A new conflict in the Donbas is brewing in Eastern Ukraine, and Russia may be trying to use its increasing military capabilities to influence the conflict. Whether or not the conflict has real prospects is unclear. Russia could take over part of Donbas, and then cut off the Ukrainian economy by severing its ties with the Black Sea region. The takeover could also result in a corridor connecting Russia with Transnistria, a country which hosts a Russian military base. The growing supplies of heavy Western weapons may be able to turn the tide, however.
While the international community has been working to dissuade Russia from attacking Ukraine, the situation in the country remains grim. In an attempt to end the conflict, the United Nations Security Council urged Russia to cease all military operations. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian government have gone a step further and announced a full scale invasion, targeting Ukrainian cities and military assets. In response, U.S. President Joe Biden declared the invasion as “war crime” and declared that Russia’s military is doing it to wipe out the idea of being Ukrainian. President Biden’s remarks were condemned by the Kremlin, which said they are unacceptable and said that the war is going on as planned.
Presidents of the United States and the European Union have responded to the conflict by pledging to support the Ukrainian forces. The United States has pledged $3.4 billion in aid to Ukraine, and has dramatically increased the number of troops in Europe. In addition to these efforts, the G7 and the U.N. are continuing to condemn Russia’s actions and are supporting Ukraine’s forces. The Organization of American States voted to suspend Russia’s permanent observer status, but it’s not the end of the world, as the conflict continues.