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Important Stuff: The Ukraine Border Crisis

Announcement: Today is the start of the blog’s newest segment, “Important Stuff.” It gives the most valuable insights on the week’s biggest stories that you do not want to miss! Every segment will have two parts. Number one, a brief overview of the story. Number two, our unique perspective. We publish articles every other Tuesday, so make sure to read!

The (Brief Version of the) Story: If you’re reading this, you already probably know what’s happening in Ukraine. But if not, here’s a brief rundown. In recent weeks, Russia has been amassing more than 100,000 troops along the Ukraine border, which has obviously been alarming for the United States and the rest of Nato as a whole. The reason Russia is doing this is likely so NATO can agree to demands such as not allowing Ukraine to become a part of NATO. 

Our Take: Although Ukraine and the United States are both united in their opposition to Russia, they still have very different things to say about it. The United States thinks that Russia is planning to invade and is currently sending troops to eastern Europe and supplies to Ukraine. Russia, of course, has denied these allegations and have said that the United States is creating hysteria. Meanwhile, Ukraine is taking a strangely calm approach. This is because Ukraine does not think Russia will invade. Furthermore, if Russia does invade, Ukraine can (to an extent) fight back with the weapons NATO has given it.

 But what’s the actual story here? Will Russia invade? Or is Russia bluffing? Well, let’s split this question into two parts. Part one: Does Russia have the means to invade? Yes, Russia does. If Russia invades it will likely be successful, unless the United States and NATO directly intervene. The second question is: Does Russia want to invade? This is actually incredibly hard to predict, with arguments to support both sides. On one hand, Russia won’t invade because number one, they’ve been sitting at the border for weeks and not doing anything and number 2, there will be much more backlash than when Russia invaded Crimea in 2014. On the other hand, Russia might invade for two reasons. The first is that NATO doesn’t seem to be very United on this issue. The United States is being extremely vigilant, while France’s president is trying to walk the middle line. Not to mention that Germany is not doing much at all. The second reason is that Russia sees the USA as incredibly divided, and knows that whatever Biden does it will be met with some backlash.

The next few days are going to be very interesting but it would be amiss to not mention the recent visit of Putin to the Beijing hosted Winter Olympics. With Russia and China teaming up, should the United States and NATO be afraid?

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