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Ongoing Conflict in Eastern Ukraine.Henderson,Owen


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Presentation on the basics of the origin and results of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine

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Ongoing Conflict in Eastern Ukraine.Henderson,Owen

  1. 1. By Owen Henderson INTS Online 2130 ONGOING CONFLICT IN EASTERN UKRAINE
  2. 2. ORIGIN OF THE CONFLICT • Soviet politicians attempted to Russ-ify the satellite states therefore they forced emigration of ethnic Russians to Ukraine • They focused this emigration in the industrial east for its important economic significance • Furthermore the history of Russian and Ukraine are intertwined as evident by the period known as Kievian Rus which both Russians and Ukrainians share as a common history • This resulted in a mixed population of both ethnic Ukrainians and Russians or a blend of the two and Russia being economically invested in natural gas pipelines through Ukraine
  3. 3. UKRAINE: DIVIDED EAST VS WEST • Divided into more Russian East and more Ukrainian West • Russian speakers dominate the East • More Russian politically leaning East supported former President
  4. 4. POLITICAL UPHEAVAL • The divide most recently began with the contentious election of former Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych over Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko as President in 2010 as illustrated here
  5. 5. POLITICAL UPHEAVAL CONT. • Moreover the Yanukovych Regime, initially seemed to be promoting Pro-West movement, went back on a proposed trade and political agreement with the European Union to instead strengthen ties with Russia in November 2013 • This cause mass protests and demonstrations in Kiev and other western cities while polarizing the East-West division because the east supported Yanukovych
  6. 6. POLITICAL UPHEAVAL CONT. • The protests culminated into what is know known as the Maidan (Independence) Square Protest or “Victory” which saw both 75+ deaths and 100+ wounded and the overthrow of Yanukovych and his political, who then fled or were captured fleeing the country • During this ‘revolution’ the region of Crimea, home to a Russian Naval Base and large ethnic Russian populations, was annexed by force and became de-facto part of Russia • Then after the vacated government positions were filled and the government stabilized elections were held and Petro Poroshenko won a strong majority in May 2014
  7. 7. STRENGTHENING DIVISIONS • West: Elected pro-West President and went ahead with EU trade agreement • Denounced the annexation of Crimea and ‘supposed’ referendum to legalize the annexation • East: Leans heavily on Russia politically and economically as well as partially culturally • Supported annexation of Crimea and praised it as a victory as well as significant support for independence and closer ties with Russia
  8. 8. DISAGREEMENTS GO ‘HOT’ • Following these events in Kiev and Crimea separatist movements, independent or created by Russia, became militarized with likely aid from Russia and began to engage government forces for control of two regions: Donetsk and Luhansk • This has spiraled into a longstanding armed conflict that has caused the deaths of 6000+ combatants and over 1.1 million displaced (potentially 750000+ fled to Russia)
  9. 9. CURRENT POLITICAL SITUATION • Two self declared states: Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic are operating de-facto as governments in their respective regions or “oblasts” • Militias are supporting the two states and are current combating Ukrainian regular military forces and militias • Unofficially a confederation has been formed, Novorossiya, with two independent bureaucracies but a unified military front and an unified parliament • Although this hasn’t been confirmed and is currently disputed
  11. 11. RUSSIAN’S INVOLVEMENT • It is commonly accepted that Russia has supplied arms and supplies to both of the militias or separatist terrorist groups • In addition there is strong evidence that Russia is providing aid and government assistance in addition to what Western foreign aid is reaching the civilian populations in affected areas • However most controversially there is significant evidence that Russian ‘volunteer troops’ are fighting in the regions and that potentially even special forces have trained the ‘terrorists’ or militiamen of both self proclaimed republics • However these facts have all been disputed by Russian authorities at different times
  12. 12. IMPACTS OF CONFLICT • International political pressure has led the United States and the European Union to spearhead economic sanctions and various other political measures to attempt to change Russia’s position on supporting this conflict • Despite these having had significant economic impact, the results on the political policy of the Putin regime have been limited, potentially even negative
  13. 13. FAILED CEASEFIRES AND ESCALATION • A ceasefire authored between Russia, Donetsk PR, Luhansk PR, and Ukraine in September 2014 at a talk in Minsk, Belarus fell through almost immediately and completely disintegrated by Jan. 2015 • A subsequent agreement between Russia, France, Germany, and Ukraine was reached in February 2015, also in Minsk, and a only nominal ceasefire has been maintained with fighting in one contested city and near constant exchanges of fire from both sides
  14. 14. AMERICAN INVOLVEMENT AND YOU • The American government has been staunchly against this conflict from the beginning and has been the forerunner in sanctions and political pressure against Russia • Following the February peace talks the US Congress has approved Non-lethal aid AND Lethal military aid to Ukraine to combat ‘Russian aggression’ • This could potentially spark escalating levels of involvement from both Russia and the US thus instigating levels of hostility not seen since the Cold War
  15. 15. AMERICAN INVOLVEMENT AND YOU CONT. • In addition US Army Airborne troops have been deployed to conduct training missions with Ukrainian National Guardsmen • The plan could involve sending more troops over time, thus furthering the chances of escalation
  16. 16. COULD WE BE IGNORING FACTS • However take Northern Cyprus for example: it’s a part of a sovereign nation that is occupied by a hostile separatist movement directly supported by a foreign nation • Turkey maintains troops in this area, a sovereign country a part of the EU, and the ‘territory’ of Northern Cyprus is not recognized by any countries besides Turkey • This situation mirrors the one in Eastern Ukraine and yet the US continues to maintain diplomatic and strategic ties with Turkey, a known human rights violator
  17. 17. EASTERN UKRAINE: IS IT OUR BUSINESS? • The parallel with Northern Cyprus creates a paradox, how can we have relations with Turkey and yet active combat Russia, who is acting in the same manner? • It seems that rather the legality or morality of the situation the true intention of opposing the separatist movements in Eastern Ukraine is strategic and political with no real regard for the territorial integrity of Ukraine, but more importantly the regional power that Russia is demonstrating
  18. 18. UNINTENDED CONSQUENCES • This situation is also polarizing Russian opinions of the Western world and the US and creating a form of isolation not seen since the Cold War • This makes a dialogue with Russia and its people harder and creates a rhetoric of Western hate that will be hard to overcome • After all the economic sanctions are hurting the common citizen the most and although they affect the wealthy, the common person has to face increased food prices, financial instability, and loss of opportunities and jobs
  19. 19. FINALLY WHO IS RIGHT? • The vast majority of people support the territorial integrity and rights of Ukraine and this position is easy to support when simplified as such • However the issue is far more complex than the letter of the law, many people in these regions do support independence or stronger ties with Russia • It is easy to condemn Russia’s actions and supposed actions, however it is more important to understand them and their causes and implications
  20. 20. FORM YOUR OWN OPINION • It is important for any citizen to be well informed and form their opinions on politics based on research from many sources • Also understanding the long term effects of decisions AND the short term benefits is important for maintaining global peace and prosperity • Form your own opinion on who is right and express it with your peers, learn, discuss, and adapt that opinion so that you can decide whether or not to support politicians and their platforms
  21. 21. VIDEO RESOURCES • - A series with in depth coverage of on the ground occurrences by Vice News • – John Green explains the conflict better than I • Recent: • ukraine-conflict-has-no-winner-poroshenko - Straight from the horse’s mouth; Pres. Poroshenko talks of escalating hostilities • – More from Vice News on the Russian soldiers in Ukraine “Selfie Soldiers”
  22. 22. WORKS CITED • nd • • • ukraine-historical-perspective • • •