Russia will probably not go to war over Ukraine

While tensions run high, Moscow will not rush into war with the West.

Hannah Dilanchyan, Opinions Editor

Vladimir Putin really does not want his neighboring country to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. If Ukraine were to join forces with the western-run organization founded in 1949, Russia would have the West’s military force on their doorstep. That would be enough to make any country—who is not a part of the club—wary. 

Recently, the Kremlin ramped up military presence on the border of Ukraine. Many nations see this as a threat to peace and a potential step toward a full-scale war. The United States has troops on stand-by to send to neighboring countries in order to aid Ukraine in case of Russian aggression—in hopes of intimidating Moscow to back down from their advances and placement of 100,000 troops along the Russia-Ukraine border, Al Jazeera reports. 

The Guardian reports that Ukraine is not any more concerned about war with Russia today than they have been for the past eight years. The only difference is that the U.S. and Great Britain are more involved. Moscow will not risk war with the West over Ukraine—Putin just wants to continue conflict so that Ukraine cannot join NATO.

PUTIN’S BARK IS STRONGER THAN HIS BITE

It seems that no one wants Ukraine to join NATO—besides Ukraine. Russia does not want the West on its doorstep and NATO leaders are hesitant to include the ex-soviet nation because of its corruption and for fear of Russian aggression, The New York Times reports. 

A country at odds with another cannot join NATO—one reason why Putin keeps the nation in turmoil. Another reason for Russian aggression is because Russia’s northern sea ports freeze in the winter. If Kyiv joins NATO, then Russia would lose access to some of their warm water ports in the Black Sea, the Atlantic writes. 

Even though Russia is causing conflict in Ukraine, it would not risk waging a potential world war. Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister, told Newsweek: “I do believe Russia is ready to escalate some local tensions in the Black Sea region, but I do not see them being suicidal. They may pinch and provoke here and there. But Russia will not risk a full-scale confrontation with NATO, clearly realizing they have no chances to succeed in it.”

IS RUSSIA THE ONLY THREAT? 

So, if Russia will, most likely, not start a war over Ukraine, what is the reason for the West’s tension? There might be another nation to be wary of. The Washington Post wrote in 2015 that conflicts rising from Russia are diverting attention away from China—a nation that is trying to become the world’s next superpower, ABC reports. 

“It’s a different intent from what the Russians are trying to do,” said Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats. “China wants to be a global power. You see them spreading their influence.” 

Regardless of whether our focus should be on China or Russia, it is difficult to maintain peace with nations who so easily terrorize their neighbors—smaller nations like Ukraine or Taiwan. The U.S. must carefully wade into these foreign affairs and do so with the utmost wisdom, peace and humility.  

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