Russian Vs Ukraine
Russia’s escalating war against Ukraine has engulfed the region in a ferocious conflict that has killed tens of thousands and harmed millions more. The battle has rekindled a long-simmering geopolitical rivalry between great powers, raising concerns that the war could destabilize Europe and undermine Russia’s status as a superpower.
The Ukraine-Russia conflict has pushed Ukraine to the edge of political collapse, and it has created a deeply divided society, with pro-Euromaidan protesters forming gangs of violent thugs in Kyiv and other cities. The influx of Russian speakers from Crimea, a peninsula Putin seized illegally in 2014, also deepened nationalistic feelings among the population and led to growing anti-Russian sentiment.
President Putin has used the conflict to push for a more permanent Russia presence in Ukraine, as he views it as a part of a larger struggle against Western powers that he says are intent on destroying Russia. He has also reframed Ukraine’s tumultuous Euromaidan protests as a coup against the government of former president Viktor Yanukovych, and he has framed the invasion of Crimea as a rescue operation to prevent it from falling into Russia’s hands.
Ukraine’s military is struggling to hold back the Russian-backed insurgents who have seized key towns in Donbas. But they have made a start and are regaining ground, while Western leaders send supplies that have helped turn the tide against Moscow.
The United Nations and Europe have urged Russia to withdraw from the territory of Ukraine, compensate Ukrainians, and prosecute war crimes. But there are few signs that either side will be ready to negotiate and the prospect of a ceasefire is slim. In the meantime, European countries must offer protection to people fleeing violence in Ukraine, and make sure their borders remain open to refugees.