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  • Discuss the causes of Russia Russia-Ukraine conflict. ( UPPSC 2022)


Discuss the causes of Russia Ukraine conflict.

( UPPSC, UP PCS Mains General Studies-II/GS-2 2022)


The Russia-Ukraine conflict, also known as the Russo-Ukrainian War. The Russia-Ukraine conflict is a complex and multifaceted geopolitical dispute with historical, political, and territorial roots. 

The Russia-Ukraine conflict has evolved over time and involves various factors. Some of the primary causes of the Russia-Ukraine conflict are as follows:

Historical Background:

The historical ties between Russia and Ukraine have been intertwined for centuries. Ukraine was part of the Russian Empire and later the Soviet Union for a significant period. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 led to Ukraine's independence, but the historical and cultural connections continue to influence the relationship between the two countries.

Territorial Disputes: 

One of the major flashpoints in the conflict is the territorial dispute over Crimea. In 1954, Crimea was transferred from the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic within the Soviet Union. However, after Ukraine's independence, Crimea's status became a point of contention between Russia and Ukraine, ultimately leading to Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014, which was widely condemned by the international community.

Ethnic and Linguistic Divides: 

Ukraine has a significant Russian-speaking population, particularly in the eastern and southern regions. These linguistic and ethnic divides have contributed to political tensions within Ukraine and have been exploited by external actors.

Role of NATO: 

Russia sees Ukraine as part of its sphere of influence and has sought to maintain control over Ukraine's political and economic decisions. Ukraine's aspirations to move closer to the European Union and NATO have been met with resistance from Russia, leading to increased tensions.

Euromaidan Protests:

In 2013-2014, Ukraine witnessed mass protests known as the Euromaidan movement, demanding closer integration with Europe and opposing then-President Viktor Yanukovych's decision to reject an association agreement with the EU in favor of closer ties with Russia. The protests eventually led to Yanukovych's ouster, further exacerbating tensions with Russia.

Geostrategic Importance: 

Ukraine holds significant geostrategic importance for Russia due to its access to the Black Sea and its historical ties with Russia. Control over Ukraine also impacts Russia's influence in the broader region.

Energy Dependence: 

Russia has used its energy exports, particularly natural gas, as a tool of geopolitical leverage over Ukraine, using it as a means to exert pressure and influence Ukraine's political decisions.

Cyberwarfare and Disinformation: 

The conflict has seen the use of cyberwarfare and disinformation campaigns, with both sides engaging in online propaganda to influence public opinion and create confusion.

It is essential to note that the causes of the Russia-Ukraine conflict are deeply interconnected and often intertwined with broader geopolitical dynamics. 

The conflict remains ongoing and has resulted in a significant loss of life, displacement of people, and strained international relations. Diplomatic efforts to find a peaceful resolution have been ongoing, but the situation remains complex and challenging to resolve.

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