Russia vs. Ukraine

By: Abi Hernandez Castillo & Thalia Pliego

There have been many questions relating to why Vladimir Putin is invading Ukraine, however, it’s no secret why he is invading the independent country of Ukraine. According to ‘Vox’, Putin says that Ukraine isn’t a “real” country and claims that Ukraine is “fiction” that was created by communist Russia. 

According to ‘India Today’, the beginning of the formation of Russia and Ukraine starts in 1654 when it first tried to unite Kievan Russia under one ruler. A treaty was signed in March of 1954 between Russia and Ukraine in which Ukraine became an autonomous country, but foreign and defense matters remained with the Russian regime. However, this system lasted until 1782 when Russia had merged Ukraine into itself. The treaty was only signed to not only save Ukraine but to also save Russia itself. 

The Russian Empire was afraid of the Polish-Lithuania Commonwealth Empire and the Turkish Empire so Russia wanted to keep Ukraine close. When the Soviet Union broke up in the 1990s, Ukraine had the third-largest atomic arsenal in the world. The United States and Russia worked with Ukraine to denuclearize the country and eventually Kyik, Ukraine gave hundreds of nuclear warheads back to Russia in exchange for security assurances that would protect Ukraine from a possible Russian attack. In 2014, when Russia invaded Ukraine, Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula and these assurances were tested.

This brought the relationship between Russia and the West to a very low point. Now we know that Russia and Ukraine have a bad relationship but why invade now? According to ‘INSIDER’ Russia is concerned with NATOs eastward expansion. NATO is a political and military alliance that was first formed in 1949. Putin has criticized NATO for expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

As stated earlier, back in the 1990’s Ukraine had to be convinced to denuclearize the country and because of this Russia also feared that Ukraine had the knowledge and desire to obtain nuclear weapons, and this was a threat to Russia. Although it wasn’t proven that Ukraine had nuclear weapons ready to go to Russia, Putin still felt threatened. 

Currently, there have been many updates since the start of the war between Russia and Ukraine. According to ‘The New York Times’, the Russian shellings have blocked any efforts into creating safe exit corridors for civilians. There are many who are trapped due to blocked off corridors and are left without food, water, and medicine. The bombs that Russia has been dropping also destroyed a maternity hospital on Wednesday, March 9th. 

This war between Russia and Ukraine has not only impacted these two countries but as a result, the United States has also been affected economically. According to ‘The Wall Street Journal’, the inflation levels that are experienced on both sides of the Atlantic are levels that have not been seen in decades. Recently, there has been an increase in oil prices. Russia is one of the main providers of oil for Europe and due to the war, the oil may not be available for the United States to obtain, and to preserve what is left, the prices become higher. 

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