Tensions Rising in Eastern Europe

Cartoon via Eva Brill

Cartoon via Eva Brill

Kevin Chiu, Staff Writer

With 100,000 Russian troops on the Ukraine border, tensions between the two countries are high. While Russia has denied any intentions about invading Ukraine, many analysts have warned of a potential invasion.  

This conflict started when the Soviet Union was disbanded in 1991, and Ukraine gained independence and became its own country. Russia was never on good terms with Ukraine and many riots between pro-Russia supporters and Ukraine’s military have broken out. In 2014, Russia invaded Eastern Ukraine to support the rioters and annexed Crimea, a peninsula in Ukraine. This created the Russo-Ukrainian war that involved Russia with its pro-Russian supporters in Ukraine, and Ukraine’s government-backed by NATO and the European Union.

Freshman Sarah Lehman said, “The truth of the matter is that this isn’t really about Ukraine, or even land. It’s about the fundamental principle of Russian foreign policy: to be as annoying as possible without directly confronting Western Europe.” Russia is trying to gain some of the power it lost when the Soviet Union was disbanded in 1991. By only annexing a small part of Ukraine, Russia is being careful not to provoke Europe enough to cause a war. However, if Russia were to invade Ukraine with its 100,000 troops, they would likely face punishment from NATO and the European Union.

Freshman Matvey Kandul said, “I think Russia isn’t doing anything wrong, it’s America. They have their guns pointed at Russia, so Russia is just retaliating by pointing their guns at Ukraine.” The US has been pushing Ukraine to join NATO so they can put their military bases in Ukraine to have a better eye on Russia. Understandably, Russia did not like this and that is why they have 100,000 troops, tanks, and artillery at Ukraine’s border.

Russia has been careful not to provoke the European Union and NATO in the past, but not now. If Russia is going to invade Ukraine it will be the largest European invasion since 1945.