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Russia-Ukraine Conflict

71% of people in Ukraine believe that they are at war with Russia and this is a complex crisis with a long history.

Just after the Cold War ended in 1991, Ukraine became an independent nation from the Soviet Union. Earlier, it used to be ruled by Russia.

Today Ukraine is the largest European country excluding Russia with a population of 44 mn people. Ukraine is divided into East and West where the West sees itself as European while the East is more closer to Russia in terms of geography and sentiment. Ukraine itself is at war as its forces are fighting the rebels in the East. However, Ukraine wants to join NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization which is a military alliance).

Russia has sent its troops which are stationed right at the Ukraine border as it doesn’t want another NATO country near its border. Russia wants NATO to stop expanding. The major reason is that a member country of NATO will be eligible for collective support by all members in case of any external attack. Hence, Russia doesn’t want Ukraine to join NATO.

Russia has even asked NATO to provide a written resolution that Ukraine will not be inducted into NATO. But, NATO does not want to agree with Russia and so Russia has deployed its forces on the border.

Russia says that Ukraine has always been one with Russia historically which is evident from the fact that every 1 in 3 speaks Russian as a native language and every 1 in 6 is an ethnic Russian. However, claiming Ukraine on the basis of colonial history is not justified as per NATO and USA.

In fact, Eastern Ukraine has always been close to Russia. It has coal, iron, and fertile land which Russia wants to have. However, the majority of the population wants to remain an independent nation and wants to join the EU. Several talks were even conducted by different nations like the US, Germany, France with no concrete conclusion.

Now, as per the principle of collective defense, NATO considers an attack against one or several of its members as an attack against all. This is the principle of collective defense, which is enshrined in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.

Russia also thinks that if Ukraine becomes a member of NATO, it might try to take back Crimea by military action. Russia is demanding the West to pull out NATO forces and not to expand in Ukraine.

The U.S., along with its European and other allies on Tuesday announced a broad range of sanctions against Russia for what President Biden called “the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.” India along with other countries is bringing back their citizens from Ukraine.

Canada also said about imposing sanctions and pledged more troops for NATO. Japan & Australia have joined the US in sanctions.

India has had a neutral stand till now but is putting all efforts to bring back students from Ukraine.

The effect of the entire conflict is witnessed on global markets and increasing crude oil prices. Billions of dollars of global investors have been wiped out. We have to wait and see whether Russia takes back all its forces or invades Ukraine.

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