The civilians of Ukraine are severely affected due to the year-long conflict between the pro-Russia rebels and Ukrainian soldiers. The United Nations has recently come out with its latest report claiming more than 6000 lives have already been lost due to the ongoing Ukrainian crisis. Despite the truce agreement between warring pro-Russian rebels and Ukraine’s soldiers earlier this year, firing and shelling are still on from both sides.
The UN human rights sources revealed the Ukraine conflict has resulted in the ruthless displacement of more than 1 million people until now from the strife-torn region. Meanwhile the nation’s inflation and unemployment rate rose to almost 20 and 10 per cent respectively in the last one year. It clearly indicates that the dilapidated Ukrainian economy will have to encounter some more fiscal troubles in the days ahead.
How the Crisis began in Ukraine?
The fallout of the massive protests on the streets of Ukraine has led to what is now being called the great Ukraine crisis. It all began last year with the political movement called Euromaidan, widely supported by the Ukrainian youths urging for the nation’s inclusion in the EU. But the previous Yanukovych’s government didn’t pay heed to their voices.
It was later reported that Russian diplomats carried clandestine strategy to ensure that Ukraine doesn’t accept the EU membership. Strategically, Russia wants to retain her hegemony over Central Asia and adjoining areas. Should Ukraine join the EU as its full member, then the US and western nations will get that small window of opportunity to influence the region through the EU or NATO, which is a strict no-no from the Russian point of view.
Former President – Viktor Yanukovych’s closer proximity to Putin is probably the biggest reason why Euromaidan movement couldn’t translate into reality in Kiev. However, he had to bow down before the nationwide protests led by the youths of his own country. He has also faced severe pressure from the US and other western countries that led to his ouster from the country’s top post. Petro Poroshenko, the newly elected Ukraine’s president, is ready to quell rebels’ movements in eastern Ukraine but it’s still too early to predict.
Was it Russia’s Blunder to Jump into Ukraine’s Internal Conflict?
The previous Ukrainian government’s decision to not signing the association agreement with the European Union had apparently divided Ukraine into two camps; Pro-Russian camp and pro-EU camp. While a lot of people preferred Ukraine’s inclusion in the EU, the supporters of Yanukovych and a small populace around Crimea in Eastern Ukraine advocated for status quo. In fact, they had indirectly supported Russia’s involvement into the matter.
Amidst total pandemonium and nationwide agitations, Russia sensed an opportunity to capture Crimea through military intervention. The nation pro-actively participated in the whole issue and justified the same in the name of its national interest. A lot of people living in the Eastern Ukraine and its adjoining areas are the ethnic Russians or Russophone; hence Putin cited their protection as the vital reason why it got engaged in an armed battle against its small neighbor.
This threw the question open that should Crimea accede to Russia? The result of the said referendum was still more shocking as most participants voted in favor of Russia’s annexation. Formally, a referendum was sought on the matter, but it was immediately declared ultra vires of the constitution by the honorable constitutional court of Ukraine.
Russia Vs the US: The Cold War Part 2
Historically, this is the first time since 1992 that Russia and the US have clashed against each other so explicitly over a particular issue. Three-four decades back the proxy wars between these two erstwhile superpowers brought lots of challenges to the fore. These two UNSC members vetoed several resolutions during the Cold war era, which were at that time necessary for the world peace. For this same reason, many nations perceived the US and Russia (formerly USSR) with skepticism because of their war mongering attitude and antipathy to each other’s concerns.
In present times, the mud-slinging between these two nations is still grabbing headlines over the last one year. Recently, the US State Department condemned Russia for its continuous provocative campaigns in and around the areas surrounding Eastern Ukraine. Russian foreign ministry came out with a strong rebuttal claiming that it is the US influence in the Kiev, which is creating law and order problems in the country.
Several economic sanctions have already been imposed upon Russia by the EU and the US over this issue but Moscow is still adamant to call-off its military operations from the parts of Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. Meanwhile, Western countries continue to lambast Putin government for allegedly supplying arms and ammunition to the rebels in Ukraine.
Early Solution to Ukraine Crisis?
In the US-EU meet last year, Obama stressed upon the basic tenets of democracy and opined that only the lawful citizens deserve to decide about the future of any nation. He strongly criticized Moscow’s interference into the internal affairs of Ukraine.
Political de-stability and internal conflicts invite international players to cash in on the opportunity of political brinkmanship. Similarly, the political chaos in Ukraine has become a sort of proxy war between the US-led western countries and Russia. The best solution ahead for the incumbent Ukrainian government is to bring all stakeholders including the EU, Russia and the US on board and carve a meaningful solution to it, while keeping in mind its long term relevance and potential to maintain peace and tranquility in the region.