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Ukraine- a Kashmir Version of the West

Ukraine, the 2nd most powerful republic of USSR, is now under belt of 3 biggest stakeholders of the world. Interesting history of it is here

Russian and Ukrainian flag

Russian and Ukrainian flag

Definition of the Conflict.

The conflict was started back in 2014, revolved around the status of Crimea and Donbas region that have been recognized as the part of Ukraine internationally, with Russia and Pro-Russian forces on one side and the Ukraine on the other.

The conflict has roots linked with the fall of USSR in 1991 when the movement of independence from USSR was started in Ukraine, and crushed by “Coup de grace”. This conflict has historical affiliations with old USSR, the Bolshevik revolution, the fall of Xar Nicholas 2, the rise and penetration of Marxism and the dictatorship of Joseph Stalin and Vladimir Lenin, the Warsaw pact, the cage of “Iron Curtain”, the cold war era.

Ukraine’s geopolitical importance.

Ukraine was the 2nd largest and the strongest of 15 republics of USSR. A port and hometown of Russian Black sea fleet, the industrial area along with the world’s 3rd largest nuclear arsenal holder at the time of USSR fall. An interchange between Russia and the west, Ukraine’s GDP is of 155.6 Billion dollars and GDP/capita is 3727 dollars.

Where does this conflict stand?

Ukraine has diverse population out of which, the more nationalists “Ukrainian speaking masses” supports and wants ties with European Union and with NATO, but the “Russian speaking Ukrainians” wants Ukraine to veer towards Russia.

With the expansion of NATO, Vladimir Putin asks UN and NATO to stop annexing Ukraine with EU and NATO.

In 2011, the antigovernment protests saw the loss of power for Vladimir Putin, and in 2014, Russia annexed Crimean Peninsula and backed the rebellion by Pro-Russians separatists in Donbas (luhansk & Donetsk) region. This was the deadly conflict with 14k deaths.

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Why Ukraine is important for Russia?

  1. Russia has deep links regarding culture, economy and politics. It is considered as the central to Russian identity.
  2. Kyiv is said to be the “Mother of Russian cities” because of cultural influence and Saint Petersburg.
  3. During 8th and 9th century, Christianity, was brought to the “Slavic People” via Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. It is said that the modern Russians, Belarusians and Ukrainians’ lineage can be drawn from early “Slavic state” of Kievan Rus.
  4. The Russians in a massive numbers living in Ukraine has to be protected by Russia under each belt.
  5. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in 1954 transferred Crimea to Ukraine in order to develop brotherhood between Russia and Ukraine. After the fall of USSR, the pro-Russians demanded the handing over of peninsula to Russia as it has the city of Sevastopol, hometown for Russian Black sea fleet.
  6. Eurasian economic union that includes the central Asian states and former soviet states want to annex Ukraine which is the largest energy source and former biggest trading partner of Russia. It also allow Russia to export gas to Eastern Europe with the taxation of 8 billion Dollars paid to Kyiv by Russia.

Reasons behind Russian invasion on Ukraine.

  • NATO post-cold war enlargement with the addition of 7 members, as it was its 5th largest expansion.
  • Announcement of NATO regarding the inclusion of Ukraine and Georgia. In 2008 NATO summit, Vladimir Putin warned US diplomats regarding the inclusion. Russia invaded Georgia few months later.
  • In 2013, president Yanukovych under the pressure of “Ukrainian speaking masses” formalize economic ties with EU in Moscow, as Russia was also pressurizing Ukraine not to join EEU.
  • It saw the rise of Euromaidian protests against Yanukovych, and backed up by Putin which made him to use the force and this endangered the lives of Ukrainian Russians. Vladimir Putin said, “There is a limit to everything and with Ukraine our western partners have crossed the line.”

Russia's Objectives

  • In his book “Next abroad”, Gerard Toal has written that, “It was always Putin’s goal to restore Russia to the status of a great power in Northern Eurasia. The end goal was not to recreate the Soviet Union but to make Russia great again.
  • As Vladimir Putin said about Russian-Ukraine relations in 2021, “One people who effectively occupy the same historical and spiritual space”
  • No proxy by the US and EU in this region.
  • Consider china her biggest threat in being the stakeholder of world economy even being ideologically same. In order to tackle china, control and over Ukraine is vital.
  • Ukraine’s importance can be guessed by the words of former US national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski in 1994, he said, “It can’t be stressed strongly enough that without Ukraine Russia cease to be an empire but with Ukraine suborned and then subordinated, Russia automatically becomes an empire”

The solution, I believe in.

  • NATO and the US should held meetings and table talks with Russian and Ukrainians in order to produce a midway of this conflict.
  • The decision of the fate and future of Ukrainian masses should be decided and formalized by themselves only and the right of self-determination should be made possible.
  • NATO should stop aligning Ukraine with it unless the majority of the Ukrainians asked to do so.
  • Moscow should allow Ukraine to carry the smooth flow of relations with its neighboring states and also continue trading with Europe in order to stabilize its economy and resources for the betterment of humanitarian.
  • The ensuing by Russia of all the tumults by pro-Russians, should be stopped and the Donbas region should be declared as the part of Ukraine.

The peninsula of Crimea should be made a strategic alliance for both Ukraine and Russia where both the countries work for the peace and stability of the region.

© 2022 Muhammad Babar Taimoor

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