Causes of the Russia-Ukraine war

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Introduction

Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, has made it abundantly apparent that he views Ukraine as being his dominion. From the 18th century, when Catherine the Great ruled the Russian Empire, to the end of the Soviet Union, that was its stance. In latest years, several Ukrainian regimes have moved toward closer links with the EU and NATO, then slowly retreated toward Russia. Putin intends to decide Ukraine’s future course through military force. While there are disagreements on the causes of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, several reasons can be associated with the war.

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Move by Ukraine to join NATO

One of the primary reasons behind Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is the move by Ukraine to join NATO. The United States was the major player in influencing the move. The central argument here is that the American government has pushed policies that the leaders in Russia, including Putin, view as an existential threat, something that they have been talking about for a very long time (Mearsheimer, 2022). America has been obsessed with bringing Ukraine into NATO and returning to make it the bulwark of the West countries on Russia’s border. Notably, Ukraine was one of the former Soviet nations and borders Russia. The relationship between the two countries has historically been very close, with almost every Ukrainian speaking or understanding Russian. Additionally, Russian ethnic communities make up the largest minority group in Ukraine. With these close ties, Moscow thinks that the move by Ukraine to join NATO is bleach to their security as weapons will be deployed there by the member nations, including the United States (Mearsheimer, 2022). As a means of telling the West to keep off former Soviet nations, Russia invaded Kyiv.

Attempt to Protect Status Quo

The second major argument is that Russia is attempting to protect its status quo. Russia may seize more territories if it can, as evidenced by the NovoRossiya investigation, threats against the Baltic States, and ongoing conflicts on the front lines in the Donbas. We might possibly take Russia’s warnings regarding Kyiv and Novorossiya seriously, just as few anticipated Russia would annex Crimea in 2014 considering its long history of claiming the region (Kuzio & D’Anieri, 2022). In other words, after marginally altering the geopolitical status quo of 1991, will Moscow be pleased that Odessa and Kyiv remain outside of its authority and that its western dominance frontier still extends far to the east of where it did from 1945 to 1989? Putting aside the issue of whether Moscow has reached its territorial limits, it is evident that Russia wants to alter the standards that Europe and the US believe have supported the protection of Europe since 1989. A couple of these standards are that states’ decisions regarding their institutional associations cannot be vetoed by outside groups and that boundaries will not be altered through force (Kuzio & D’Anieri, 2022). So, regardless of whether we think Moscow is OK with the existing quo or not, reality directs the West in one of two directions. By accepting these victories and rendering Russia less confrontational if Russia is happy with Ukraine, the West can support its own defense. But if Moscow is not content, realism would advise, as it has in the past, that power be matched with power. In this case, Russia was not satisfied with Ukraine joining NATO.

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Politics Surrounding Ukraine

Another core reason is that the politics surrounding Ukraine’s admission to NATO and its incorporation into the West altered in 2021, in addition to NATO’s continuous attempts to strengthen the Ukrainian military as a combatant force. Both in Washington and Kyiv, there was a rekindled zest for achieving those objectives (Kirby, 2022). After being elected in 2019 on a framework that called for collaborating with Moscow to resolve the current conflict, President Zelensky—who has never shown any much eagerness for attempting to bring Ukraine into NATO—reversed the path in 2021 and not only decided to embrace NATO’s advancement but also implemented a hardline stance toward Russia (Bilefsky, Pérez-Peña, & Nagourney, 2022). He took a number of actions that were certain to enrage Moscow, such as closing pro-Russian Television channels and convicting a close ally of Putin of treason.

Intensified Sanctions by Western Countries

Finally, in response to the beginning of the conflict, the Biden government intensified its campaign against Moscow. The United States and its partners in the West are determined to resoundingly conquer Russia in Ukraine and use extensive sanctions to significantly reduce Russian power (Mearsheimer, 2022). The battle is likely to linger for months or even years because America is not truly willing to pursue a diplomatic resolution. Ukraine, which has since endured immense hardship, will suffer considerably more damage as a result. In essence, the US is encouraging Ukraine to follow the primrose road. Additionally, there is a chance that NATO may be drawn into the conflict, increasing the likelihood that nuclear weapons will be deployed and that the conflict will worsen (Mearsheimer, 2022). Generally, the sanctions by the US and other countries are contributing to the persistence of the war.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is a multifaceted catastrophe that is probably going to get a lot worse in the near future. When a battle is won, its reasons receive little consideration, but when it fails, comprehending what went wrong becomes crucial. As a result, it is vital to know how Russia and Ukraine ended up in such dire circumstances. Some of the reasons associated with the conflict include the move by Ukraine to join NATO, an attempt by Russia to protect its status quo, the politics surrounding Ukraine’s admission to NATO and its incorporation into the West altered in 2021, in addition to NATO’s continuous attempts to strengthen the Ukrainian military as a combatant force, and the intensification of Biden government’s campaign against Moscow.

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  1. Bilefsky, D., Pérez-Peña, R., & Nagourney, E. (2022, April 21). The Roots of the Ukraine War: How the Crisis Developed. Retrieved from The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/article/russia-ukraine-nato-europe.html
  2. Kirby, P. (2022, May 27). Why has Russia invaded Ukraine and what does Putin want? Retrieved from BBC News: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-56720589
  3. Kuzio, T., & D’Anieri, P. (2022, June 27). Causes and Potential Solutions to the Ukraine and Russia Conflict. Retrieved from E-International Relations: https://www.e-ir.info/2020/06/27/causes-and-potential-solutions-to-the-ukraine-and-russia-conflict/
  4. Mearsheimer, J. J. (2022, June 23). The Causes and Consequences of the Ukraine War. Retrieved from Russia Matters: https://www.russiamatters.org/analysis/causes-and-consequences-ukraine-war
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