Ukraine, Russia and Ceremia asked in SSB Interview: Crisis in Ukraine
Guys this is very important post for those who are about to go for their SSB Interview and from the point
of view of your current affairs and general knowledge. Russia is a country which is stopping china to attack our country, i don’t know what is your thinking but i think like this. So guys if you are having your SSB ahead must read this topic as this may be asked you in your Lecturette and in Group Discussion.
The crisis in Ukraine is an outcome of religious, cultural and linguistic differences between Western Ukraine, which is pro-Europe, and Eastern & Southern Ukraine, which is pro-Russia.
The divide became visibly abrasive due to resource crunch in the country, accruing due to Global economic recession. Rampant corruption by the political masters, with their mindless amassing of personal wealth and no definitive polices to get the country out of the current economic mess, fractured the country’s politico-social fabric.
Russia seized the opportunity to expand its horizon, as Southern Ukraine provides an access to the Black Sea waterway and, also that Ukraine serves as a buffer state between Russia and the rest of Euro Zone.
Ukraine is geographically split into two halves by Dniper River. Both these halves have different history, speak different languages and have different ethnicity.
Though both halves were originally part of Kievan Russia, but after the Mongol invasion in mid millennium, Western Ukraine joined the kingdom of Poland and Eastern Ukraine became a part of Russia. Latter Poland and Lithuania united to form the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
The West Ukrainians never closely mingled with the orthodox Poles or the Catholic Lithuanians of the Commonwealth.
Eastern Ukraine was developed by the Russian’s in the 18th century mainly, till then it was controlled by the nomads, called Tatars, who were the descendants of the Mongols.
The above given fact explains the background to the pro-Europe and pro-Russia inclination of the Western and Eastern/Southern Ukraine respectively.
The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was destroyed by the joint forces of Russia, Prussia and Austria and finally after the World War II, in 1939-40, complete Ukraine was once again united to form part of the Soviet Republic.
Southern Ukraine, which is the Crimean peninsula, was historically never a part of Ukraine, its population was Tatars. It was invaded and captured by Russia in the 18th century.
In 1940, Russia forcefully banished all Tatar population on account of them having sided with the Germans during the World War II.
The Tatars returned back to Crimea from their exile after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Most of the non-Tatar population in Crimea is Russian.
Hence, Crimea always harboured an aspiration to separate from Ukraine and join Russia, who is promising to provide it with self-determination and greater autonomy.
The peninsula of Crimea is very significant to Russia, as it provides it with an access route to the Black Sea waterway for exporting oil and other commodities trans-Atlantic. This is the reason why it has taken the Port of Sevastopol on lease from Ukraine up till 2042, in exchange for 30% drop in price of natural gas sold to Ukraine.
Ukraine’s Black Sea Fleet with 11000 troops is stationed at Sevastopol. It is reported that an additional 5000 troops have be mobilized to join the existing Fleet at Sevastopol after the crisis.
Reasons for Ukraine Crisis
Ukraine became independent in 1991 after the dissolution of USSR. During the decades following independence, successive presidents exploited the system for personal gains and abused power.
Consequently, in fighting amongst the political elites further hampered reforms and the country plunged into deep economic quagmire. The divide between the rich and the poor increased to such an extent, that it is said the Ukraine’s fifty richest people controlled nearly half the country’s GDP.
The present crisis stemmed from rigged presidential elections in 2010 that brought into power President Victor Yushchenko, who was a corrupt to the core, pro-Russian politician.
Once he assumed power he turned the heat on his political rival for presidency, Yulia Tymoshenko, and imprisoned him on charges of corruption and abuse of power.
As the economic crisis in the country further deepened, the President was compelled by circumstances to get into an association agreement with EU, on a precondition that jailed Tymoshenko would be released.
This is when Russia intervened and offered Ukraine with concessions and financial support to tide over the immediate financial crisis.
Hence, President Yanukovich, who was always pro-Russia, dropped the Trade Association Agreement with EU, citing concerns about damage to Ukrainian industry from European competition.
This decision provoked widespread agitations in the capital city of Kiev and this phenomenon came to be known as ‘Euromaidan’. The demands of the agitators were economic alignment with EU, release of imprisoned opposition leaders and weeding out corruption.
The crackdown by Yanukovich government led to spread of riots and further aggravated the situation. When President Yanukovich realized that the situation had gone beyond his control and the noose was tightening around him, on 22 Feb 2014, he fled the country and sought asylum in Moscow.
The members of the opposition party appointed Oleksandr Turchinov as the interim President of Ukraine.
Concerns of Separatism in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine
Eastern Ukraine has a majority population of Russians and hence, they have a natural affinity and leaning towards Russia. The rebels fighting in this area are being very intimately supported by the Russian forces.
A systematic process of ethnic cleansing is underway through acts of terror and vandalism. The province of Donetsk is the hub for pro-Russian fighters in East Ukraine.
Crimea became a part of Ukraine in 1954, when it was given away by Russia to Ukraine as it was administratively difficult to control Crimea from Moscow. It was considered to be merely a symbolic administrative move as both Russia and Ukraine were a part of Soviet Union.
Presently, Russian population in Crimea is 59%, Ukrainian 23% and Tatars population is about 12%.
Russia maintains its Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, which is an important Port of Crimean peninsula. The potential conflict between Russian and Ukrainian forces deployed on the peninsula may trigger clashes elsewhere in Ukraine.
The separatist movement in Crimea picked up momentum due to the ongoing internal turmoil in Ukraine. The Russian moral and military support provided the requisite fuel to the fire.
On 23 Fe 2014, through a unilateral referendum in Sevastopol, tens of thousands of protesters voted to establish a parallel administration and civil defence squads, of course with Russian support.
Protesters waved Russian flags and claimed that they would refuse to pay any further taxes to the Ukrainian state.
By 26 Feb 2014, pro-Russian forces, supported by armed Russian troops gradually took control over the Crimean peninsula and ever since then they control all traffic between Crimea and continental Ukraine.
Finally, on 27 Feb 2014, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea seized the Crimean Parliamentary building and replaced the Ukraine flag with the flag of Russia.
Reasons for Russian Intervention in Ukraine
a. Ukraine provides Russia the much desired strategic depth and serves as a buffer against Euro states and NATO, whose eastward expansion is regarded by Russia as a serious security threat.
b. Ukraine plays an important role in Russian energy trade; its pipelines provide transit to 80% of Russia’s natural gas being sent to the European market.
c. Crimea provides a military base at Sevastopol to Russian Fleet under a bilateral agreement.
d. Russia feels morally bound to play a supportive role to safeguard the interests of ethnic Russians in Ukraine.
US and European Policy Options in Ukraine
US and EU has condemned the Russian armed intervention and has called it an act of aggression by threatening the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
Economic assistance of $15 billion by EU and $1billion by USA has been announced to be given to Ukraine over the next seven years, provided they enact tough reforms like ending gas subsidies, etc.
Sanctions have been imposed on Russia and assets of ex-President Yanukovich in EU have been frozen.
Brain storming is being done to device means to reduce reliance of Europe on Russian oil. Options like importing oil from USA or from other sources like Africa are being explored.
Since, Europe very heavily depends upon Russian oil, during the recently concluded meet of NATO heads of States at Wales, various other diplomatic options were discussed to pressurize Russia from stopping its armed intervention into Ukraine.
Also, the option of further tougher sanctions on Russia was discussed to resolve the issue earliest.
On 05 September 2014, a ceasefire has been approved after a deliberate discussion amongst all parties concerned, namely, the envoy from Ukraine, separatist leaders, Russia and European mediators at Minsk.
A roadmap for peace to include exchange of prisoners and creation of a humanitarian corridor for refugees and aid is being formalized.
Though minutes after the ceasefire began, three blasts were heard north of Donetsk followed by scattered mortar and artillery shelling. The noise of the blasts, as if herald, that the peace that follows this catastrophic violence is going to be a troubled one, as a lot needs to be ironed out, and there are far too many clashes of interests, between so many stake holders.
Contributor to this Post:
Facilitator and Trainer. He specialises in memory management, EQ and SQ. Has a vast experience in group skills development. , Ex Member Services Selection Board. (Trained at Defence Institute of Psychological Research, DRDO in Psychology with special focus on Competency based Evaluation through Group Dynamics) Held numerous training and motivational programmes on Leadership and Team Building for over 22 years. He is an expert in memory management.
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I’m Deepak Tomar. I have completed my M.Tech in Computer Science and now i am working as a Govt. Employee in UP Police, I Love to help others and making friends, you can connect to me on facebook for any help- I will be happy to help you .