President of Russia Vladimir V. Putin invaded Ukraine on Feb 24, when diplomats from the United Nations Security Council were calling on him to prevent the war and a few hours after the Ukrainian President made an appeal for peace to the people of Russia, reminding them of their relationship with the country.
It is not just around 50 million people in Ukraine whose lives have been affected but also many other from other countries who has nothing to do with the Ukraine or Russia and their conflict is going to face the wrath of war which we have already seen as Russian tanks bombarding at civilian apartments. The fate of Ukraine will have huge implications on the rest of Europe, the Global Economy, and even America’s place in the world.
Russia’s move against Ukraine who happened to be a member of the Soviet Union in the past will only increase fear among other former Soviet Union members in eastern Europe. It will increase the concern about the new world order and America’s ability to influence it. It can also raise fuel prices across the world.
Ukraine is positioned in a way that for both west and Russia it can work as an operating ground against each other.
Russia feels that Ukraine is within its natural sphere of influence. It has been a part of the Russian Empire until gaining independence in 1991. Russia was unnerved when a Russian friendly President in Ukraine was overthrown by west friendly government. Most of the former Soviet members have already joined either NATO or the European Union and with Ukraine lurching away from Russian influence felt like the final knell in the coffin for Russian influence in Eastern Europe.
Although, as of yet Ukraine neither is a part of NATO or the EU it receives a large amount of its financial and military support from the West like the United States and Europe. Russia invaded Ukraine with a likely motive to send messages to former Soviet members such as Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania who are now members of western alliances.
The United States which is present has great influence over the international order and affairs which it established by winning the cold war from Russia, this war could also further threaten the dominance of the United States of America over world affairs.
The Past Relationship of Russia-Ukraine
In 2014, Russian troops wearing unidentified uniforms invades Crimea, a peninsula on the Black Sea which happens to be important strategically. The rest of the world declared it illegal in a referendum and condemned the actions of Russia, the region voted an overwhelming majority to join Russia.
Later in 2014, with the help of Russian equipment and troops by pro-Russian separatist forces captured the eastern part of Ukraine.
Later in February this year Russian President, Mr. Putin declared independence for those two captured territories and then sent his troops into the area, which was a prelude to the invasion. For Ukrainians, this Russian invasion is only the latest episode of a war that has already been going on for eight long years.
Why is Ukraine so Vulnerable?
Although Ukraine receives a great deal of money and arms from the West it’s not actually a NATO member which means it cannot receive direct military and financial support from NATO members such as the United States and its allies. And for all the hundreds of millions of western aid received by Ukraine and its military in recent years, it is still no match up against mighty Russia.
Ukraine also happens to be surrounded by Russian allies, proxies, and Russia itself.
At the beginning of the invasion, Russian troops were surrounded not only along Ukraine’s eastern border with Russia but also along the Belarusian border, 50 miles away from Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital. Russian troops also surrounded Ukraine’s western border with Moldova, this led to an invasion from all directions.
Some of the world’s main grain suppliers share the same route through the Black Sea which borders both Russia and Ukraine, two major wheat producers. The invasion and military disruption to both grain production and distribution can cause raised prices of food for consumers across the world.
Russia is a major supplier of gas into Europe which is one-third of the total supply and it is shipped through Ukraine. For that reason also Ukraine is important for Russia for a smooth supply route and any disruption to that supply could cause European countries to look elsewhere for fuel and most likely raise world oil prices.