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Breaking Down the Ukraine and Russia Tension

When you think about Ukraine, picture it being the size of Texas, and it sits right between Europe and Russia. In retrospect, before Ukraine became an independent state, it was once part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.) until it collapsed in 1991. The conflict between Russia and Ukraine goes back decades, and in the past few months, the tension between these two countries has risen.  

Now, why would Russia invade Ukraine? The Kremlin exonerated Ukraine for failing to honor the 2015 peace deal. The agreement was a political insurgence for Moscow that required Ukraine to allow self-rule to the rebel regions and offer a total pardon to the rebels. In return, Ukraine suspended hostilities and demanded a continuation of Russian troops existence in the rebel east. Russia had turned down meetings with countries including France, Germany, and Ukraine. It has criticized the U.S and its NATO allies for supplying Ukraine with weapons stating that this will allow Ukrainian hawks to recover the rebel-held areas by force.  

Leaders from Ukraine have looked to reassure the nation that the feared invasion from Russia was not approaching. Although, with recognition of the threat being real, they have accepted a shipment of American military equipment to support their defenses. Back in 2014, Russia took over Ukraine’s peninsula, Crimea. Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has proclaimed that Russians and Ukrainians are “one people,” and that large areas of Ukraine are historically part of Russia. With denial from Russia on planning an assault, it has gathered an estimated 100,000 troops near Ukraine. More than 14,000 people have died in the fighting that destroyed Donbas, Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland.  

What role is the U.S playing? President Biden has made it clear that there will be severe economic consequences on Russia if President Putin does send his troops over the Ukrainian border. This would include restricting their financial transitions in U.S. dollars. In 2021, The U.S. sent approximately $450 million in security assistance to Ukraine. With tensions rising, the Biden administration is now weighing new options that would essentially include delivering more arms to Ukraine. This conflict between Ukraine and Russia risks detrimental relations between the U.S. and Russia. This would also be a significant deterioration if Russia expands its presence into The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (N.A.T.O) countries.

Kim Diaz

Pace '22

Hi friends! My name is Kim, I am a senior at Pace majoring in Communications and minoring in Peace & Justice Studies. I was born and raised in New Jersey. In my free time, I enjoy going on walks, painting, and spending time with my friends and family.
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