War is at the doorstep. What do you expect me to do? Putin is a thug, a bully and an asshole and he is not going to stop till he gets what he wants. In 2014, Russia invaded and subsequently annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine and now he wants the rest of the country. Most of Russia’s territory belongs to the Asian continent, but most of the country’s people reside in Europe. Russia is the strongest nation in Europe, as their military power includes a million-armed men, thousands of nuclear-tipped and conventional ballistic and cruise missiles, and they have the largest Navy of any European nation. We don’t know how crazy Russian President Vladimir Putin is, but we do know that he will keep on acting like a playground bully, till someone stands up to him. Putin runs a country of 144 million people that happens to have a large arsenal of nuclear weapons and he could easily be starting World War III.
Since the Cold War ended, NATO has expanded eastwards by taking in 14 new countries, including the states of the former Warsaw Pact (a political and military alliance established on May 14, 1955 between the Soviet Union and several Eastern European countries) and the three Baltic nations that were once in the Soviet Union. Russia saw this as a threatening encroachment towards its borders and continues to say it was a betrayal of Western promises at the start of the 1990s, something the United States and its allies deny. Ukraine is not a NATO member, but there has been a promise in place dating from 2008 that it will eventually be allowed to join. Ukraine is the second biggest country in Europe after Russia itself, and it has major ports on the Black Sea and shares borders with four NATO countries. Many Russians feel a connection with Ukraine that they do not feel with other former Soviet republics in the Baltics, Caucasus and Central Asia.
Putin believes the break-up of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the last century, and he has devoted his presidency to restoring Moscow’s influence and reasserting Russia as a global power. Putin believes that Russia and the Ukraine should be one people and he said that he invaded to restore order, but the problem with that is the Ukraine was fine before he invaded.
Written for Reena’s Xploration Challenge #219, where today she asks us to use the phrase “War is at the doorstep. What do you expect me to do?”