Ukraine/Russia : What has set the stage for the conflict?
Posted on March 4th, 2022

World News

Ukraine was a cornerstone of the Soviet Union until it voted overwhelmingly for independence in 1991, a milestone that turned out to be a death knell for the failing superpower.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO pushed eastward, bringing into the fold most of the Eastern European nations that had been in the Communist orbit. In 2004, NATO added the former Soviet Baltic republics Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Four years later, it declared its intention to offer membership to Ukraine some day in the distant future — crossing a red line for Russia.
Putin has indicated he sees NATO’s expansion as an existential threat, and the prospect of Ukraine joining the Western military alliance a “hostile act.” In interviews and speeches, he has emphasized his view that Ukraine is part of Russia, culturally, linguistically and politically. While some of the mostly Russian-speaking population in Ukraine’s east feel the same, a more nationalist, Ukrainian-speaking population in the west has historically supported greater integration with Europe. In an article penned in July 2021, Putin underlined their shared history, describing Russians and Ukrainians as “one people”.

https://edition.cnn.com/videos/world/2022/03/02/ukraine-putin-strategic-importance-cb-lon-orig.cnn

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