About 1,00,000 Russian soldiers are deployed near the Ukrainian border. Russia has also occupied the 43744 Kilometre square territory of Ukraine. Though on the 20th of February 2014, Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula, and as of today has occupied about 43,744 square kilometres of land.
Russia wants Ukraine not to set up close ties with the West and NATO in particular as it considers it a threat to its national security. It says it doesn’t want the NATO soldiers at its doorsteps.
Ukraine plays a very powerful role in the geopolitics of Europe, especially Russia. It was a part of the Russian empire for centuries and then of USSR and after the USSR broke up in 1991, resulting in the end of the cold war and the formation of new states. Most of these states, even after the independence stayed very close to Russia, but Ukraine stimulated to shack its Russian imperial legacy and forge close ties with the west.
In 2014, Ukraine deposited their pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych as a result of mass protests. Russia responded by annexing Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and throwing its weight behind a separatist rebellion that broke out east of Ukraine. The rebels have fought the Ukrainian military ever since, and according to Kyiv, the conflict has claimed more than 14,000 lives.
Ukraine and the West have accused Russia of backing the rebels with its military and arms supplies, but Russia responds that the Russians that joined the separatists were volunteers, not sent by the state and distressed Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland; Donbas.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has frequently stated that Ukraine’s ambitions to join NATO are a red line, and expressed concern that some NATO members have plans to set up military training centres in Ukraine.
What is Russia up to
If put in simple words, Russia wants Ukraine not to join NATO. In the list of security demands, which last December was sent to the US, the termination to any NATO drills near Russia’s border was demanded. Russia also wants NATO to terminate its presence from eastern Europe.
Will Ukraine join NATO
Ukraine is not a NATO member but is one of its closest allies and wants to join NATO. Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO secretary-general rejected the demand of Russia in late 2021 to overturn a 2008 commitment to Ukraine that the country would one day become a member.
Is invasion inevitable
Russia denies the plans of invasion. Valery Gerasimov; The armed forces chief even denounced reports of a looming invasion as a lie. But President Vladimir Putin has threatened “appropriate retaliatory military-technical measures” if the aggressive approach of the west continues.
Jens Stoltenberg; NATO secretary-general has warned that the risk of the conflict is real and according to President Joe Biden, Russia wants to move in. This also must be noted that Russia has not given an explanation of why 1,00,000 Russian soldiers are on the Ukrainian border.
The Pentagon has also put 8,500 US troops on reserve for an Eastern European deployment. NATO said that it was also sending Ships and jets for the region’s security purposes.
Dmitry Peskov; President Putin’s spokesman said that these actions only added to an already tense atmosphere.
It is unclear whether war will break out between the two countries but some analysts say Russia could approach Ukraine to claim a quick, conclusive victory and increase its haggling power in future talks about NATO’s expansion.
Also, western Intelligence suggests that the Invasion may occur somewhere in early 2022.
|Troops Active Reserve||2,900,00 900,000 2,000,000||1,100,00 200,000 900,000|
|World ranking by military strength||2||21|