As we know, the origin of Russia-Ukraine conflict 2022 happened when Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych rejected an association agreement with the European Union in favour of closer ties with Moscow. The protestors ousted him in what is known as the Revolution of Dignity. In return, Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and backed east Ukraine’s separatist rebellion.
Soon after this, it attacked Donbas, the country’s industrial heartland. Over 14,000 people lost their lives in the armed conflict between the Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed separatists. So, now the question is how far will Russia go in this Russia-Ukraine Conflict 2022?
How far will Russia go?
It is now clear that Russia is seeking to overthrow Ukraine’s democratically elected government. Its aim is that Ukraine be freed from oppression and “cleansed of the Nazis”.
President Zelensky said he had been warned
“The enemy has designated me as target number one; my family is target number two”.
This false narrative of a Ukraine seized by fascists in 2014 has been spun regularly on Kremlin-controlled TV. Mr Putin has spoken of bringing to court “those who committed numerous bloody crimes against civilians”.
During Russia-Ukraine Conflict 2022, in the days before the invasion, when up to 200,000 troops were near Ukraine’s borders, Russia’s public focus was purely on the eastern areas of Luhansk and Donetsk.
By recognising the separatist areas controlled by Russian proxies as independent, Mr Putin was telling the world they were no longer part of Ukraine. Then he revealed that he supported their claims to far more Ukrainian territory.
The self-styled people’s republics cover little more than a third of the whole of Ukraine’s Luhansk and Donetsk regions, but the rebels covet the rest, too.
What can the West do?
NATO has put warplanes on alert, but the Western alliance has made clear there are no plans to send combat troops to Ukraine itself. Instead, they have offered advisers, weapons and field hospitals.
Meanwhile, 5,000 Nato troops have been deployed in the Baltic states and Poland. Another 4,000 could be sent to Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia.
At the same time, the West is targeting Russia’s economy, financial institutions and individuals:
- The EU and UK have imposed personal sanctions on President Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
- The EU also wants to restrict Russian access to capital markets and cut off its industry from latest technology and defence. It has also targeted 351 MPs who backed Russia’s recognition of the rebel-held regions
- Germany has halted approval on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, a major investment by both Russia and European companies
- The US is targeting 10 of Russia’s biggest financial institutions, with about 80% of its banking assets, so they will struggle to do transactions in dollars or euros
- The UK says all major Russian banks would have their assets frozen, with 100 individuals and entities targeted; and Russia’s national airline Aeroflot will also be banned from landing in the UK.
Due to Russia-Ukraine Conflict 2022, Ukraine has urged its allies to stop buying Russian oil and gas. The three Baltic states have called on the whole international community to disconnect Russia’s banking system from the international Swift payment system. That could badly affect the US and European economies and Germany says is reluctant to agree to it.
The Russian city of St Petersburg will no longer be able to host this year’s Champions League final for security reasons.
What has Nato said?
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a defensive alliance with an open-door policy to new members, and its 30 member states are adamant that will not change.
There is no prospect of Ukraine joining for a long time, as Germany’s chancellor has made clear.
But the idea that any current Nato country would give up its membership is a non-starter.
Did the US say anything?
The US had offered to start talks on limiting short- and medium-range missiles, as well as on a new treaty on intercontinental missiles. In Russia-Ukraine Conflict 2022 Russia wanted all US nuclear arms barred from beyond their national territories.
Russia had been positive towards a proposed “transparency mechanism” of mutual checks on missile bases – two in Russia, and two in Romania and Poland.
To know about how it all started, checkout What is the Origin of Russia-Ukraine Conflict 2022? What do Russia and Ukraine want?