Tensions in Crimea

Tensions between Ukraine and Russia in the Crimea cause concerns for a greater conflict

Photo By Brussels Morning on Flickr

2 minute read — By Maggie Gannon

The Crimean Peninsula lies just north of the Black Sea and has held a huge amount of history and political unrest, especially within the last decade. Since its annexation by the Russian Federation in early 2014, the peninsula emulates one of many examples of the ongoing tensions between both Russia and the Ukraine.

Attention has been focused on the area particularly in global news within the last month or so, as Russian troops and warships began to build up in the Black Sea to Ukraine’s south. As well as this, numbers of Russian forces are also beginning to rise along the main border between Russia and the Ukraine near the eastern Donbas region. This is a region partially controlled by Russian backed separatists, with conflict recently reignited in January, reportedly killing at least 20 Ukrainian soldiers.

Although Russian sources claimed that the build ups were to do with planned military exercises, many are led to believe that this was the start of a much greater move from Moscow. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov argued that Russia is perfectly entitled to move troops in its territory, saying that any major actions would prove absolutely fatal for the Ukraine. Even though since the most recent of conflicts both nations have ramped up their measures, Russia’s sheer dominance in both size and resources would completely outweigh any improvements made by the Ukrainian military. 

Elsewhere, recently elected U.S. President Joe Biden has shown his solidarity towards Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky. Russia have accused the new administration of simply trying to demonstrate power and implement intimidating tactics, although this can also be said for Russia’s recent moves. President Zelensky took to twitter to accuse Russia of intimidation but, has also recently been urging NATO to continue pressing on with membership procedures as the Ukraine aims to become a full part of the organisation. 

Most recently in late last month Russia revealed that it would begin to pull troops from congested areas in order to ease tensions. The Russian defence minister Sergey Shoygu insisted that they will return to their bases by 1 May. However, much of Russia’s resources will remain, including numerous amounts of rocket artillery and various missiles.

The ongoing conflict between these two countries has claimed over 30,000 lives since 2014. It appears that no matter how many ceasefires are put in place, nothing is changing.