Russia assembles forces near Ukrainian border, rousing concerns of war


Conflict between Russia and Ukraine

Gabriel Sutanto, News Writer

Tensions between neighboring countries Ukraine and Russia over the years have built up to a peak these last couple of months, as Russia has stationed more than a hundred thousand troops along with other weaponry and equipment on their shared border. Despite the speculations of imminent invasion, Russia has denied the claims, stating that the buildup is nothing more than military exercises. 

The tension between the nations has flared up frequently ever since their alliance ended during the fall of the Soviet Union. However, the current situation is preceded by another event in 2014, where Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula. This was met with much opposition from other major powers, including NATO, who ceased “practical and military cooperation”, as said in their statement released the following April. This drastic response was due to Crimea being internationally recognized as a part of Ukraine even though Russia still continues to occupy the territory.  Additionally, it led to armed warfare with Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine, causing thousands of casualties. The War in Donbas, as it’s called, is still ongoing. 

This incident has again garnered international attention towards Russia, and with the threat of combat looming, numerous countries have sent out warnings to their citizens to evacuate the surrounding nations. The US has also put out warnings on the travel section of the Department of State website, listing Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus as “Level 4 – Do Not Travel” zones. Ukraine has since received various forms of aid from other allies. President Biden also sent troops to Poland but has forbidden them from entering Ukraine itself, for fear of international war truly breaking out. On Feb. 10, he expressed these worries in an interview with NBC News, saying that Americans and Russians directly fighting is what makes a world war. 

The potential for war not only affects Americans but also European citizens. Further armed conflict could lead to civilian deaths, even greater than those of the War in Donbas. It could also lead to a flood of refugees moving to other countries to escape, which might provide said countries troubles of their own if they’re not prepared to take them in.  As of Feb. 15, things have begun moving in a more peaceful direction as Moscow has allowed diplomatic talks to resume after stating that they would deescalate a portion of the forces present, but no withdrawal has been identified by American intelligence just yet.