The newest on the Ukraine-Russia border disaster: Dwell updates

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After months of navy buildup and brinkmanship on Ukraine’s border, Russia is ratcheting up strain on its ex-Soviet neighbor, threatening to destabilize Europe and attract the US.

Russia has been tightening its navy grip round Ukraine since final yr, amassing tens of 1000’s of troops, gear and artillery on the nation’s doorstep. The aggression has sparked warnings from US intelligence officers {that a} Russian invasion may very well be imminent.

In latest weeks, whirlwind diplomatic efforts to diffuse tensions failed to achieve a conclusion.

Moscow has repeatedly denied it’s planning an assault, insisting as a substitute that NATO assist for Ukraine constitutes a rising menace on Russia’s western flank. An escalation in shelling in japanese Ukraine and a car blast in separatist-held Donbas has heightened fears that Moscow may very well be stoking the violence to justify an invasion.

The escalation within the years-long battle between Russia and Ukraine has triggered the best safety disaster on the continent for the reason that Chilly Warfare, elevating the specter of a harmful showdown between Western powers and Moscow.

So how did we get right here? The image on the bottom is shifting quickly, however this is a breakdown of what we all know.

What has set the stage for the battle?

Ukraine was a cornerstone of the Soviet Union till it voted overwhelmingly for independence in 1991, a milestone that turned out to be a loss of life knell for the failing superpower.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO pushed eastward, bringing into the fold many of the Japanese European nations that had been within the Communist orbit. In 2004, NATO added the previous Soviet Baltic republics Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. 4 years later, it declared its intention to supply membership to Ukraine some day within the distant future — crossing a purple line for Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has indicated he sees NATO’s growth as an existential menace, and the prospect of Ukraine becoming a member of the Western navy alliance a “hostile act.” In interviews and speeches, he has emphasised his view that Ukraine is a part of Russia, culturally, linguistically and politically. Whereas a few of the principally Russian-speaking inhabitants in Ukraine’s east really feel the identical, a extra nationalist, Ukrainian-speaking inhabitants within the west has traditionally supported higher integration with Europe. In an article penned in July 2021, Putin underlined their shared historical past, describing Russians and Ukrainians as “one individuals.”

Ukrainians, who within the final three a long time have sought to align extra carefully with Western establishments, just like the European Union and NATO, have pushed again towards that notion. In early 2014, mass protests within the capital Kyiv compelled out a Russia-friendly president after he refused to signal an EU affiliation settlement.

Russia responded by annexing the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea and fomenting a separatist rebel in Ukraine’s east, which seized management of a part of the Donbas area. Regardless of a ceasefire agreement in 2015, the 2 sides haven’t seen a secure peace, and the entrance line has barely moved since. Practically 14,000 individuals have died within the battle, and there are 1.5 million individuals internally displaced in Ukraine, in response to the Ukrainian authorities.

Learn extra here.

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