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Friday, April 12, 2024
The Observer

The Russia-Ukraine crisis: Should America get involved?

As the possibility of World War III seems to be looming over us, people around the globe are increasingly starting to panic due to rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine; it feels like there’s not much that we, as regular citizens, can do. However complicated and nerve-racking a topic can be, the best we can do is be educated about it. Unfortunately, the United States’ involvement in the Russia-Ukraine crisis is still mostly unknown. For now, we can know the facts to stop the spread of chaos and misinformation. 

Russia and Ukraine have been in the midst of a territory battle for quite some time. Even though Ukraine has been an independent state since 1991, it’s still considered an important foundational part of Russian history. Due to much of eastern Europe once being a part of the Soviet Union, President Vladimir Putin has made it clear that he wants to continue influencing former-Soviet countries. Specifically, he’s been most interested in Ukraine since it left the USSR. He has stated that “Russia and Ukrainians were one people — a single whole” and that the “true sovereignty of Ukraine is possible only in partnership with Russia.” 

Up to this moment, Russia hasn’t made any extreme moves to annex Ukraine after the 2014 invasion of the Crimean Peninsula from the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv. The Global Conflict Tracker has placed an estimated13,000 casualties and 1.5 millioninternally displaced people in the Ukraine crisis. Today, over 100,000 Russian troopsare on the Russian border with Ukraine. As the Kremlin (the executive branch of the Russian government) has broadcasted new military exercises close to Ukraine, U.S. President Biden has shipped various weapons to Kyiv as a response and put 8,500 U.S. troops on high alert for deployment; it’s undeniable that both countries are trying to one-up one another through a game of chicken, seeing who will back down first and if the U.S. can succumb to any of Russia’s demands. 

Russia has ordered for the U.S. and its allies to “provide signed assurances excluding anyexpansion of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to include Ukraine and Georgia andlimiting military activity near Russia’s borders.”Due to the alliance the United States has with Ukraine, Biden has threatened Russia with “severe” economic consequences if there is an invasion, including economic sanctions on major Russian banks that will affect the Russian economy. Even though the U.S. has rejected Russia’s demands regarding NATO expansion to Ukraine, Secretary of State Antony Blinkin has responded to Russia, offering “a seriousdiplomatic path forward, should Russia choose it.” 

A few days ago, Jens Stoltenberg, head of the NATO military alliance, responded to the claim of NATO sending troops to aid Ukraine in the event of an invasion. However, because Ukraine isn’t part of the alliance, Stoltenberg confirmedthat there are “no plans to deploy NATO combat troops to Ukraine” and that “there is a difference between being a NATO member and being a strong and highly valued partner as Ukraine.” Even though NATO isn’t sending military troops to Ukraine, other countries such as Britain, Turkey and Estonia are transporting missilesand drones as aid. The State Department has already started removing Americans and families of embassy personnel, taking heed of the recent evacuation disaster in Afghanistan. 

Should the U.S. get involved in a war with Russia? Is each side trying to call the other’s bluff? In the case of a war, how should the U.S. respond? Share your opinions and ideas for what could happen on Monday, February 7 at 7:00 p.m. in DeBartolo Room 217, where we’ll be discussing the Russia-Ukraine crisis and the world’s response.

Isabel Olesinski is a sophomore living in Johnson Family Hall double majoring in Political Science and English with a minor in Constitutional Studies and a Creative Writing concentration. She serves as the Director of Operations for BridgeND. Fun fact, she is a part of ND’s premier theatre club, the Not-So-Royal Shakespeare Company! 

BridgeND is a student-led discussion club that is committed to bridging polarization in politics and educating on how to engage in respectful and productive discourse. BridgeND welcomes students of all backgrounds, viewpoints, and experiences who want to strengthen their knowledge of current issues or educate others on an issue that is important to them. The club meets weekly on Mondays at 7pm in DeBartolo Hall #217. Want to learn more? Contact bridgend@nd.edu or @bridge_ND on Twitter and Instagram.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.