US Involvement and Info during the Ukraine – Russia Conflict


Michael Colvin, Reporter

For those who don’t know about the Ukrainian – Russian conflict, there was a decision made when President Viktor Yanukovych of Ukraine decided to deny economic integration into the European Union. This incited protests within Ukraine by the Ukranian people, where they started protesting in the capital, Kiev. After a Violent outbreak by the state’s security forces, the numbers of protesters started to rise heavily. After this rise in protesters, President Viktor Yanukovych fled the country in February 2014. In March of 2014, Russian troops moved into the peninsula of Crimea annexing it after the Ukrainians voted to join the Russian Federation in a disputed local referendum. Russian President Vladimir Putin said this was a way to protect Russian speakers in Crimea and Southeast of Ukraine. After a while a crisis heightened to making ethnic divisions, two months later a pro-russian separatist force was made in eastern Ukraine. Their motives were to declare independence from Ukraine and make their own nation of Pro-Russian Ukranians. With the Separatist force, violence escalated in eastern Ukraine as Russian backed Separatist forces were fighting against the Ukranian military, though Moscow denies their involvement with Ukraine, NATO and Ukranian forces say that there was a buildup of Russian troops and military equipment near Donetsk and some heard Russian cross-border shelling. In July 2014 this escalated into an international issue, involved the European Union and the United States, this is due to a Malaysian flight getting shot down in Ukraine killing all 298 passengers and staff on board. After Dutch air investigators started their investigation, they later found out that the plane was shot down by a Russian-built surface-to-air missile. They determined that this missile was moved from Russia into Eastern Ukraine. In February 2015, France, Germany, Russian, and Ukraine have attempted to make a cessation in the violence rising. This agreement included a cease-fire, withdrawal of heavy weaponry, and Ukraine granted full government control in the combat zone. Although, the result of this agreement was unsuccessful. In April 2016, NATO dispatched four battalions in eastern Europe moving the troops through: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland. This was the NATO’s plan in order to prepare and stop any future Russian aggression anywhere else throughout Europe, although particularly in the Baltics. These Battalions were joined by two US Army Tank Brigades, deploying in Poland in September 2017. After many incidents and attacks from and on both sides of the conflict in Ukraine, we come to the situation that we are currently in, which is now involved the US significantly due to a certain few actions from the US President Donald J. Trump and some few mentions from a US representative. As of this moment there are over 10,000 civilian casualties, 1.5 million displaced people internally, and the length of the frontline is now 280 miles. As of September 9th 2019, Russia and Ukraine has traded prisoners of at least 35 people, this is what people are labeling as a sign of ‘De-Escalation’. The Ukraine conflict has a chance to continue deteriorating the relations between the United States and Russia if the conflict continues to take anymore involvement on either side. They also mention greater escalation if Russia moves their soldiers into any of the European countries that currently have stationed NATO troops and US Army Tank brigades. NATO has concerns about Russia’s intentions and actions due to the Ukrainian incident, therefore they have been on high alert and are ready to react to any sort of extra Russian invasion in Europe. But due to these actions it has heightened the conflict and risks deterioration in relations with Russia, Europe, and the United States. This complicates issues that are being tackled in cooperation such as Terrorism, arms control, and a political solution in Syria. The conflict is unchanging, as the cease fire is in place. US President Donald J. Trump had a meeting with the Ukranian representatives on giving them anti-air and anti-tank weaponry to defend against the Russian vehicles and aircrafts during combat. President Trump is holding onto these as Putin got furious over the declaration of these weapons being given to the Ukranians, therefore these weapons have not been given to Ukraine in order to hold the current standing relation with Russia and the United States. During August 27th 2019, a US representative, National Security Advisor John Bolton, visited Ukraine to meet with their representatives. This meeting was about the newly elected government in Ukraine, although Bolton mentions that the Ukranian President would be meeting with the US President in Poland. After a while, this meeting was cancelled and the two Presidents never met up in Poland or elsewhere. With this article I’ve been able to interview a special and critical guest into this article, we all know him as an english teacher, Jordan Post. There were multiple questions shown around the conflict of Ukraine and here is his thoughts on these questions. The first question asked was what was his thoughts on those who wanted to join the Russian Federation and the European Union. He said that it was a continuation of the history that Ukraine has, including the cultural presence taking a factor into the conflict. He says “In history books, Ukraine has been referred to as the blood grounds of Europe”, this is due to the amount of wars that Ukraine has been a part of, he also adds that Ukraine was also a part of the Soviet Union’s territories and he sees this as a major factor since he mentions that the shadow of the Soviet Union is still over Ukraine. Post said he lived in a town an hour away from Poland, he took a trip into Poland and noticed that there was an Upscale and it looked more modern from Ukraine, he mentioned that many Eastern Ukrainians would like to join the European Union due to the Union being able to change their past and move them into a more modern time and help them mostly. He mentions that Russia has been very heterogeneous nation, they value their as he said ‘ethnic purity’ and he mentioned that this could come across as nationalism, but he also mentioned that it’s understandable as Russia had suffered multiple conflicts and he mentions that the Soviet Union had tried to kill out Ukranian culture including language and writing through the man made famine in the Soviet Union. He mentions that the nation was going with, “Ukranian blood versus Russian blood”, he mentioned that they could be family and neighbors but this is what divides the people currently. He believes that the incidents including the plane being shot down by Russian air missiles and the mortar shellings along the border of Ukraine and Russia including the multiple civilian casualties and he mentioned his neighbors, colleagues, and friends were at the start of it all at Kiev. He mentioned that there were 83 – 84 people who were innocently killed by unmarked troops as people have said that they may be known as Russian troops including sneaking all their surplus across the border into Eastern Ukraine in order to avoid their support. He says it’s heartbreaking to see “Ukraine go from attempts at democracy, to a people’s revolution, to a slow burn, to a full on flame of civil war”. He says that Putin needs to realize that the USSR is long gone, and that they should keep within their borders. The next question was mentioning the NATO support and the US President withholding the support from Ukraine. He fully supports NATO being involved in the conflict and having their presence for the containment of Russia since their a Global organization. He mentions his younger brother was in the Marine Corps in a Marine Expedition, known as a MU which was a global show of force. During the Expedition there was a chance that his younger brother would be sent into Ukraine while under President Obama, he said it was a “Strange irony that I never saw happening”, he mentions that it never happened but he also mentioned “Where does America cross the line as a Global Police?”, and he mentions the multiple other conflicts that America has been in globally. He supports basic support to the Ukranian fighters but he mentions that giving firearm support to Ukraine is going a little far with the support. To fully wrap up the article the last question mentioned that there was a sign for the conflict to end as they exchange 35+ prisoners on both sides, he mentions that it bodes well for both sides as a great sign for the conflict coming close to an end.