The United States and NATO have described the movement of troops in and around Ukraine as “unusual.”
WASHINGTON – Tensions between Ukraine and Russia are at an all-time high, and the capture of Russian troops near the two countries’ borders has raised fears of Moscow’s aggression.
Ukraine now claims that Russia is destabilizing the country in the face of any planned military aggression. The Western powers have repeatedly come to Russia not to take aggressive action against Ukraine.
Russia’s right wing is seen as a growing threat.
The picture is complicated, and here is a breakdown of what we know.
How are you at the border?
The United States and NATO have described the movement of troops in and around Ukraine as “unusual.”
Russian aid, led by US President Joe Biden and European leaders, has gathered at the Ukrainian border. Russia, which conducted US intelligence in December, has estimated that it may launch a military strike on Ukraine “in early 2022.”
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will speak with Ukrainian Secretary of State John Kerry in Kyiv on January 19.
In late 2021, satellite imagery revealed that Russian equipment, such as self-propelled guns, combat tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, had struck the training ground approximately 186 miles (300 km) from the border.
According to a recent intelligence assessment by the Ukrainian Defense Hospital, Russia has upgraded more than 21,000 naval personnel capable of using more than 127,000 Ukrainian troops, relocated Iskander operational-tactical missiles and stepped up operations against the country. .
Three consecutive diplomatic talks between Russia and the West aimed at easing the crisis have failed to reach a solution.
U.S. officials say a Russian invasion of Ukraine could happen at any time in the next two months.
The leadership of Russia’s military bases is to the west of the vast country, which is higher than any threat in history. Ukraine, which borders the Russian Defense Ministry, has previously said that military exercises are taking place in the region.
Currently, the eastern Donetsk and Donbass regions of Russia have been under the control of Donetsk in eastern Russia and Donetsk in eastern Russia since 2014. The “occupied territories” of Ukraine are also targeted by the Russian army. Russia is doing it back.
The front of the conflict has not moved for five years, but small-scale and wise attacks are constantly taking place. Last October, the Ukrainian military deployed the first Turkish drone to strike separatist positions, much to Russia’s chagrin.
Russia also has tens of thousands of troops at its expense in Crimea, which it annexed in 2014. Crimean waste, south of the rest of Ukraine, is now connected to the mainland by a road bridge. Russian.
What is the history of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia?
At the end of 2013, tensions between Ukraine and Russia, two former Soviet republics, escalated due to important political and trade activities with the European Union. Protests in Kyiv have escalated for weeks after the next generation of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych suspended talks under pressure from Moscow.
Then, in March 2014, it annexed Crimea, an autonomous peninsula inhabited by southern Ukrainians, in cooperation with Russia on the grounds of protecting Russian interests. First the so-called “little green men”, and then thousands of Russian-speaking people working in Moscow, recognized as Russian soldiers, poured into the Crimean peninsula. Ukraine and the world economy are making changes in Russia through a referendum that they consider illegal.
Pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions then declared independence from Kiev, sparking months of fierce fighting. Kiev and Moscow, mediated by France and Germany, have repeatedly violated the ceasefire agreement signed by Minsk in 201.
According to UN figures, more than 3,000 civilians have been killed in clashes in eastern Ukraine since March 2014.
In response to Russia’s actions in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, the European Union and the United States have taken a number of measures, including economic sanctions against individuals, businesses, and certain sectors of the Russian economy.
The Kremlin has accused Ukraine of creating tensions in the eastern part of the country and violating the Minsk ceasefire agreement.
What does Russia think?
The Kremlin has repeatedly denied that Russia plans to invade Ukraine, saying that Russia does not pose a threat to anyone and that the deployment of troops on its territory is not a cause for concern.
Moscow believes that NATO’s growing support for Ukraine in terms of weapons, training and personnel is a threat to its security. Ukraine has also been accused of preparing for an attempt to retake the Donbass region and increasing its military presence, but Ukraine has denied the allegations.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on NATO to conclude a clear legal agreement barring it from further expansion to Russia’s borders, saying Western countries have not kept their promises.
Putin also said that deploying sophisticated weapons in Ukraine, such as NATO missile systems, would cross the “red line” for Russia at a time when Moscow is worried that NATO powers are increasingly arming Ukraine.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in November that the United States and other NATO members had begun supplying arms and military advisers to Ukraine. “And, of course, this is exacerbating the situation on the border,” he said.
If the United States and its NATO allies do not change their course on Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned that “Moscow has the right to choose the path of its legitimate security interests.”
What is the opinion of Ukraine?
The Ukrainian government insists that Moscow will not prevent Kiev from establishing closer ties with NATO if it so desires.
In response to Russia’s call for an end to NATO’s eastward expansion, the Foreign Ministry told CNN that “Russia cannot prevent Ukraine from moving closer to NATO and has no right to say anything in the relevant discussions.”
“Any proposal by Russia to negotiate with NATO or the United States to guarantee that the alliance will not expand to the East is illegal.”
Ukraine has said it is trying to destabilize Russia with the help of President Vladimir Zelensky, and has recently been accused of plotting a coup involving Ukraine and Russia.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba has warned that a coup d’etat planned before the military strike could be part of Russia’s plan. “Foreign military pressure goes hand in hand with internal instability in the country,” he said.
Kiev believes that the deepening energy crisis in Ukraine has exacerbated tensions between the two countries and deliberately provoked Moscow.
At the same time, the Zelensky government is facing challenges in many areas. The government’s reputation has come to a standstill amid many domestic political challenges, including the recent third wave of COVID-19 infection and economic hardship.
Many are unhappy that the government has so far failed to deliver on its promises and end the conflict in the eastern part of the country. Anti-government protests in Kiev.
In a January 19 video, Zelensky called on the Ukrainian people to “calm down” at a time of alarm over Russia’s aggression. “We know everything, we are ready for anything,” he said.
Kuleba also sought to reassure Ukrainians that the United States and its NATO allies and Russia feared that Kiev would be left out of the talks. “Without Ukraine, it is our principle not to make any decisions about Ukraine,” he said.
What does NATO say?
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said that Russia will have to pay more if NATO ally Ukraine is attacked again.
“We have a wide choice of economic sanctions, financial sanctions and political restrictions,” Stoltenberg told CNN on December 1.
After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2014, NATO increased its defenses “in the eastern part of the alliance, the Baltic states, Latvia … but in the Black Sea region with combat-ready groups,” Stoltenberg said.
Because Ukraine is not a member of NATO, it does not have the same security guarantees as NATO members.
Stoltenberg, meanwhile, said Russia had no right to say that Ukraine’s chances of joining NATO were impossible for Ukraine.
Stoltenberg said high-risk talks between Russia and NATO in Brussels in mid-January were “not easy to negotiate” and added that “differences are not easy to resolve.” However, he said, NATO allies and Russia “have expressed the need to resume talks.”
What will the United States say?
In a telephone interview with Zelensky earlier this month, President Joe Biden said the United States and its allies would “respond decisively if Russia invades Ukraine again.”
However, during a press conference at the White House, Biden apparently rejected the message, saying that Russia’s “minor attack” would be much less effective than a full-scale attack on the country.
He said Biden had promised that if Putin sent troops to Russia, it would have serious economic consequences, but that the West would not agree on what to do if there were minor conflicts, such as restricting financial transfers in US dollars. “Depending on what happens, NATO disagrees on what countries want to do,” he said.
His remarks prompted an immediate clarification from the White House. “President Biden has made it very clear to the Russian president that if any Russian military forces cross the border into Ukraine, it is another aggression and the United States and our allies will respond quickly, firmly and unanimously.” press secretary Jen Psaki wrote in a statement.
A Ukrainian official told CNN that “US President Biden was shocked by the distinction between attack and aggression,” and said a minor attack would not lead to sanctions. “This gives Putin the green light to enter Ukraine at his own discretion,” the official added.
The diplomatic row erupted as Blinken was preparing for further talks with his European allies on the Ukraine-Russia crisis and a meeting with Russian President Sergei Lavrov. Blinken had previously warned Russia that “any re-aggression could have serious consequences.”
The two defense officials told CNN on Jan. 3 that if Biden decided to increase his capacity in Eastern Europe to further stop Russia’s possible aggression against Ukraine, the Defense Ministry would develop military options for him. Officials say this part of military planning is currently focusing on diplomatic relations and possible economic sanctions.
US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov met in Geneva on January 10 to discuss the US’s efforts to defuse the threat of Russian aggression.
The United States has provided about $ 450 million in security assistance to Ukraine in 2021, according to the Pentagon. The Biden administration is now considering new options, such as supplying additional weapons to Ukraine to counter Russian aggression, a senior US official told CNN.
The Obama administration was shocked when the Russians invaded Crimea in 2014 and supported rebels in eastern Ukraine’s Donbass. U.S. officials say they have decided not to take part in another Russian military operation.
“We are concerned that Russia may make a serious mistake in trying to rebuild what it did in 2014 by gathering forces along the border, invading Ukrainian territory and falsely provoking it,” Blinken said. years.
What other factors are contributing?
The unrest in Kazakhstan, a part of the former Soviet Union, was undesirable news for Putin in early 2022.
During the protests in early January, the Kazakh government resigned, declared a state of emergency and sent troops from a Russian-led coalition to help quell the unrest.
But analysts warn that Russia’s intervention is unlikely to be the end of history. “Sometimes it’s very difficult for the Russians to let you in when they’re in your house,” Blinken said.
Another issue is energy supply. Ukraine believes that the North Stream pipeline, which directly connects Russia’s natural gas supplies to Germany, poses a threat to its security.
Nord Stream 2 is one of two submarine pipelines in Russia’s Baltic Sea, in addition to the traditional overland pipeline network that runs through Eastern Europe, including Ukraine.
Kiev sees the pipeline through Ukraine as an element of protection against Russian aggression, as any military action could disrupt the flow of vital gas to Europe.
In May 2021, the Biden administration effectively lifted the green light by lifting sanctions on the company behind Nord Stream 2. U.S. officials say the move is in the national security interest of the United States, which seeks to restore broken relations with Germany.
In November, the United States imposed new sanctions on Russian-linked companies and ships linked to North Stream 2. Some US senators have called for further sanctions.
In November, the United States imposed new sanctions on Russian-linked companies and ships connected to North Stream 2. Some US senators have called for further sanctions to prevent Russia from using the pipeline as a weapon; Ukraine also called for tough action.