~~ an essay: Russia’s Ukraine Invasion
The reason for Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine finally becomes evident. I have read report after report for months, since Russia began amassing military might on Ukraine’s eastern border, trying to determine: Why now? While I could see why Russia’s President Vladimir Putin saw the need to invade to prevent Ukraine from forming a democracy, I had–until now–been unable to discern the “trigger” for the timing of Putin beginning his assault. This morning, Celina Tebor with USA Today reported President Volodymyr Zelensky signed Ukraine’s application to join the European Union (EU) in February. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began 24 February. This indicates the Ukraine’s intent to join the EU is the reason behind Russia’s invasion.
Putin does not want Ukraine to become part of the EU because he perceives this as a threat to his country. So long as Ukraine was not making serious movement toward being admitted to either the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) or the EU, there was no assessment of threat to Russia. When Putin determined the applications to the EU and NATO were actually being prepared — and finally signed — by President Zelensky, Russia began to act in response.
During this time, Russia amassed military might along Ukraine’s eastern border and insisted it was merely for military training and security purposes (Gorenburg, 2022; Harris, 2021). In all probability, there “was” actually training taking place along Ukraine’s eastern border. This was, no doubt, preparing the military for actions to be implemented once the invasion actually began. On 3 December 2021, Samir Puri, @purisamir1 — with The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), reported: “For now, the Kremlin will be acutely aware that the most powerful veto it retains over the possible drift westward of Kiev government into structures such as the European Union and NATO is to preserve a low-intensity warzone in east Ukraine, while occasionally brandishing the threat of a major invasion.” However, the low-intensity warzone pushed President Zelensky to sign the EU application more quickly and has rapidly escalated into a major invasion.
The date on which the Ukraine’s application to EU was completed and submitted in February is almost simultaneous with the date the military invasion began in earnest. Prior to this time, the only reason given for the invasion was Putin’s statement of Ukraine ownership because it was once a part of the USSR. In centuries past, the eastern portions of Ukraine have been tossed back and forth between the Poland-Lithuanian inclusion and the Russian embodiment (Duben, 2020). In fact, as far back as the ninth century AD, the Ukrainians in Kiev and the surrounding region declared as a self-contained nation.
Historically, both Russia and Poland have tended to ignore the desire of Ukrainians to be their own people–tossing them back and forth like a rubber ball. This is the primary reason for the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Russia claims the Ukrainian area has always been of “like people” who had no desire to separate from Russia. This is not true–but this is another article in the making. I will go no further into it right now except to reference a quote from the London School of Economics international (LSE)–Dr Bjorn Alexander Duben’s quote of Putin’s December 2019 statement: “‘When the Soviet Union was created, primordially Russian territories that never had anything to do with Ukraine (the entire Black Sea region and Russia’s western lands) were turned over to Ukraine'”. Now, the truth has become evident. The Ukrainian people have no desire to be a part of Russia and are fighting to the limit to prove it.
When Ukraine is admitted to the NATO and/or the EU, in Putin’s eyes, Russia’s regime will be diminished by those organizations and will be less powerful because of the smaller land mass. Putin’s refusal to accept Ukraine as an independent country represents a delusional view of the world order. Yet another member of the EU bordering Russia is perceived as an actual assault on Putin’s regime. This required military action, in his view, because part of his perceived empire would be permanently removed from his portion of the world. This could not be allowed, and the threat of World War III became a reality.
Duben, B A (PhD). (1 July 2020). “There is no Ukraine”: Fact-Checking the Kremlin’s Version of Ukrainian History. “LSE International History.” blogs.lse.ac.uk. (Retrieved 11 April 2022). https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/lseih/2020/07/01/there-is-no-ukraine-fact-checking-the-kremlins-version-of-ukrainian-history/.
Gorenburg, D and M Kofman. (15 January 2022). Here’s what we know about Russia’s military buildup near Ukraine. “Monkey Cage: Analysis.” The Washington Post. (Retrieved 11 April 2022). https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/01/15/heres-what-we-know-about-russias-military-buildup-near-ukraine/.
Harris, S and P Sonne. (3 December 2021). Russia planning massive military offensive against Ukraine involving 175,000 troops, U.S. intelligence warns. “National Security.” The Washington Post. “Retrieved 11 April 2022). https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/russia-ukraine-invasion/2021/12/03/98a3760e-546b-11ec-8769-2f4ecdf7a2ad_story.html.
Tebor, C and J Bacon. (11 April 2022). Zelensky warns Ukraine of crucial days ahead; Russia warns of ‘direct military confrontation’ with US: Live Ukraine updates. “USA Today.” msn.com. (Retrieved 11 April 2022). https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/zelenskyy-warns-ukraine-of-crucial-days-ahead-russia-warns-of-direct-military-confrontation-with-us-live-ukraine-updates/ar-AAW5cjy?ocid=msedgntp&cvid=f9052306f1d14248a3016dc39587a278.
Photo Above: @pixabay.com.