The escalating conflict between Russia and Ukraine has recently attracted international attention. Allegations that Russia will soon invade Ukraine continue to be made because it is strengthened by the presence of the Russian military around the Ukrainian border.
Western countries, including NATO allies, flocked to send military aid if a sudden invasion and attack occurred. But the question is, what is the root of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine? detikcom summarizes the following complete information.
Crimean Trade-Annexation Issue
Reported by the BBC, Ukraine was indeed part of the Soviet Union until it gained its independence in 1991. Relations between Russia and Ukraine strained in 2013 over a landmark political and trade deal with the European Union.
Ukraine’s pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, rejected an association agreement with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Moscow. The refusal sparked a wave of mass protests until Viktor Yanukovych was ousted from office in 2014.
In March 2014, Russia annexed Crimea, an autonomous peninsula in southern Ukraine with strong Russian loyalties. The annexation was carried out on the pretext that Russia was defending its interests and the interests of Russian-speaking citizens. At that time, thousands of Russian-speaking soldiers, nicknamed “little green men” and later recognized by Moscow as Russian soldiers, flooded the Crimean peninsula. Within days, Russia finished annexing Crimea in a referendum condemned by Ukraine and much of the world as ‘illegitimate’.
Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula also prompted pro-Russian separatist insurgencies in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions where they declared independence from Ukraine. The rebellion sparked months of fierce fighting.
At the time, Ukraine and the West accused Russia of sending troops and weapons to support the rebels. Russia denies this and accuses Russians joining the separatists of being volunteers.
In the fighting, more than 14,000 people died. Donbas, the industrial heartland of Eastern Ukraine, was devastated by the fighting
In 2015, Ukraine and Russia signed a peace deal in Minsk, brokered by France and Germany. However, the peace agreement was tarnished by repeated violations of the ceasefire.
The European Union and the US have imposed a range of measures in response to Russia’s actions in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, including economic sanctions targeting certain individuals, entities and sectors of the Russian economy.
In addition, the conflict between the two countries is also related to the desire to join Ukraine to NATO. See the information on the next page.
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