Russia is massacring Ukraine. The russian invasionfar from abating, continues to target the civilian population, especially in strategic cities What Mariupol. The images of corpses in mass graves and the forcefulness of the testimony of the witnesses make evident the commission of war crimes. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian government, headed by Volodomir Zelenski, resists rearmed by the West. The game played on Ukrainian territory, however, is much more than a local clash.
USA and the NATOon the Ukrainian side, and Russia, re-establish a pulse for the world hegemony. Here are the keys that help understand the magnitude of the challenge between the former actors of the cold war.
The decisive NATO summit of 2008
To understand the new episode of the Ukrainian conflict you have to go back to 2008 NATO summit when it was agreed that Ukraine Y Georgia they would become part of the Atlantic Alliance, without further specification of time. It was the last bloc meeting he attended Vladimir Putin, 13 years ago in Bucharest. Y George W Bush he was the American president who pushed to open the doors of the alliance to the two ex-Soviet republics. Putin described the proposal as “a direct threat to Russia.” That promise, without a date or roadmap, is still a casus beli for the Russian president.
Diplomatic frenzy to avoid war
During the last months, Russia has deployed more 100,000 soldiers (according to the latest statements from Washington, the number would already rise to 190,000) in the border that you share with Ukraine to the point that his own US President Joe Biden, has taken a Russian intervention for granted, arousing the fear of NATO allies. The military confrontation tries to be avoided in high level meetings between Russia, USA and NATO. Experts talk about more frenetic diplomatic activity since the Balkan war. Putin continues to demand that Ukraine not be accepted into NATO as the organization insists that the promise to incorporate the former Soviet republic remains in force. After several meetings at the highest level without excessively encouraging results, the diplomatic frenzy has not ceased in recent weeks with the ultimate goal of avoiding a military confrontation.
The precedent of the annexation of Crimea in 2014
This is not the first time that Russia has placed its troops, threateningly, in the ukrainian border. The closest precedent and the most serious consequences occurred in 2014 when Russia invaded the disputed peninsula of Crimea after the pro-Russian Ukrainian president was deposed. In addition, Ukrainian separatists from the Donbas region, supported by Moscow, seized large areas of eastern Ukraine. The rebels have fought the Ukrainian army ever since in a conflict that has claimed more than 14,000 lives.
President Biden has threatened the Russian leader with measures “like you’ve never seen” if Ukraine is attacked. Beyond the military flank, the US is considering the economic coercion. For example, disconnecting the Russian banking system from the international Swift payment system. Another key threat is preventing the opening of the Russian gas pipeline North Stream 2 in Germany, whose approval is being decided by the German energy regulator. There could also be measures aimed at Russian sovereign wealth fund RDIF or restrictions on banks converting rubles into foreign currency.
The dispute over NATO borders
At the heart of the conflict is the claim of Russia to NATO for what go back to your pre-1997 borders. It demands that there be no more expansion of the Atlantic Alliance towards the east and that end to NATO military activity in Eastern Europe. That would mean the withdrawal of combat units from Poland and the Baltic republics of Estonia, latvia Y Lithuaniaand the impossibility of deploying missiles in countries like Poland Y Romania.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.