Russian Troop Build-up on the Ukraine Border
On April 19, 2021 it was reported that more than 100,000 Russian soldiers had built up near the Ukraine border and in annexed Crimea. This worried members of NATO and the EU as this came after the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the Russo Ukrainian war which also began in 2014. Journalists and politicians have Identified this as the biggest Russian troop movement since WW2.
The Russo-Ukrainian war which began on the 20th of February in 2014 has been ongoing since then totaling 7 years and 3 months. The war however has devolved into a stalemate since it’s beginning. Since then, however, in March and April, it has been reported that Russia has moved large amounts of arms and equipment from Russia. According to the Guardian, “Ukraine has accused Russia of massing thousands of military personnel on its northern and eastern borders as well as on the Crimean peninsula annexed by Moscow in 2014.”
Amid this conflict, the European Union and the UK have pledged to back Ukraine if the conflict was to escalate into open warfare. According to the Guardian, “Boris Johnson’s office said the prime minister had “significant concerns” about Russian activity in the Crimea and on the Ukrainian border, and “reaffirmed his unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” in a phone call with President Volodymyr Zelensky.”
With the EU and the UK stepping in and Russia seeming to have not backed down, tensions are high as this could very well result in an all out European war. The U.S. has also expressed concern, particularly over Russia stating that they will restrict ship movement around Crimea. According to Reuters, “Russia has temporarily restricted the movement of foreign warships and what it called "other state ships" near Crimea.” Ukraine also called on the EU to impose sanctions on Russia.
The conflict as a whole has not been gaining a lot of attention from the media. However, the conflict is very important as it could either show that the EU is not willing to back down from Russian aggression or show that they will eventually cave in from Russian aggression. The conflict however is very important in Ukraine as it is a matter of independence or being subjugated under Russian rule.