Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Russia-Ukraine crisis:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.


Russia-Ukraine crisis:


Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky recently said he had declared February 16, which U.S. officials had said could be the date of a Russian attack, as a day of “national unity”.

  • However, Russia has clarified that it has no plans to invade Ukraine.


What does Russia want now?

  • Talks to discuss implementation of previous commitments on NATO expansion.
  • NATO troops moving out of Post-Soviet States.
  • A commitment that Ukraine will not be given NATO members.
  • Security guarantees for the future.



What do US and European states that form NATO want?

  • Russian troops to pull back from borders.
  • Russia to stop war games in neighbouring countries like Belarus.
  • Willing to discuss security guarantees, but no commitment on independent states joining NATO – according to a letter leaked to a Spanish newspaper.
  • Wants guarantees that Russia will not invade Ukraine- Russia has said it has no intention to —but troops amassed are worrying.


India’s greatest concerns are:

  1. World War scenario: Any conflict- where the U.S. and its European allies are ranged against Russia will impact the whole world- economically and in terms of security, and India, as a partner to both Moscow and Washington will either have to take sides, or be prepared to deal with unhappiness from both sides.
  2. S-400 delivery and US waiver: The crisis comes precisely as India’s purchase of the Russian S-400 missile system is under way- and New Delhi hopes for a waiver of U.S. sanctions on this. Conflict will complicate both the delivery of the system, and the possibility of a presidential waiver.
  3. Moves focus from China: Just as U.S. and Europe had grown more focussed on their Indo-Pacific strategy that puts India centre-stage, and India grapples with Chinese aggression and land-grab at the Line of Actual Control, and 100,000 troops along the boundary on both sides, the world’s attention is diverted from China to Russia.
  4. Brings Russia China closer- the Crisis will make Moscow more dependent on friends like China, and build a regional bloc of sorts that India is not a part of. In Beijing this week, the future seems evident- as India has announced a diplomatic and political boycott of the Olympic games- while Putin, Central Asian Presidents, and Pakistan PM Imran Khan are all in Beijing to stand in solidarity with Xi Jinping.
  5. Energy crisis: In any conflict- Europe worries Russia will turn down gas and oil supplies- driving energy prices up. Already tensions have pushed oil prices up 14% in a month past $90 and analyst say they could hit $125 a barrel if the situation is not resolved.


What is the conflict all about?

Tensions between Ukraine and Russia, both former Soviet states, escalated in late 2013 over a landmark political and trade deal with the European Union. After the pro-Russian then-President, Viktor Yanukovych, suspended the talks, weeks of protests in Kiev erupted into violence.

  • Then, in March 2014, Russia annexed Crimea, an autonomous peninsula in southern Ukraine with strong Russian loyalties, on the pretext that it was defending its interests and those of Russian-speaking citizens.
  • Shortly afterwards, pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions declared their independence from Kiev, prompting months of heavy fighting. Despite Kiev and Moscow signing a peace deal in Minsk in 2015, brokered by France and Germany, there have been repeated ceasefire violations.


Insta Curious:

Germany has warned Russia that the Nord Stream pipeline would be stopped if they were to invade Ukraine. Where is the Nord Stream pipeline? Reference: read this.



Prelims Link:

  1. NATO- genesis and headquarters.
  2. What is NATO Allied Command Operations?
  3. Who can become members of NATO?
  4. Overview of the Washington Treaty.
  5. Countries surrounding the North Atlantic Ocean.
  6. Latest NATO member.

Mains Link:

Discuss the objectives and significance of NATO.

Sources: the Hindu.