When looking at the current state of the Russian and Ukrainian military forces, it is important to understand that these two sides are far different from each other. In addition to the current conflict, they have had wars in the past as well. The 2022 war was the largest in scale since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Ultimately, it will be the Ukrainians who win this war. But why are they so different? The answer is quite simple, and will come as a surprise to most people.
The first presidential and parliamentary elections after Ukraine’s independence reflected the divisions between the two regions. While the two regions are geographically distinct, the political parties are closely linked. Eastern Ukraine is more conservative than western Ukraine, and vice versa. Eastern Ukraine is also more reliant on the Russian economy, and its people have long been skeptical of western Ukraine. Both eastern Ukraine and western Ukraine are largely Russian-speaking. However, the two countries also share a common history.
The war has unified the Ukrainian people, but it has also reinforced the division between the Ukrainian and Russian identity. In this way, it is unlikely that Russia will ever be able to establish lasting control over the neighboring Ukraine. However, this isn’t to say that Russia will not lose the war. In the long run, both sides will benefit from the resurgence of Ukrainian nationalism. So, which is more important?