Political Science 170
Short Writing Assignment #1
Due: September 19, 2014
Conflict Among Russia, Ukraine, and the United States
Following the Ukrainian Revolution in February of 2014, which ultimately led to the impeachment of President Viktor Yanukovych, an interim government and president was put into place in Ukraine and was recognized by both the United States and the European Union. Because of this, the Crimean Peninsula, a piece of land located along the coast of the Black Sea in Ukraine, has become an area of great interest to Russia. The Crimean Peninsula was the base of the Russian Navy and is home to a roughly 60% Russian population (Mortimer 2014). It has now become an area in turmoil that is seeking to separate itself from Ukrainian control. Within a matter of days after the impeachment of Yanukovych, unmarked Russian soldiers were being seen throughout Crimea and surrounding areas. Russian President Vladimir Putin assumedly sent these soldiers, known to the locals as “little green men” (Gordts 2014), although Putin continued to deny this action for months. The United States and the European Nations continued to accuse Putin of fueling the conflict between Crimea and Ukraine by sending in soldiers and discouraged it’s involvement, but without a confession, there was little that anyone could do. It was not until mid-April that Putin admitted Russian’s premature military involvement, stating that the soldiers “were needed to lay the ground for the referendum that led to Crimea joining Russia” (Gordts 2014). Following the admittance of unnecessary and illegal involvement, little action was taken as a means of punishment for Russia’s denied participation. Trade talks have been canceled, joint military actions with NATO and Russia have ceased, and the United States has inflicted visa restrictions on Russian political powers, including Putin and his family (Brown 2014). Although these actions have slightly weakened Russia’s power, they will not ultimately stop Putin from obtaining this area. Ukraine has been seeking help from the Western states, but the division in a common approach between European Nations and the United States has left Ukraine with little help. The United States, in particular, has seemed to be extremely conflicted when it comes to approaching Russia. Many speculate that Obama has hesitated with actions and involvement because of the upcoming mid-term elections in November (Walsh 2014). Obama’s lack of a strategy is becoming more and more of a concern with each passing week. The world was especially surprised at the lack of an American reaction after Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 crashed over Ukrainian territory and was assumed to be shot down by foreign military forces. All Obama stated about the incident was that it was a “wake up call about the consequences to an escalating conflict in Eastern Ukraine” (Huffington Post 2014). With the threat of war between Russia and Ukraine becoming a likely possibility, the United States government is feeling more pressure to take action instead of laying low like we have been for the past several months. With other crises arising around the world, it seems that Obama and the government is beginning to take a more confrontational approach recently. As of today, many words have been said but little action has been taken. The international relations theory of Neo-liberalism is based on the idea that the key to a well functioning and peaceful political society is the cooperation of all nation-states. In order to achieve peace and serenity, all countries involved in a certain conflict must find a way to compromise and function with each other in an effective manner. In the case with Russia, Ukraine, European Nations, and the United States, observers can see that cooperation is an extremely distant and unobtainable idea. Russia refused to keep military involvement out of Crimea while American continues to refuse to provide assistance for Ukraine....
Cited: Brown, Hayes. "5 Ways The U.S. Can Respond To Russia Invading Ukraine — Without Going To War." ThinkProgress RSS. March 4, 2014. Accessed September 12, 2014. http://thinkprogress.org/world/2014/03/01/3349231/5-ways-respond-russia-invading-ukraine-going-war/
Benitez, Jorge. "Modern Day Appeasement." US News. March 14, 2014. Accessed September 12, 2014.http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/world-report/2014/03/14/the-wests-response-to-russias-ukraine-invasion-is-pathetic-appeasement
Mortimer, Caroline. "Ukraine Crisis: Why Is Crimea so Important to Russia?" The Independent. March 3, 2014. Accessed September 14, 2014. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/ukraine-crisis-why-is-crimea-so-important-to-russia-9166447.html
Gordts, Eline. "Putin Admits Russian Soldiers Were In Crimea, Slams West For Role In Ukraine Crisis." The Huffington Post. April 17, 2014. Accessed September 14, 2014.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/17/putin-ukraine_n_5165913.html
Techau, Jan. "NATO Military Response 'almost Unthinkable '" DW.DE. April 25, 2014. Accessed September 14, 2014. http://www.dw.de/nato-military-response-almost-unthinkable/a-17592366
Walsh, Kenneth. "Obama Tries Cautious Approach to Crises." US News. September 2, 2014. Accessed September 14, 2014.http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/ken-walshs-washington/2014/09/02/obama-tries-cautious-approach-to-crises
Editorial, Post. "The U.S. Needs a More Aggressive Response to Mr. Putin 's War." Washington Post. January 1, 2014. Accessed September 16, 2014.
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