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  • Emily Mandl

The War in Ukraine - An Overview

The ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia has led to a lot of tension and instability in Eastern Europe for many years. The conflict began in 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea, a region that had historically been part of Ukraine. Since then, fighting has erupted in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed separatists.

The origins of the conflict can be traced back to Ukraine's decision to move closer to the West and away from Russia. In 2013, the Ukrainian government was set to sign an association agreement with the European Union, which would have deepened ties between Ukraine and the EU. However, under pressure from Russia, then-President Viktor Yanukovych didn’t negotiate with the EU and instead signed a deal with Russia. This move was met with widespread protests in Ukraine, known as the Euromaidan protests, which ultimately led to Yanukovych's ouster.

After Yanukovych's departure, Russia annexed Crimea, citing the need to protect ethnic Russians living in the region. This move was met with international condemnation, and Western countries imposed economic sanctions on Russia in response. In eastern Ukraine, pro-Russian separatists declared independence and seized control of several cities. Ukraine responded with military force, leading to ongoing fighting between Ukrainian government forces and separatist rebels.

The war has had a devastating impact on the people of Ukraine. Over 13,000 people have been killed, and thousands more have been displaced from their homes. The conflict has also strained Ukraine's economy and led to a humanitarian crisis in the region. Both sides have been accused of committing war crimes, including the shelling of civilian areas and the use of banned weapons.

The war has also had wider geopolitical consequences. It has further strained relations between Russia and the West, leading to increased tensions and a renewed arms race. Western countries have imposed sanctions on Russia, and NATO has increased its presence in Eastern Europe to deter further aggression. The conflict has also highlighted the vulnerability of small countries that are caught between larger powers.

In conclusion, the war between Russia and Ukraine is a complex and ongoing conflict that has had a devastating impact on the people of Ukraine and has wider geopolitical consequences. The conflict highlights the importance of international cooperation and diplomacy in resolving disputes between nations. It is important that all sides work towards a peaceful resolution of the conflict and that the rights and needs of the people of Ukraine are taken into account.

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