Why is Russia So Adamant About Annexing an Independent Ukraine?

As Russian troops proceed to amass alongside the nation’s border with Ukraine, the heightened tensions recalled the rocky however crucial historical past between the 2 nations.

Ukraine’s wrestle for freedom was even partially born out of Russia’s personal historical past. Ruled for hundreds of years by numerous historic empires, a robust Ukrainian independence motion swept throughout the area after the Russian Revolution started in 1917.

A sovereign Ukrainian republic was declared later that yr.

After World War II, Ukraine turned part of the Soviet Union till its eventual dissolution in 1991, after which the nation gained full independence.

However, the previous Soviet state seemingly by no means misplaced its need to take again the Ukrainian nation that was as soon as theirs. This is regardless of the Kremlin insisting that Russia wouldn’t invade Ukraine, regardless of the persevering with militarization alongside the border.

“Russia’s aggression in Ukraine has triggered the greatest security crisis in Europe since the Cold War,” mentioned the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

“Today, [Ukraine] is on the front lines of a renewed great-power rivalry that many analysts say will dominate international relations in the decades ahead,” the CFR added.

Russia has been drawn to Ukraine, consultants say, due to the deep historic ties which might be nonetheless shared among the many two nations.

“Russia has deep cultural, economic, and political bonds with Ukraine, and in many ways Ukraine is central to Russia’s identity and vision for itself in the world,” mentioned the CFR. “Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, is sometimes referred to as ‘the mother of Russian cities,’ on par in terms of cultural influence with Moscow and St. Petersburg.”

Kiev Skyline
Russia seems to be gearing up for a possible invasion of Ukraine. Here, the skyline of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv could be seen in a inventory photograph.

It was additionally famous that Russia is probably going considerably involved with the welfare of the roughly eight million Russians dwelling in Ukraine.

A growing nation ranked 74th on the Human Development Index, Ukraine is among the many poorest nations in Europe. It additionally faces vital struggles with authorities corruption, in addition to persevering with cycles of poverty amongst a lot of its residents.

“The prevalence of a culture of poverty is not just a negative social phenomenon, but a long-term danger,” Vox Ukraine mentioned of the nation’s circumstances.

Beyond trying in direction of the pursuits of its folks, Russia additionally has numerous different strategic causes for eager to annex Ukraine, in line with the CFR.

This contains strain from the Russian authorities to keep up vital political affect over Ukraine and the previous Soviet Union as an entire. The nation already reclaimed the largely culturally Russian land of Crimea in 2014.

Some consultants additionally pointed in direction of Russia’s actions in 2008 after the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) expressed curiosity in including Ukraine as one among its members.

NATO’s push for Ukraine angered Russian President Vladimir Putin, who informed the United States that the actions would lead to additional hostility. This finally led to a Russian struggle towards the nation of Georgia, which NATO had additionally expressed curiosity in including to its ranks.

Despite worldwide issues {that a} Russian invasion is on the horizon, the Kremlin continues to disclaim that this may happen.

Regardless, President Joe Biden has said that an American troops presence in Ukraine won’t occur. However, Biden reiterated his help to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a telephone name on Thursday.

Newsweek has reached out to the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for remark.

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