Following President Vladimir Putin’s remarks, Russia started a full-scale war on Ukraine early Thursday. He announced the strike on state television, claiming it was carried out to protect separatists in the east from “genocide.”
Putin has always stated a desire to reintegrate Ukraine into Russia’s fold. In a televised address a few years ago, he referred to it as Russia’s “crown jewel,” and he authored an article claiming that the people of the two countries are one.
The order to attack Ukraine came after weeks of negotiation yielded no results. The one factor that pushed Putin over the edge was Ukraine’s developing ties to the West, notably NATO.
What exactly is NATO?
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was formed in 1949 by the United States, Canada, and numerous Western countries to guarantee collective security to its allies. The organization was formed after WWII to limit the Soviet Union’s area of influence (which later disintegrated).
NATO was the United States’ first peacetime military alliance formed outside of the Western Hemisphere. NATO’s 12 original members were the United States, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and the United Kingdom.
The military organization currently has 30 members. Norsh Macedonia is the most recent country to join NATO in 2020.
What exactly is Russia’s dispute with NATO?
Russia wants the West to guarantee that Ukraine will never be admitted to NATO. Kyiv is now designated as a “partner nation,” implying that it will be permitted to join the military alliance in the future.
However, the US and its western allies refuse to exclude Ukraine from NATO, claiming that it is a sovereign country free to pick its own security alliances.
What additional worries has Russia raised?
The Kremlin claims that NATO is being used by the West to encroach on Russia and that it should suspend its military exercises in eastern Europe. According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the US violated a 1990 security assurance that stated NATO would not expand eastward.
NATO, on the other hand, has denied these assertions and stated that it is a defensive alliance.
However, over the previous two decades, a number of eastern European nations have joined the alliance, including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, and Bulgaria.