The Background of the Russian/Ukraine Crisis

The Russian/Ukraine crisis is known to the turning point of the security in Euro-Atlantic. Since it came as a surprise, a few senior Western politicians and officials have debated about the change of the European security landscape and how both crises developed new security realities in the 20th century due to the NATO significance response (Edelman 130). Similarly, the crisis was also known to be crystallizing more long-term and wider problems that have been increasingly becoming visible while intensifying the strategic dissonance between the West and Russia. Despite the fact that there has been increasing tension between Russia and the West since the return of President Vladimir Putin, and the failure of ‘reset’ in the Russia-US politics particularly concerning the European security (Edelman 142). This essay will elaborate more on the Russian/Ukraine conflict.

Different understandings have amplified for the last 15 years concerning the facts about Russia and the West. The conclusions were also drawn from different episodes of the cold war, the revolution in Ukraine and Georgia between the years 2006 to 2009 as well as Russo-Georgia conflict in 2008. One example seen is the Ukraine crisis where the West was seen accusing the aggression of Russia against Ukraine as well as the illegal annexing Crimea (Nalbanndov 521). Moscow, in this case, asserts and rejects because it claimed that it was still responding the crisis provoked by the EU and US while securing their territory against the NATO expansion.

Notably, there were a few disagreements that were illustrated about the conflicts. For instance, according to Hussain (p.14), Moscow had different views and understanding about the European security because the country was divided into two parts: the OSCE space where all agreements were politically organized but ended up in abuse and the ‘bloc’ spaces of the EU and NATO where agreements were legally binding. The arguments also reflect the beliefs of Moscow concerning the Euro-Atlantic security structures lacking the capabilities of addressing problems effectively like the arms control like the European Conventional Forces and the unresolved conflicts between Transnistria and Moldova (Hussain 21).

In response, Gorenburg noted that Moscow decided to launch its ways to address challenges. As discovered, the Ukraine crisis had additional long-term disputes and problems. Additionally, even if the conflicts were resolved, there were several practical and conceptual tension that would have remained. Both sides of the countries also accelerated the response and current crisis because of the lack of trust between Russia and the West since they accused each other thus breaking their pledges of providing the material and political support that opposed Ukraine (Gorenburg 121).

The Background

According to Mathew Rojansky (the deputy director of the Eurasia and Russia program), he noted that by 2013, the Ukraine Citizens had already gotten tired of the conflicts (Rojansky 120). Despite the fact, there was a peaceful demonstration known as the Euromaidan which was the Public Sentiment that favored the European connection instead of creating the agreement between Russia and Ukraine. For instance, the Ukraine crisis started with a protest that took place in Kiev against the President of Ukraine Victor Yanukovych’s based on the decision he made when he rejected economic integration deal with the European Union. After that, there was a crackdown done by the state security that influenced more protestors who escalated the conflict (Rojansky 121).

In 2014, the Russian troops took charge over the Crimean region just before the formalization of Peninsula that was to take place after Crimeans voted for the Russian Federation to dispute the local referendum. The Russian President, on the other hand, decided to protect the Russian speakers, citizens as well as southeast Ukraine. Two months later the same year, the crisis heightened the pro-Russian separatists in Luhansk and Donetsk around eastern Ukraine then held a referendum to call for independence from Ukraine (Saab " Seaton 461). However, Korniichuk (p.247) said that the call for peace did not succeed but contributed to the Eastern Ukraine violence between the Russian forces and the Ukraine Military killing over 9,500 and injuring more than 22,400 citizens. However, Moscow denied the fact that it contributed to the conflict NATO and Ukraine reported that the Russian military and troops built up near the Russian cross-border and Donetsk (Korniichuk 256).

The situation later escalated in Ukraine to international crisis thus making the European Union and the United States to have differences with Russia mainly when the Malaysian Airlines bombed the Ukrainian plane killing over 298 people (Korniichuk 259). In 2015, Russia decided to build an air missile that was purposed to attack eastern Ukraine. Since then, France, Russia, Germany, and Ukraine have made attempted to break cessation of violence by withdrawing heavy weaponry, providing a cease-fire and controlling the Ukrainian government throughout the conflict zone (Korniichuk 261).


According to Korniichuk, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine deteriorated the relationship between Russia and U.S that later escalated to the Russian expansion either into the NATO countries or Ukraine. Despite the fact that Europe and the United States did not support Ukraine with defensive weaponry, the actions that Russia took raised concerns in Eastern Europe. The conflict also heightened the tension between Europe, the United States, and Russia thus ruining their relations and cooperation particularly on issues concerning arms control, terrorism and political solutions in Ukraine (Korniichuk 284).


Russia based on its actions could have become a priority for the Alliance. There are two points worth making this statement. First, all policymakers should have the background of the post-cold war including how Russia initiated the Kozak memorandum to the security treaty proposals of Medvedev. Then, it’s time for Russia to reassess itself because in the past it was impossible since the Western States had varying relationships with the country. For NATO, the reforms of the Russian military is not the USSR. While the good relations and important tension did not fade away, there is also need to re-emerge and look back before they prepare for the war since they have a lot of disadvantages. The change of Russia in the 21st century also had disagreements and how they might deal with the conflicts.


The Russian and Ukraine conflict as elaborated in the essay was also known to be crystallizing more long-term, and wider problems to other neighboring countries like Europe and the U.S this conflict also spoiled the relationship between these countries. Violence between the Russian forces and the Ukraine Military was also known to kill over 9,500 and injuring more than 22,400 citizens. The conflict also heightened the tension between Europe, the United States, and Russia.

Works Cited

Edelman, Robert. “The Ukraine crisis.” EU–Russian Relations and the Ukraine Crisis, 2011, pp. 128–150., doi:10.4337/9781786430014.00013.

Gorenburg, Dmitry. “The Impact of the Conflict in Ukraine on Russian Politics.” Russian Politics " Law, vol. 54, no. 1, Feb. 2016, pp. 111–154., doi:10.1080/10611940.2015.1180862.

Hussain, Munir. “European Integration – On Pursuit of European Leadership.” The European Union, 2016, pp. 11–23., doi: 10.1007/978-981-10-2884-7_2.

Korniichuk, Iuliia. “The Impact of the Russian-Ukrainian Military Conflict on Religious Life in Ukraine.” Białostockie Teki Historyczne, vol. 14, 2016, pp. 245–292., doi:10.15290/bth.2016.14.12.

Nalbanddov, Robert. “Democratization and Instability in Ukraine, Georgia, and Belarus.” Jan. 2014, pp. 514–577., doi: 10.21236/ada603628.

Rojansky, Mathew. “Global Crisis.” Review of Market Integration, vol. 1, no. 2, 2014, pp. 199–221. doi: 10.1177/097492920900100205.

Saab, A. P., and Albert Seaton. “The Crimean War: A Russian Chronicle.” Russian Review, vol. 37, no. 4, 2016, pp. 457–487., doi

: 10.2307/128515.

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