The Ukraine Crisis

1906 Words8 Pages
Miles Mitchell
Professor Matic
POSC 3610
30 March 2014
The Ukraine Crisis
I. Introduction
The current international crisis involving Russia and Ukraine developed in the aftermath of the 2014 revolution in Ukraine. As a result, Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovich was impeached and quickly fled the capital. An interim government formed around Oleksandr Turchynov as the acting president. Germany and the US quickly recognized this new government, while Russia did not. In late February, pro-Russian militias began taking control of Crimea, a part of eastern Ukraine. Gradually they dominated the peninsula and effectively took control of it. Soon after, the Crimeans held a referendum, and overwhelmingly decided to join Moscow. The West and interim Ukrainian government condemned this decision, as did the UN General Assembly. Nonetheless, Russia has effectively absorbed Crimea.
The initial spark of the crisis was Ukraine’s moves toward Europeanization. This was a major turning point in the crisis. The March 16th referendum is contested, in light of the absence of international monitors. While the West paints Russia’s soft annexation of Crimea as a violation of international law, the Russians posit that Crimea wanted to break from a country they considered hostile. The Ukrainian central government considers this a violation of international law. In the end, with the help of a Russian military intervention, Crimea successfully severed ties.
These sort of intrusive actions aren’t necessarily new for Moscow. Russia invaded Georgia in 2008. Ultimately the West mounted enough diplomatic pressure to end that short lived conflict. However, Russia did seize Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which Russian troops still occupy. The US, along with European...

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... deploying international monitors and a general de-escalation of the situation. Another matter of contention is the amount of federalization the new Ukrainian government will have. President Obama has reconfirmed commitments to NATO and has announced further military deployments to Eastern Europe. However, a conciliatory “off-ramp” approach may be possible as Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to explore possible diplomatic solutions. Though, some skepticism surrounds this possibility as the two sides may still have irreconcilable differences on the matter (such as President Obama calling on Russia to pull its troops back from the border, something the Russians may not commit to). One of the most influential factors of the crisis may be the results of the upcoming Ukrainian presidential election to be held May 25th.

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