite many recent violations, which leads us to the present day.

In this conflict there are two main viewpoints: the Russians believe that they are simply moving troops across their country and this should not cause panic but, they also see Ukraine’s growing support of joining NATO and them potentially benefiting from an increase in arms which could be a problem in the future for them. The Ukrainians on the other hand believe Russia has no business in their affairs with NATO and that they should be able to join if they choose. Both sides are denying allegations of preparing for war.

Nehemiah Mazichina, a Uni student was asked his personal opinions on the conflict. His response was “The way I see it, Russia is bullying Ukraine”. Mazichina’s uncle, who was formerly part of the U.S. Army, summed up the Ukrainian perspective in a few sentences. “ My explanation is extremely short: Russia is greedy for control and power and President Putin wants to take Ukraine…The Ukraine people do not want to be ruled whatsoever [by Putin] and his ludicrous evil laws.

The United States has sent $450 million in defensive equipment to Ukraine in 2021 alone. Additionally, the Biden administration is considering offering even more extra supplies to Ukraine to prevent another Russian invasion. The U.S. official’s motives for doing this are that they do not want to be caught unprepared as they were in Crimea, in case there is another Russian military operation in play. While this may seem beneficial in the eyes of someone on the side of NATO and the U.S., Russia sees it as war preparations creating further tension. For now, only time will tell how these events will unfold.

Flag of Russia and Ukraine painted on a concrete wall. Relationship between Ukraine and Russia (Getty Images/iStockphoto)