Humans have coursed a very long run yet humanity, as a whole still has to achieve many milestones. In this course, it is certain that any worldly conflict is the worst hindrance to the path of world peace and prosperity. Diversity is a nature’s law, consequently, a difference in opinions, beliefs and ethics is obvious. As a result, lamentably, the world’s stage is all set to face a dispute. Ukraine known for its mesmerising mosaics adorned monasteries and churches, has turned into a battlefield. The tensions between Russia and Ukraine are escalating to new heights. But, the conflicts do not decide the course of history, it is our response which seals the fate of the world. So, let us stimulate the response and know Top 10 Things to know about Russia-Ukraine conflict:-
Since its reprieve from the Soviet Union in 1990, Ukraine has enjoyed the status of a sovereign state. However, in 2014, the then prime minister Viktor Yanukovych rejected a trade deal with the European Union and subsided with Russia. The pro-Russian measures of the Ukrainian prime minister met protests throughout the country. Consequently, Petro Poroshenko was elected the new prime minister. Russians intervened to further their influence in Ukraine. This triggered the crisis which is currently underway. However, the war has been in making for the past few decades. Ukraine always was a bright spot in the eyes of Stalin due to its strategic geographical position and Crimea which is resource grenade. His predecessors are also tracing the same trail.
2) Divided Ethnicity:-
The eastern part of Ukraine harbours a sizeable 17% minority of Russians speaking population. The west encompasses the majority of Ukrainian speaking population. This has led to a cultural split within the country. The eastern part wants to maintain close relations with Russia whereas the westerners despise their stand. Russia has always had a great influence in east Ukraine due to this ethnic divide. It is high time for the Ukrainian people to focus on developing a national entity rather than segregation.
3) Annexation of Crimea:-
Crimea is a peninsula in eastern Europe surrounded by the Black Sea. This region is a deposit of natural gas and other resources. This makes it a hotspot for occupation. As the Ukrainian unrest began Russia sought the opportunity to dissolve Crimean peninsula from Ukraine. Crimea was declared an autonomous state and an independent prime minister was appointed. The same day Russia recognised it as a sovereign state. Soon, a referendum was held in which the Crimean population voted to be a part of Russia.
4) Stand of the International Community:-
United Nations was open to remarking the referendum unconstitutional. Russia was criticised by the International community for its war triggering actions and unconstitutional way of action. The European Union has shown open support to Ukraine. The Ukrainian prime minister signed the Association Agreement on 21 March 2014 in alliance with the EU.
5) Russia’s Invasion:-
As a result of the fall of Victor Yanukovych, Russian army took control of the strategic positions in east Ukraine. As for today, Russia is deploying its arsenal within the Ukrainian borders. Moreover, NATO has claimed that intercepted communications have revealed that Russia is causing unrest in Donbass. However, President Putin denies any involvement in the insurgencies.
6) Militant and separatist activities:-
Adding to even more trouble for Ukraine is the separatist movement spiking in the eastern territories. Ukraine officials and the UN accuse Russia of organising these separatist movements. Putin has maintained that these are just unfounded accusations. Furthermore, he is backed by the ethnical divide between the west and east Ukraine. The militant activity along the east Ukrainian border has already cost many lives. Notably, a Malaysian Airlines flight was shot down in such a dispute. All the 283 passengers were killed in it. This grievous event caught spite from the whole world.
7) Economic Depreciation:-
War has its toll on both the sides. Ukraine has suffered 8% contraction in its economy. Donbass is now suffering blackouts due to coal shortage. Ukraine also served as the prime route of export for the EU which has been rendered obsolete. The European Union had to shift markets to mitigate the losses. Russia now has many economic sanctions imposed on itself by the international community, as a result, the Russian Rouble has depreciated in value. Russia is facing financial crisis as of now. This has also impacted the previous states of the Soviet Union.
8) Recovery efforts:-
Ukraine has started working on many economic reforms to subdue the ongoing financial crisis. IMF has also offered $17.6 billion dollars as a loan to the Ukrainian government. Although, the amount was stalled by the IMF due to continued corruption and lack of reform measures by the Ukrainian government. Ukraine retorted that the loan offered is from IMF’s old promises, they have been disguised as aids for recovery. Other allies like Turkey have proposed a new route for providing gas to Ukraine. The world governments have cornered Russia due to its war provocative actions.
9) Effects on the global scenario:-
The geography of Ukraine is such that it holds a major part of export to the EU. Since the turmoil has caused the exports to decline drastically. The EU and consequently, the world trade has been adversely affected. Similarly, the sanctions imposed on Russia have devaluated foreign trade. Moreover, the situations are almost parallel to those of Cold War era. The United States has also proposed to send troops and lethal weapons in Ukraine to maintain the sovereignty of Ukraine. This measure is certainly going to push matters to shallow waters.
10) Conclusive Note:-
The world was extensively polarised between the two superpowers during the Soviet era:- USSR and USA. However, in the post-Soviet era, the focus was shifted in competing for each other in terms of economic prowess which caused the boost in economy and standard of living all over the globe. Moreover, the recent war on terror also gave the global powers a unifying cause to eliminate the most disturbing issues to human development. This crisis may drain all the progress down to shit.
But if the current pressing matters are not dealt with the best of diplomatic efforts, we shall certainly be pushed back by decades. Both the superpowers currently have a turbulent leadership which may have a catalysing effect. When two elephants fight it is the grass that gets trampled. Whatever may happen the crisis still has loose tethers and all we can do is to hope for the best.
The world is not meant to be monotheistic or unidirectional. Difference in opinions is something to be embraced. It is the basic ladder to human evolution, the methods to deal with them peacefully makes us climb it.