President Vladimir V. Putin’s choice to ship Russian troops to encircle the Ukrainian border was impressed by a concern: that Ukraine is allying too carefully with the West, shopping for American arms and taking recommendation from U.S. army officers. However why is that army help so vital to Ukraine — and so threatening to Russia?
It’s an extended story, one spanning over a thousand years of battle and contested territory. The phrase “Ukraine” means border land, and the nation has lengthy been a frontier between competing empires, between Western Europe and Russia. For many of the twentieth century, Russia received out, controlling Ukraine as a part of the Soviet Union. However in 1991, Ukraine declared independence from Russia, taking a step towards the West.
Within the time since, america and Western Europe have inspired the event of an impartial, democratic system in Ukraine to stop the re-emergence of a Russian empire and restrict the expansionist imperial energy of Moscow. In response, Russia has sought deeper financial ties with Ukraine, trying to reintegrate a land and folks many Russians really feel are indistinguishable from their very own.
This geopolitical tug of battle got here to a head in 2014, when a preferred revolution pushed out Ukraine’s Russian-backed president — and a supply of continued Russian affect. Since then, america has continued to help Ukrainian independence, offering army help to the Ukrainian forces guarding towards Russian invasion on the border.
Take heed to this episode of The Each day from 2019 to study extra in regards to the historical past of American army help in Ukraine — and the way that assist could have the facility to tip the scales in a broader battle between authoritarianism and democracy.