The Russian vs Ukraine conflict is heating up, Russian President Vladimir Putin is said to have carried out a full-scale invasion of Russia, Thursday (24/2/2022).
The war was reportedly revealed by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. The sounds of explosions were heard in Ukrainian cities shortly after Putin declared a military operation in Ukraine.
The statement was issued by Putin in response to threats from Ukraine. According to him, Russia does not aim to occupy Ukraine. The bloodshed was in ukraine’s “regime,” Putin said.
A day earlier, the Ukrainian government had declared a national state of emergency on Wednesday (23/2/2022) local time. So what caused the Russia vs Ukraine conflict that ended?
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History of the Russian vs Ukraine conflict
The source of the Russia vs Ukraine conflict can be traced from the history of the region’s existence. About 1,200 years ago, Ukraine, Russia and Belarus were born in Kievan Rus on the banks of the Dnieper River. In medieval times the region was a superpower that covered most of Eastern Europe.
Although coming from the same region, both Russia and Ukraine have many differences, both in terms of language, history to politics. Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed that they are part of Russian civilization. This claim was also denied by Ukraine.
In 988, Vladimir I, the great prince of Kyiv and prince of Novgorod accepted the Orthodox Christian faith and underwent baptism in the crimean city of Chersonesus. Since then, Vladimir Putin recently declared, “Russia and Ukraine are one person, one unit.”
Russia vs Ukraine in conflict since 1917
The Russian and Ukrainian conflicts have been going on since 1917 when the Bolshevik Revolution broke out. Ukraine was one of many countries that experienced civil war before it was taken over by the Soviet Union in 1922.
In the early 1930s, to force the members of the collective farm, the leader of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, orchestrated a famine that led to the deaths of millions of Ukrainians.
Later, Stalin sent Russians and other Soviets large numbers who could not speak Ukrainian and had little ties to the region to replenish the population in the East.
This historical legacy also leaves a lasting trail of fractures. Because eastern Ukraine was already under Russian rule much earlier than western Ukraine. Residents in the east have stronger ties and tend to support leaders who agree with Russia.
In contrast, western Ukraine has undergone a shift in European power over the centuries, from Poland to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. That’s one of the reasons why western Ukraine tends to support western-leaning politicians.
Residents in the east tend to speak Russian and Orthodox, while the western part speaks Ukrainian and Catholic.
2013: Ukrainian president rejects deal with EUROPEAN Union
Ukraine gained its independence after its release from the Soviet Union in 1991. Relations between Russia and Ukraine began to warm in 2013 over the issue of a political and trade deal with the European Union.
In order to get closer to Moscow, Ukraine’s Russian-leaning president, Viktor Yanukovych, rejected an association agreement from the European Union. The rejection also caused a wave of protests until Viktor Yanukovych was ousted from the presidency in 2014.Russia responded to the overthrow by annexing Crimea.
2014: Russia annexes Crimea
In March 2014, Russia annexed Crimea, an autonomous peninsula in southern Ukraine. The annexation was carried out on the grounds of defending the interests of the Russian-speaking community.
Within days, Russia captured Crimea. The seizure of the Crimean Peninsula has sparked pro-Russian separatist insurgencies in Donetsk and Luhansk, where independence from Ukraine was declared.
The uprising led to months of fighting. At least 14,000 people have died as a result of the conflict.
2015: Failed to Agree to Peace Agreement
In 2015, Russia v Ukraine brokered a peace agreement brokered by Germany and France to end large-scale fighting. However, the attempt failed because the ceasefire was still violated.
Nato’s desire to warm up russia vs Ukraine conflict
The Russia vs Ukraine conflict was also triggered by Ukraine’s desire to become part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). This has raised Russian tensions that seem to oppose Russia joining the organization.
NATO was founded in 1949 and has expanded to 30 countries, including the former Soviet republics of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia.
What does Putin want?
Russia has spoken of a “moment of truth” in reconstituted its relationship with NATO and has reiterated three things. He wants a legally binding promise that NATO will not expand any further.
In 1994, Russia signed an agreement to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence. However, last year Vladimir Putin wrote an article reflecting that Russia and Ukraine are “one country”. He now claims fully that modern Ukraine was created by communist Russia. He viewed the fall of the Soviet Union in December 1991 as a “disintegration of Russian history”.
Putin also felt that if Ukraine became a NATO member, the alliance would likely try to retake Crimea.