Putin Speaks On Ukraine


President Putin has stayed silent on the Russian aggression towards Ukraine since December. So, with new satellite images showing a large increase in the Russian military force on their border with Ukraine, western nations’ worries of war are becoming much more real.

In response to these new satellite images, President Biden approved the deployment of extra troops to Eastern Europe increasing tensions and preparations for war. While the western NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) allies were in fear of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Putin was sitting pretty and silent. 

As previously stated, Putin has said nothing about his intentions or his actions on the border with Ukraine. This has made the west even more on edge. They know that tensions exist, but they know nothing of the dangers or if worrying is even necessary. Until Tuesday.

On Tuesday Putin declared that the US was trying to drag Russia into a war they didn’t want. He blamed the US for any tensions that have risen. 

So, it seems that Putin isn’t looking for war, but that’s not what it looks like. Russia has stationed around 100,000 troops on the border. Plenty to start an invasion. The fears of an invasion are justified when considering Putin’s past actions and statements.

Putin declared in his speech on Tuesday that, “It is already clear — I informed the Prime Minister about this — that the fundamental Russian concerns were ignored. We did not see an adequate consideration of our three key requirements” Putin lays these demands out as “NATO expansion, the renunciation of the deployment of strike weapons systems near Russian borders, and the return of the [NATO] bloc’s military infrastructure in Europe to the state of 1997 when the Russia-NATO founding act was signed.” 
Now, the demand of NATO returning to the state it was in 1997 is concerning coming from the very nationalist Putin-led Russia. This is because a majority of the countries that would no longer be a part of NATO were formerly a part of the soviet union. The countries that have joined NATO since 1997 are Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.

Putin has said that he wishes to reunite the soviet union, and he has made mild efforts to do so. In order to achieve that dream, Putin would have to use his military power. This, however, means he would have to face the full force of NATO. So, all of the countries that were historically a part of the USSR must first leave NATO, creating an easy opportunity for successful invasion. This predicament along with the history of the NATO-Russia conflict makes the situation far more pressing. 

There are 100,000 Russian troops on the border with a NATO ally. With wishes to avoid a third world war, let’s hope for a diplomatic solution.

Hodge, Nathan, et al. “Vladimir Putin Says the West Has ‘Ignored’ Russia’s Key Concerns over Ukraine.” CNN, Cable News Network, 2 Feb. 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/02/01/europe/vladimir-putin-west-ignored-russia-concerns-intl/index.html.