Russia-Ukraine tensions escalate as Biden contemplates action


(Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with Italian businessmen via videoconference at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022.

Colin Moorhead II, World News Editor

In recent months, Russian President Vladimir Putin has made several threats to world leaders, such as, prohibiting Ukraine’s admission into NATO and not to deploy forces to areas close to Russia. While diplomatic negotiations continue, aggressive tactics are still being utilized by the Russian government. If this conflict ends up in war, it would be the first major war in Europe in decades. 

The reason for this increase in tensions is due to Putin’s view of Ukraine, one that has been lost by Russia. Putin has, “this old Cold War mentality that if it’s lost to [Russia], it’s gained by the others,” according to Vox. This view makes him and other Russian leaders concerned with the increased NATO involvement within Ukraine. Therefore, the invasion of Ukraine, restores what Russia has lost, and protect against possible NATO attacks is desirable. 

Ukrainian government and military leaders are fearful of a possible invasion by the Russian military. Military analysts say, “a Russian invasion would quickly overwhelm Ukrainian forces in the early days of the fighting.” In order to prepare for a possible invasion, Putin has placed, “heavy artillery, multiple rocket-launcher systems, hundreds of advanced fighter jets and amphibious ships in the Black Sea,” according to NBC. This massive increase in preparation and military escalation leads many analysts to conclude that the Ukrainian military will be insufficient. It is speculated that the capital, Kyiv, could be taken within a few days. 

The lack of Ukrainian military capability to withstand Russian forces places emphasis on support from other countries, most notably the United States. President Joe Biden has focused his attention on economic sanctions and threats to keep Russia from invading. The president has also stated that, “If Russia invades — that means tanks or troops crossing the border of Ukraine — then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.” The Nord Stream 2 is a pipeline connecting Russia and Germany that is able to provide millions of homes in Germany. This is just an example of a form of economic pressure used to keep Russian aggravation to a minimum. Without this pipeline, Russia would lose a substantial amount of energy sales with Germany. 

Daniel Kilbride, professor of history and director of the JCU Honors Program, provided insight on the issue. Kilbride notes that, “there is only so much President Biden can do, cause there is simply no question in the United States getting militarily involved in a conflict.” This has left the President constrained with utilizing economic threats and pressures. Kilbride also said that, “NATO has gotten much closer together with this increase in tension.” Russian aggression only makes other non-aligned countries more likely to join NATO.   As Kilbride argued, “Russia only pushes around countries that are not under the protection of NATO.”

Colin Moorhead II is a junior from Wadsworth, Ohio and is a World News staff writer for The Carroll News. He can be reached through email at [email protected] or on Instagram @colinmoorhead2.