Eastern European Tensions Could Give Way to International Crisis

“A grenade launcher operator of the Russian armed forces participates in combat drills at the Kadamovsky range in the Rostov region, Russia”

REUTERS/Sergey Pivovarov

“A grenade launcher operator of the Russian armed forces participates in combat drills at the Kadamovsky range in the Rostov region, Russia”

The third most powerful country on the planet, Russia, may be preparing for an invasion of Ukraine. As friction builds between these two nations, panic begins growing in the rest of the world as well. Political leaders and civilians alike are left wondering what the consequences could be of a huge superpower such as Russia, equipped with severely destructive weapons, acting on the violent plans they are suspected to be making. 

The origin of this conflict can be traced back to the refusal of Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, to recognize Ukraine as its own country with its own sovereignty. The long-standing ruler of this powerhouse nation has gone to great lengths over the years to incorporate Ukraine and its people back into Russia, although these attempts have only made relations between the two Eastern European nations worse. The adamnant desire of Volodymyr Zelensky, the President of Ukraine, is only motivating Putin to push back even harder. 

“If the aggressive line of our Western colleagues continues, we will take adequate military-technical response measures and react harshly to unfriendly steps,” declares the Russian president to military officials on the resistance of Ukraine to give in.

And as we know from the past, the Russian government does not easily go back on its word of taking aggressive actions when they see fit. For example, in 2014 it annexed Crimea, a territory once belonging to Ukraine. This action was directly contrary to many peace agreements made between Russia and Ukraine. In response to this illicit land grab, NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), Western European countries, and the United States have all threatened Russia with military force as repercussions.

Map of Eastern Europe and past actions Russia has taken against Ukraine

Even so, there are still many people who are unaware of exactly what is going on here in the U.S. More specifically, here in our NHHS community.

“I haven’t heard much about what’s going on in Ukraine because news about COVID kind of dominates everything else. I do know this is becoming bigger and may become a major concern at some point,” says North Hollywood Senior Ryan Salah.

Although many feel left in the dark as to what is going on internationally at the moment, others are quite knowledgeable on the foreign affair. Some have even provided their own opinions on how they think the United States should handle the situation, such as senior Stephanie Lopez.

Stephanie says, “I think the US should act upon it now in order to prevent anything substantial from happening.”

Lopez also went on to state that “the US should impose sanctions on Russia in order to take precaution to the threats they’re holding. By doing so, it will show how the U.S. is working with Ukraine and will be there in the event of an invasion.”

Soldiers in a tank wave a Russian flag

Though what may begin as an isolated dispute could cause a chain-reaction of events in which several countries join in on what is building up to be a war. The Prime Minister of the UK has already pressured Putin into backing down, unless he wants to face “a terrible quagmire and loss of life,” threatens Liz Truss, UK foreign secretary. Canada has been funneling money, a reported $120 million so far, and other resources to Ukraine in preparation for the possibility that Russian troops stationed at the border of Ukraine will take action. Now there are policy talks occurring between President Biden and officials in Russia as the U.S. pleads for peace.

Given the ever-changing nature of this precarious conflict that still hangs in balance, these courses of action can change at a moment’s notice. Thus, it is important to note that this information given above is only what is current, as it is nearly impossible to foresee what will happen due to Putin’s unpredictability. 

Nevertheless, what is abundantly clear is that when a world superpower such as Russia reaches its breaking point, it has the potential to wreak havoc for nations around the world.