Russia Sets Sights on Ukraine

Recently a new conflict has emerged in eastern Europe. Russia wishes to prevent the former Soviet state of Ukraine from joining NATO. The reason Russia wishes to reclaim Ukraine is to fight back against NATO, which Russia believes is trying to turn former Soviet states against the homeland of Russia. The reason why Ukraine is so important to Russia is because the capital of Ukraine, Kiev is the birthplace of the first Russian states, which came about in the ninth century. Vladimir Putin wishes to keep Ukraine as close to Russia as possible politically. Russia has lost many of their former Soviet states to NATO, but it seems Ukraine is the hill Russia is going to die on. Russia has had a historical background of backing separatist groups in these former Russian states. Putin has been trying for years to keep a grip on these former Russian states; for example, when Russia attacked Georgia a former state in 2008. 

There are several reasons Ukraine specifically matters so much to Russia. First its capital is known as the birthplace of Russia. Second there is a historical unity between the Ukrainians and the Russians with the two nations historically being as close as countries, like the United States and Canada. Third, the populus of Ukraine is heavily Russian with Putin referring to the two counties as “one people”. Ukrainian opposition can also hurt Russia geopolitically, with Ukraine acting as a buffer between Russia and the west.