A wave of pro-Russian separatists took control of several western and central Ukraine regions, including Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. The conflict escalated when President Viktor Yanukovych, elected in 2010 after signing an Association Agreement with the EU, fled Kyiv amid widespread protests against his decision to reject closer ties with Europe. After months of fighting, the Russian army invaded Crimea, which had previously been part of Ukraine. Despite international condemnation and economic sanctions, Russia continues to occupy Crimea. It denies the interim government’s legitimacy in Kyiv, instead supporting the separatist movement in the east and south of Ukraine.
Since the Russian military invaded Ukraine in February 2022, it has been more than three months. After years of conflict between rebels who were pro-Russian and Ukrainian nationalists in the Donbas area, a military operation was launched. In addition to preventing Ukraine from joining NATO and reducing its military power, Russia said its objectives were to safeguard the independence of the Donbas separatist republics. Russia’s intervention, in response, constituted a war of aggression that was uncalled for, according to Ukraine.
Financial consultant and CEO of a fintech business, Eugene Plotkin, was raised in the former Soviet Union, attended Harvard University, and is now a resident of New York City. Plotkin outlines prevention measures and his predictions for how the crisis between Russia and Ukraine may develop.
Eugene Plotkin observes that both sides have strong, ingrained feelings that are only fueled by their propaganda. According to Plotkin, peace negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv began in the early stages of the crisis. “Both parties had meetings in Turkey and close to the border. Unfortunately, the negotiations broke down soon after the summit in Turkey, and since then there has been a great deal of devastation and a great deal of loss of life.”
“As a species, we have always been at war,” says Eugene Potkin. We must stop being so focused on technology and start focusing on what matters – like peace. People should focus less on themselves and more on helping others. War creates hate and causes suffering. And because war isn’t necessary, there’s no reason not to end it.
Recent events have demonstrated that a sizeable portion of eastern Ukrainian residents is determined to fight for a pro-Russian way of life. Would keeping these unstable regions be in Ukraine’s long-term interests, even if it could do so by force.
Eugene Potkin points out that the government has attempted to suppress self-determination by pushing against its will in both cases. He writes, “One can imagine that Russia may attempt to repeat the same strategy in Donetsk, especially if they continue to gain international legitimacy through their propaganda campaign.”
Russia has annexed Crimea, invaded eastern Ukraine and carried out multiple provocations in neighbouring countries. The United Nations Security Council officially recognized the Russian occupation of Donbas and declared sanctions against Moscow. The Kremlin continues to supply weapons and money to separatists. Ukrainian troops have been pushed progressively back towards the country’s border with Russia. The situation in the conflict zone seems poised for escalation.