• Corrine Zahra

Is Russia Really Going To Invade Ukraine? Here’s What We Know & Don't

What's Going On?

World news right now is full of headlines about Ukraine & Russia, however, most people are really confused about what’s actually going on. So, let’s break it down.

In 2014, relations between Ukraine & Russia hit a low when pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown. As a reaction, Russia took the peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine.

Lately, there have been multiple talks regarding the situation including one involving President Putin & President Biden. Putin has said that Russia wants security guarantees, mainly to bar the United States & NATO from expanding eastward into regions that Russia deems within its sphere of influence.

Russian Troops On Ukrainian Borders

NATO is an organisation which formed during the Cold War as a means for American military & financial aid to Europe. Russia has always found NATO threatening to Eastern Europe out of fear of the latter falling into the West’s sphere of influence.

Some Context

Back in 1856, Russia lost Crimea to the West in the Crimean War which was a big blow to the country. Up until 2014, Crimea was Ukrainian territory. Russia was humiliated in 1856 since it lost its only port connected to Europe & received big criticism in 2014 for taking it back.

Ukraine holds an important geographical position; it’s the country in-between Russia & the Western world. Ukraine is of keen interest to Russia - it has given support to rebels in Ukraine by providing Russian passports to 500,000 people & military aid.

Russia also included a request for NATO not to offer membership to Ukraine specifically. Both the United States & Western Europe have rejected this.

Some Geographical Context

Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine’s coal-rich Donbas region seized much of the Donetsk & Luhansk administrative regions - where the majority of residents are Russian speakers.

Is Russia Ready For War?

Yes, Russia has around 100,000 Russian troops deployed around Ukraine’s borders ready to attack.

Despite the fact that Russian Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Russia has “no intentions to attack Ukraine”, Putin has said Russia will take “appropriate retaliatory military-technical measures” if the U.S. doesn’t succumb.

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken is set to meet with Russia’s foreign minister on Friday as both sides explore whether a diplomatic path is still an option.

The question is whether Russia is building up its troops on Ukrainian borders in an attempt to force NATO away from Russia's backyard.

Do You Think Russia Will Invade Ukraine?