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The war between Russia and Ukraine is a complex and ongoing war that started in 2014 and intensified after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Ukraine wants to join North Atlantic Treaty (NATO), but this decision is not supported by Russia, which wants to maintain a hold of Ukraine. Russia is worried that if Ukraine teams up with NATO, it could try to regain the ownership of Crimea. Russia, led by Putin, wants NATO and other allies that support Ukraine to stay away since he wants to restore Moscow’s influence throughout the post-Soviet space. The core reasons Putin invaded Ukraine are to prevent it from joining the NATO military alliance and questioning its existence since Russia claims that Vladimir Lenin established it. The argumentative essay explains in depth the obsession of president Putin with Ukraine including propagating false claims and the fixation to reclaim Ukraine as part of Russia which have led to the war and recent invasion.
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The Western Nation Pushing for Ukraine to Join NATO
The taproot of the war between Russia and Ukraine is the American-led effort to make Ukraine part of NATO and a Western bulwark on Russia’s borders. Ukraine’s allies, including members of NATO, want to integrate Ukraine into the European Union. This effort is not received well by President Putin, who wants to restore Moscow’s influence throughout Ukraine. Also, Putin does not want Ukraine to become a pro-Western liberal democracy since it will have better chances of reclaiming Crimea and increasing the NATO military team on Russia’s borders. In addition, Putin has falsely insisted that Ukraine is culturally and historically part of Russia. In 2014, Russia invaded Ukraine, swiftly annexed Crimea, part of Ukraine, and formed a rebellion that took control of part of the Donbas region of Ukraine(Elsherbiny, 2022). Putin’s reason for invading Ukraine is to draw it back under Russia’s sphere of influence. The nation will not be subject to Western and other European nations’ interventions, including military support and democratic governance.
Demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine
President Putin launched a massive invasion into Ukraine in February this year, citing the cause of the attack to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine. After years of war and tension between these two nations, Putin argues that the reason for war is to protect the Russian people in Ukraine from bullying and genocide by Ukraine’s government. All these are excuses by Putin and Russia to try and reclaim Ukraine, and the justifications given for the war are false economically, historically, and politically. According to Ukraine’s democratically elected president Volodymyr Zelensky, Putin’s special military operations have made several attempts on the president’s life by sending troops to storm the presidential compound (Kirby, 2022). Furthermore, Putin’s claims of Nazis and genocide in Ukraine are unfounded and false. According to Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba, this propaganda has been propagated by Russia since 2008, when Ukraine and Georgia were invited to join NATO. The goal of Putin to denazify and demilitarize Ukraine is a threat to their democracy and will lead to de-Ukrainization, which will give Russia total control over Russia (Kuzio, 2022). Since the invasion of Russia into Ukraine in 2022, NATO and other allies have criticized Putin for propagating war crimes violating human rights and causing genocide in Ukraine.
Donetsk and Lugansk Attack Claims
In addition, another root cause of the war between Russia and Ukraine is the accusation by President Putin that Ukraine attacks the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, which Moscow recognizes as sovereign states. According to Ukraine’s president and foreign minister, these claims are false, and there have not been any military attacks on these two regions. Further, Putin argues that Russia is under threat of attack by the Ukrainian far-right movement unless their influence in the country is diminished (Wood et al., 2015). Another cause cited by Putin justifying the invasion is that NATO and Western Nations are arming Kyiv against Russia (Harris, 2020). All these are reasons issued by Russia as the cause of war which is dumbfounded on Ukrainian perspective and history with Russia.
In conclusion, the root cause of the war between Russia and Ukraine is the strong contention between Ukraine by both Washington and Moscow. The Western Nations want Ukraine to join NATO, but president Putin is against this effort, arguing it will affect Russia’s security on its borders. Putin strongly wants Ukraine to be barred from ever joining NATO, arguing that the two nations share historic and spiritual space. According to Ukraine’s leaders, the goal of Putin is to demilitarize and make Ukraine a neutral state against its democratic rights. The war in Ukraine has been complex and ongoing since the 2014 Ukrainian revolution. Russia responded by annexing Crimea from Ukraine and including separatist fighters in the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. Russia has presented claims unfolded, including the genocide of Nazis and other Russian communities in Ukraine. The invasion of Russia into Ukraine in 2022 has further escalated the war leading to the loss of millions of people and valuable resources in both nations.
- Elsherbiny, A. (2022). Europe on Fire: the Russo-Ukrainian War, Its Causes and Consequences. Its Causes and Consequences (March 7, 2022).
- Harris, E. (2020). What is the role of nationalism and ethnicity in the Russia–Ukraine crisis?. Europe-Asia Studies, 72(4), 593-613.
- Kirby, P. (2022). Why has Russia invaded Ukraine, and what does Putin want. BBC News.
- Kuzio, T. (2022). Russian Nationalism and the Russian-Ukrainian War: Autocracy- Orthodoxy-Nationality. Routledge.
- Wood, E., Pomeranz, W., Merry, E. W., & Trudolyubov, M. (2015). Roots of Russia’s war in Ukraine. In Roots of Russia’s War in Ukraine. Columbia University Press.