Who is responsible for Russia-Ukraine war?

by Hiten Ghosh
Who is responsible for Russia-Ukraine war?

Is the Russia-Ukraine dispute in NATO? North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The present dispute is revolving around this. Russia says that it will not be right if Ukraine is taken into NATO. Guarantee that Ukraine will never be made its member.

The US and NATO say that this is nonsense. We will not accept this condition. There is tension on both sides regarding this. 2,00,000 soldiers of Russia are sitting near Ukraine border by putting up tents. Some soldiers are going to practice war in Belarus. Ukraine is getting huge help from western countries.

NATO is deploying heavy weapons on the soil of its member countries. The overall point is that the preparations for the war are in full swing. What is the history of NATO and how does it work? What is its role in the Russia-Ukraine conflict?

Does the organization compete with Russia? The year 1945. The second world war in Europe was almost over. Stalin’s Red Army hoisted its flag in Berlin.  Adolf Hitler  Preparations were being made to prosecute the rest of the war criminals. At the same time, the war was going on in the Pacific. Japan was not ready to surrender. America felt that in this way the war would be prolonged. Loss of life and property will increase. To avoid this, America dropped two atomic bombs. In August 1945.

On Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Both bombs were symbols of devastation. These bombs almost ruined both cities. Panicked Japan surrendered. In this way, the remaining chapter of the Second World War also got closed. As scholars said that world wars are so dangerous that any country will think hundred times before fighting again.

The atomic bomb had expanded that horror. But the consciousness of the world did not wake up. America did not tell the Soviet Union about the atomic bomb. America and the Soviet Union were on the same side in World War II. Despite this, he was not consulted about such a big decision. Stalin suspected that America was hiding a lot.

This suspicion later turned into estrangement and then into a dispute. After the Second World War, the Soviet Union and America emerged as superpowers. They started joining small countries on their side. Stalin established a communist Government in many countries of Eastern Europe. Due to this, America feared that the wave of Stalin’s communism could reach Western Europe as well.

The fall of the Berlin Blockade in 1948 reinforced the notion that there was a need to unite to deal with the Soviet Union. What is the story of the Berlin Blockade? After the Second World War, Germany was divided into four parts. These were the four stakeholders – America, Britain, France and the Soviet Union. West Germany consisted of the US, Britain and France, while the East consisted of the Soviet Union. The road to West Berlin passed through the Soviet occupation zone. In June 1948, the Soviet Union closed that route.

Due to this, the supply line got stalled. The people of West Berlin yearned for the basics. Then America, Britain and France together operated the Berlin Airlift. Under this, every thirty seconds the ships would land in West Berlin with basic supplies and return. This process went on until the Soviet Union opened the way.

Even though the way was opened, the trust was locked. Western countries were feeling the need for a security organization. On 04 April 1949, 12 countries gathered in Washington. Together they laid the foundation of NATO. It was a military organization formed to challenge the Soviet expansion of capitalist countries. It promised collective security.

If there is an attack on one country of NATO, then it will be considered that this attack has happened to the whole of NATO. In such a situation, all the member countries of NATO will come to help the victim. Since America was the most powerful country in NATO, it was considered the head of NATO. In response to NATO, the Soviet Union established the Warsaw Pact in 1955. It was a common security organization of communist countries.

After this, the arms race started in both factions. Both had weapons of unimaginable destruction. During the Cuban crisis of 1962, the US and the Soviet Union agreed to drop atomic bombs on each other. That crisis was averted at the last moment. Then a hotline was established between the Presidents of the two countries. So that the possibility of nuclear war can be avoided. In the 1980s, the Cold War started slowing down. Progress was being made in the countries of the American bloc. At the same time, the countries of the Soviet bloc were fighting for basic things.

The claim of utopia proved to be a daydream. On the one hand, new inventions were taking place in capitalist countries, while on the other hand, the Soviet Union was embroiled in the Cold War. The economic crisis had increased due to the fall in the prices of oil and gas. During this period, the Soviet Union was also having to spend money on the Afghanistan war. In the meanwhile, Protests started in the Soviet bloc countries.

In 1989, an atmosphere began to develop against the communist governments in Poland, East Germany, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Romania. After several weeks of protests, the East German government gave up. He allowed the people of East Germany to go to the West. The Berlin Wall, which had stood for 28 years, was demolished. It became a symbol of the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Eventually, the Soviet Union disintegrated in December 1991. The Warsaw Pact had already been dissolved in July. NATO Hastings Leon Ismay, the first Secretary-General of the United States, once said that the purpose of NATO was to drive out the Soviet Union, maintain American dominance, and keep Germany in check.

The Soviet Union had broken up. The Warsaw Pact had also ended. That is, the purpose for which NATO was established had been fulfilled. Why hasn’t NATO been disbanded then? NATO changed his character. He said that now we will work for the purpose of maintaining peace. Instability was increasing in Europe. In 1992, NATO sent a peacekeeping force to Bosnia and Herzegovina. He did the same in Kosovo in 1999.

Experts tell that there was a hidden motive behind the change of motive. America was afraid that Russia might stand back. The threat of the Soviet Union may resurface. America also did not want that its created monopoly should end. For this reason, he allowed NATO to remain intact. In September 2001 America was attacked. Planes crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon buildings. About three thousand people lost their lives in these attacks.

America is the leading country in NATO. The attack took place on his soil. According to article five of NATO, an attack on one country means an attack on all member countries. In such a situation, all countries will come to an answer. The same thing happened. US-led NATO forces went to Afghanistan. It is a different matter that after a war that lasted for 20 years, they had to go back defeated.

Now the question comes when did the conflict between NATO and Russia start regarding Ukraine? It started in 2014, but its foundation was laid in the 1990s itself. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, 14 countries from Eastern Europe became members of NATO. Many of these were once part of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. The borders of Estonia and Latvia directly connect with Russia.

The borders are small, but NATO has deployed its missiles there. This is displeasing to Russia. Ukraine is not a member of NATO, but it is definitely its partner. This means that the way to join NATO is open to him. If Ukraine joins NATO, more than two-thirds of Russia’s western border will come directly within the reach of NATO. Russia says that if this happens, it will end the ruckus.

Russian President Vladimir Putin reminds America of a promise he made in the 1990s. Putin claims that the then US Secretary of State James Baker had made a promise at the time of the unification of Germany. What? The promise was that NATO would not move east an inch. The US says that there has been a misunderstanding regarding Baker’s statement. He was talking about the presence of foreign forces in East Germany, not East Europe. In the treaty that was signed regarding the unification of Germany, it was decided that the NATO army would not be kept in the old East Germany.

But German troops stationed inside NATO can be stationed there. There was no discussion in that treaty regarding the expansion of NATO in Eastern Europe. Russia and Western countries interpret it in their own way. Russia accuses it of reneging, while Western countries accuse Russia of propaganda.

In the midst of this debate, in 2014, Russia merged Crimea into its border. At that time, NATO did not intervene in this matter, but it definitely sent troops to its allies. NATO has deployed its battalions in Latvia, Poland, Estonia and Lithuania. There is a brigade of NATO in Romania. There are soldiers of all the member countries in this.

In the Ukraine crisis, NATO deployed many ships and fighter jets in this area. Russia says that they should be removed from Eastern Europe. After 1997, all the countries that have become members of NATO should be removed from NATO. And get a guarantee that no country will be included in NATO in the future. The US has rejected the demand that Ukraine should never be included in NATO. America has flatly refused to accept this demand. He said that Ukraine is a sovereign country. He can take his own decisions.

Cause of Conflict

  • The struggle over Central European Territoriality in the post-Cold War era and the desire to revive a glorious Russian past is at the core of the Ukraine crisis.
  • Ukraine and Russia share hundreds of years of cultural, linguistic and family ties.
  • For many people in Russia and in ethnically Russian parts of Ukraine, the shared heritage of the two countries is an emotional issue that has been exploited for electoral and military purposes.
  • As a part of the Soviet Union, Ukraine was the second most powerful Soviet republic after Russia and held a strategic, economic, and culturally important position.
  • The regional balance of power, Ukraine is an important buffer zone between Russia and the West, Ukraine’s bid for NATO membership and Russia’s interests in the Black Sea region, as well as protests in Ukraine, are the main reasons for the current conflict.

Why are Russia and Ukraine fighting?

  • NATO organization became the biggest reason: There are many reasons for the war between Russia and Ukraine, but the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is considered to be the biggest reason for this. In 1949, an organization called NATO was formed to deal with the then-Soviet Union. 30 countries of the world including America and Britain are members of NATO. Together they played an important role in breaking up the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union broke up on 25 December 1991. Until 1991, Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union. 15 countries came into existence due to the breakup of the Soviet Union – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
  •  The expansion of NATO became a challenge for Russia: After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, NATO expanded under the leadership of America. Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania joined NATO in 2004 among the countries that broke away from the Soviet Union. Due to this, the danger on the border of Russia increased and Russia started feeling insecure.
  • Big tension due to Georgia: Then in 2008, Georgia and Ukraine were also invited to join NATO, but both countries could not become members. Russian President Putin expressed his concern about this and lodged an objection. But regardless of Putin’s objections, the NATO countries opened the way for Georgia to join the NATO organization. Enraged by this, in 2008, Russia recognized Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent countries.
  • Russia’s annexation of Crimea: Tensions between Russia and Ukraine began in November 2013, when pro-Russia protests against then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych began in Kyiv. Yanukovych had to flee the country in February 2014 due to protests by US-UK-backed protesters. Because of this, Russia invaded and annexed Crimea in southern Ukraine. Since 2014, there has been an ongoing conflict in the Donbas province between pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian military. Most of the people in Crimea are Russian speakers, who are more attached to Russia.
  • Weapons help Ukraine: After this, to strengthen Ukraine, it was equipped with modern weapons by NATO. Due to this, it became clear to Russia that in the coming time, the army of NATO and its missiles will stand on the border of Russia. After this, there were 2 attempts by Zelensky to become a member country of Ukraine’s NOTA countries, but these efforts were stopped after strong objections from Russia. In December last year, President Putin said, ‘We have clearly stated that we do not accept the expansion of NATO in the East. America is standing at our doorstep with missiles. How would America feel if missiles were deployed on the border of Canada or Mexico?
  •  Attack on Ukraine: None of the NATO countries, including the US, understood Russia’s concern and started the process of including Ukraine, Nato along with supplying arms to Ukraine. Seeing this, Russia planned to attack Ukraine and now it has done what it has done with Georgia in 2008. Eventually, regardless of the sanctions of the US and other countries, Russia attacked Ukraine on February 24, 2022, and recognized its two regions, Donetsk and Luhansk, as separate countries.

History of Russia and Ukraine

  •  Kievan Rus’: Before 1991, Ukraine was called the border province of Russia. Ukraine means border in the Russian language. The culture and religion of both countries are almost the same. In the 9th century, both these countries were part of the Slavic Empire. Kyiv was the capital of the First Slavic Kingdom. This state was formed by the people of the Scandinavian community. This empire was later called Kievan Rus.
  • Orthodox Christians: In 988 Kyiv Emperor St. Vladimir Svyatoslavich the Great embraced Orthodox Christianity and since then Orthodox Christianity has dominated Kievan Rus. Vladimir expanded the Kingdom of Medieval Russia from present-day Belarus, Russia and Ukraine to the Baltic Sea. Among the many languages spoken throughout the region, Belarusian, Ukrainian and Russian is the main languages. Among the many languages spoken throughout the region, Belarusian, Ukrainian and Russian is the main languages.
  • Russia was divided into two parts: After the establishment of Moscow in the 12th century, the capital shifted from Kyiv to Moscow. In the 13th century, the Mongols overran many provinces of the Kievan Rus empire and captured them here. However, when the Mongols weakened in the 14th century, Russia was divided into two regions, Moscow and Lithuania. Kyiv and its surrounding areas were occupied by the province of Lithuania, where the influence of the Renaissance and reformist ideology took hold.
  • Ukraine, the place of common culture: In that period, it was not decided what is the boundary of Ukraine province. Then many people in Western Ukraine believed in the Russian Orthodox Church, which is the Eastern Catholic Church. On the other hand, the Crimean region of Ukraine has been associated with the Greek and Tatar peoples in the past and was also under Russia and the Ottoman Empire in the medieval period. On the other hand, in Donetsk and Luhansk, the number of people speaking the Russian language was more.
  •  Empress Catherine the Great: In the 17th century, Lithuania and Poland passed under the control of Russia, which Ukraine considered its left flank. The central and northwestern region of what is now Ukraine was a 17th-century kingdom that was annexed to Russia by Empress Catherine the Great in 1764. Poland Had also acquired rights over the territory of Ukraine which had rights.
  • Formation of the Soviet Union: In the 20th century, the Russian Revolution took place and the Soviet Union was formed, which included the entire parts separated from the Soviet Union. In the 1950s, the Soviet Union made Crimea a part of Ukraine. The Soviet Union disintegrated in 1991 and a treaty was signed between Russia and Ukraine in 1997. that will protect each other’s sovereignty, but Ukraine slowly started going into the camp of NATO and Western countries, due to which the situation of war has come today.

Current Scenario

  • The conflict is the largest attack by one state on another in Europe since World War II. Along with this, it is the first major conflict after the Balkan conflict in the 1990s.
  • With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, agreements such as the Minsk Protocols of 2014 and the Russia-NATO Act of 1997 have become virtually ineffective.
  • The G-7 countries have strongly condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
  • Sanctions have also been imposed on Russia by the US, the European Union (EU), the UK, Australia, Canada and Japan in response.
  • China has rejected Calling Russia’s action On Ukraine an ‘aggression’ and urged all sides to exercise restraint.
  • India did not join Western Powers in condemning Russia’s intervention in Crimea and refrained from making any public statement on the issue.
  • In the present case, India chose to abstain from voting on a US-sponsored UN Security Council resolution that “condemned in the strongest terms” Russia’s “aggression” against Ukraine. On this occasion, India emphasized on the words ‘Dialogue’ and ‘Diplomacy’ and said that dialogue is the only way to resolve differences.
  • And it is the only way to resolve disputes expressed ‘regret’ that the path of diplomacy was abandoned in this matter.
  • Apart from India, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and China also abstained from voting.

Russia’s side and point of view

  • Russia’s view is that NATO expansion violates promises made before the disintegration of the Soviet Union that Ukraine’s entry into NATO would overcome Russia’s threat status and that NATO’s strategic posture would provide Russia with continuing security that creates danger.
  • The expansion of NATO as a politico-military alliance following the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact was a US initiative aimed at containing European ambitions for strategic autonomy and countering Russia’s resurgence.
  • The Ukraine crisis was justified by the Russian president on grounds of security interests and protecting the rights of Russians in the former Soviet republics.
  • Russia seeks assurances from the West that Ukraine will never be allowed to join NATO. It currently has the status of a ‘partner country’ which means it will be allowed to join this military alliance in the future.
  • The US and its Western allies are refusing to ban Ukraine from NATO, claiming that Ukraine is a sovereign country that is free to choose its own security alliances.

Way Forward

  • Immediate ceasefire: In contrast to the Cold War era, the global economy today is deeply integrated. The costs of a prolonged conflict can be severe, which is only now beginning to be reflected in the loss of life and suffering in Ukraine.
  • The world is still grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit the poorest countries and people the hardest. At such a time the world would be ill-equipped to withstand a war-induced recession.
  • The onus is on Russia to implement an immediate ceasefire and then the two sides hold talks. It is not appropriate to escalate the conflict.
  • New Security Order for Europe: Even without rationalizing the manner in which Russia has decided to ‘right’ a perceived ‘wrong’, it is clear that the current crisis is somehow the result of a fragmented security order in Europe.
  • The reflection of current realities in a sustainable security system cannot simply be an outcome of the Cold War era system and must be driven internally.
  • At the same time, a European order that does not accommodate Russia’s concerns through pragmatic dialogue cannot remain stable for long.
  • Reviving the ‘Minsk Peace Process’: A practical solution to the situation lies in reviving the ‘Minsk Peace Process’.
  • Thus, the West (the US and other Western countries) should encourage both sides to resume talks and fulfil their commitments as per the Minsk Agreement to restore relative peace on the border.

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