I felt a real strong need to write about this topic. In the past few days we have seen Russia invade Ukraine and the world sits anxiously in their seats, marches and reports the news of what’s happening. I myself feel many people don’t know what’s going on and feel you should have knowledge of why this is happening. To start this in not a black and white, right and wrong situation or piece. This is something that has finally hit a head and it has taken decades to get here. I just want you to have some info on the situation. So let’s get into it.
Russia and Ukraine
To go into the history of Russia and Ukraine will take a long, long, long, time. This will be brief because you could have a class on this topic alone. To help us out we have to understand an important fact about Russia: 70% to 80% of the people occupy the far west or the far east of Russia. Yes, the issues with Ukraine are a geopolitical issue too. The center of Russia is sparsely populated with very little resources due to the climate. Europe and Asia have a history of war and conquering each other throughout their entire history up until about the end of WW2. If you were to look at a map of Europe and Asia between 1900 and 2020 you would see boundary line changes every so many years. Countries have sprang up from being conquered and gaining more land or gaining independence and becoming a new country. After WW2 Russia has not really taken to the new world order of not taking over the country next door.
It took years but after the fall of the Berlin wall a mass flood of countries pulled away from Russia around 1991 (Russia’s collapse also helped the process of these new countries to gain their independence). Ukraine was one of these countries. Russia as a whole lost a nice size of its population and resources. When Putin came into power he had lofty goals to bring Russia back to its former glory. Gaining back all of Russia’s former lands looks to be on his list as shown by his invasion of Georgia and now Ukraine.
As I mentioned before, the majority of Russia’s population lives on the edges of its territory. Its resources can also be found on these edges. Ukraine sits on a nice resource of natural gas and has a very, globally noticeable metal industry. Hence probably one of the reasons Putin wants the country back under the Russian banner. Over the past couple of years Russia and the Ukraine have been going back and forth like 2 cousins fighting and arguing. Nothing really to cause a war just enough to annoy each other. Not many people thought anything about it. Russia has gone back and forth with all the countries that have separated from it. BUT! After Georgia, who knows how Putin will react.
For Russia to be on the main stage of the world Putin knows his country will need resources. Not only does Ukraine have a thriving metal industry but it also has natural gas, and is a heavy grain producer. For any country to really be successful you need an export and Putin knows these resources would push Russia toward its “former glory”.
I have mentioned this before, Ukraine, including a bunch of other countries succeeded from Russia around 1991. Like any country just starting out you need to secure alliances with other countries. It’s like a parent looking out for a kid that is new to the world. Many of the separated countries joined NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). This provided many of these young countries with help and military backing. Many of these countries that are part of NATO border Russia. Putin is not too keen about that idea. Yes, if he took back all of Russia’s former countries he would still be bordered by NATO allied countries but they would be farther from Moscow and he would have more resources. Ukraine sits in a prime spot as a country who Putin has had problems with, has many resources and guess what…
Is not part of NATO. This is why the U.S. and many other countries have not entered the fray. Its also the reason there probably won’t be a WW3. Ukraine took a neutral stance in terms of allying with anybody. Like most countries Ukraine trades goods around the world and has generally good relations with the world (minus Russia). Militarily they have their own armies but If WW3 broke out they would be on their own (until they join a side).
Most of the world has their hands tied. I know, your thinking, “we can just send small military teams (secretly) in from each NATO country to help”. Who says they haven’t done that already. Look at it like this, if the U.S. says “we are going to war with Russia to help Ukraine ”, then every other country has to decide, “are we helping the U.S. because we are allied with them”? On the other side of the coin Russia’s allies would have a decision to make about jumping in to help Russia. Problem is many countries would not want to go to war, and they shouldn’t. This would create a political, military and economic nightmare.
There is a big piece of this that everyone is talking about and it’s the people. Men and women have been drafted into a conflict nobody wanted. There are marches all over the world protesting this conflict. Even in Russia the people have marched to show how they disagree with this invasion. Russian officers are torn between being duty bound or court martialed (most likely put to death after) if they don’t follow orders. Ukrainians are fighting to keep their freedom. While all this is going on the people will suffer on both sides in this particular conflict.
When this all ends we will be looking at a familiar and different world. Some theorists think China will also get the invasion bug and move in on other territories some close by and others in Africa (in terms of Africa it will be more of a financial invasion/colonization). Maybe Kim Jong-Il will start to flex his power and want to make Korea whole again. Who knows.
I do know this. This invasion will put Russia back in the light of looking like the bad guy. Sucky part is, in actuality, the only person to blame is Putin. He gave the order and his word is final, in Russia. I also know there will be some global backlash toward Russia in some way.
On the bright side we could see a small country fight back the force of a tsunami and come out on top showing their strength as a people not willing to back down and give up what they worked so hard to keep. We could see a truce form out of this between the 2 countries. Again Who knows. Both sides will have losses but Putin does not want to drag this out. A long battle benefits no one in the end.
I will continue to pray for families on both sides of this conflict and for a speedy, peaceful, resolution.
For a short but extensive video about this conflict, check out Real Life Lore on YouTube. It helped all this make sense for me. https://youtu.be/If61baWF4GE