Conflicts between Ukraine and Russia Rise

Russia and Ukraine have been in conflict for many years. In 2014, Russia captured part of Southern Ukraine and also gave support to the separatists who started a conflict in the eastern parts of Ukraine. Tensions started rising when Russia refused to accept Ukraine to join European institutions such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). However, this demand requested by Russia was turned down by the Western Alliance. 

On Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, tensions between Russia and Ukraine further escalated. The Biden Administration accused Russia of sending infiltrators into the eastern part of Ukraine to stage an incident that could help Russia invade Ukraine. 

The White House did not give any more details. However, Jen Psaki, the current White House Secretary, stated that the “operatives were trained in Urban warfare and explosives.”

“Russia is laying the groundwork to have the option of fabricating a pretext for invasion, including through sabotage activities and information operations, by accusing Ukraine of preparing an imminent attack against Russian forces in eastern Ukraine” (Psaki).

According to the New York Times, the Russian Government planned these attacks before a military invasion, between January and February. According to Jen Psaki, Russia did something similar to these kinds of attacks when it was planning to take control of the Southern part of Ukraine.

The day before the United States accused Russia of these attacks, the United States failed to make a resolution with Russia. This agreement was to de-escalate the previous encounters Russia had with Ukraine and the United States for defending Ukraine. The Russian Government later demanded the United States to remove all US nuclear weapons from the European nation. 

Russia also demanded that Georgia, Ukraine, and Belarus, who were previously part of the Soviet Union, never join NATO. According to the New York Times, the Russian government wants to expand their country’s “sphere of the old Soviet bloc.”
The United States responded by stating they will support Ukraine if Russia invades. Russia, however, has been building up forces on the border with Ukraine. Russia’s response to the United States was that the United States was “violating” the ceasefire agreement. 

On Friday, Jan. 22, the Ukrainian government announced the Russian government was creating a plan that would blame Ukraine for “attacking” the Russian government. The intelligence service of Ukraine explained the plan was to attack the Russian troops that are on the border between Russia and Ukraine. Then, Russia would blame the Ukrainian government.

Later that afternoon, the Ukrainian government suffered from another attack from Russia. A cyberattack hit the Ukraine websites of the foreign ministry and many other government-related sites. Many cyberattack analysts speculate this could be the work of another group of hackers. However, this theory does not calm the tensions between Ukraine and Russia. Many are wondering about what will occur next.