The Ukrainian Shatter Belt: A New Cold War

1917 words - 8 pages

The Ukrainian Shatter belt: A new Cold War.
The pro-Russian Yanukovich government was powerless against the popular movement of the Ukrainian people who demanded European Integration after the government’s decision to halt talks of the association agreement with the European Union and instead focus on the accession of Ukraine to The peaceful demonstrations that started in November 2013 lasted for months and turned violent in 2014. The Pro-European opposition clashed with the pro-Russian government. In regions where the European influence was strong the local governments were occupied by protestors. The culmination of the Euromaidan was the February Clashes, which became a revolution later on. Even though the movement ended with the signing of the association agreement, the new government had to deal with the difficult aftermath.
With the fall of the pro-Russian government Russia had lost basically a very important ally to the European Union and NATO. President Vladimir Putin took a great risk and invaded Crimea that resulted in strong reactions from the West. Even Russia’s closest allies supported the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
The information war between the West and Russia had intensified once again and reached levels higher than the levels of Russo-Georgia war (2008). Russian media naturally is defending its annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol as a democratic referendum and justifying the military intervention as the protection of rights of the Russian population of Crimea. The referendum was very controversial since it had an unusually high voter turnout and the Pro-Russian vote has created speculations that the referendum has been falsified by the Russian government. The Western media condemns Russia for the annexation of a territory of a sovereign nation and states that it is unacceptable in the international community.
The Euromaidan and the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution brought more complexity in relations between The West and the Russian Federation and the countries under its influence. Since Vladimir Putin came to power both as a president and a prime minister the relations between the West and the Russian slowly started to deteriorate. Russian invasion and de-facto annexation of Crimea adds more tension, since only Russia and its allies deemed the referendum that that was held in Crimea was legitimate.
Why Ukraine is a potential shatter belt and is one of triggers for a new Cold War?
Let us look at the social and historical background of Ukraine and find an explanation to the current situation.
Ukraine can be divided in two parts. West Ukraine, where the Ukrainian language predominates and the society of this region is leaning towards European Integration of the country and the East (including Autonomous Republic of Crimea) are leaning towards cooperation with Russia. Tensions between these regions are higher than ever. Recently created separatist movements in East Ukraine supported by Russia can destabilize the situation...

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