The Rise of Russia; The fall of Ukraine

Raegan Geyer
Staff Writer

A line of riot police officers under the heavy snow fall in Kiev. Image by Mstyslav Chernov/Unframe. Courtesy of Wikicommons. Ukraine, 2013.

A line of riot police officers under the heavy snow fall in Kiev. Image by Mstyslav Chernov/Unframe. Courtesy of Wikicommons. Ukraine, 2013.

Ukraine, a country beautified by rich culture, light language, and peaceful inhabitants is now at the hand and mercy of her bordering neighbor, Russia. On November 21, 2013, 300,000Ukrainians gathered in Kiev’s Independence Square to protest the economic and political decisions made by president, Viktor Yanukovych. The president suspended preparations for signing with an Association Agreement and a Free Trade Agreement with the European union, in order to seek closer relations to Russia. At the beginning of 2014, the civil unrest quickly turned into outbreaks of violence, civilian arrests, and further disruption in the country. The people of Ukraine fought together in the name of human rights and a “will to change life in Ukraine”.
Since the protests in the capitol, Ukraine has been under heavy scrutiny concerning the relationship with Russia. On February 28, Vladimir Putin ordered troops to take control of key airports in Crimea, Ukraine. Less than a week later, Crimea’s local parliament voted to join Russia, seeking separation from the country of Ukraine. On March 17, Putin declared Crimea a sovereign independent state. Even with the power and assistance of the United States, Germany, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Russia has yet to back down off of her political pedestal.
The world anxiously watches as the prowess of Putin unfolds. Some historians believe that our world is on the brink of a third World War. In March 2011, esteemed Russian astrologists, shamans, and parapsychologists gathered together, discussing the future of the country. Through scientific observation and historical evidence, the group predicted a war that would begin in March of 2014. The theorists concluded that the rise of Russia would be the overall downfall of man and would be in the hands of a woman-an era of matriarchy. The ominous forecast of events is certainly troublesome and leads into further questioning of Putin’s current actions in Ukraine.

To gain better perspective on the issue, I contacted Dr. Trevor Rubenzer, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of South Carolina-Upstate, for more information:

Q: “Many historians, politicians, and observers have predicted a third World War based on the power of Vladimir Putin. Would you agree with this prediction?”

A: “No, I do not predict WWIII. WWIII (Europe/U.S. vs Russia and limited allies) would require the calculation by both sides that war was worth the potential cost. As long as Russia’s ambitions remain within a limited set of former Soviet Republics, which I think they will, WWIII will not happen.”


Q: “Do you believe the United States should be involved in the liberation and maintained freedom of Ukraine? What is our responsibility in this global dispute?”

A: “This is a much tougher question. The U.S. agreed when the Soviet Union dissolved to be on of the guarantors of Ukrainian sovereignty (this is part of why Ukraine was willing to give up Soviet nuclear weapons stationed on its territory).In that respect, we do have an obligation. However, that obligation is not a mutual defense obligation like NATO. So, we are not required to treat an attack on Ukraine like an attack on the United States like we would if one of our NATO allies were attacked. Further complicating the matter how popular the Russian takeover is in parts of the Eastern Ukraine. A lot of people there are happy with Russian actions. My guess is that we will begin sending monetary aid to Ukraine and leave it at that for the time being.”

Q: “Based on your education and observations, what are your predictions?”

A: “Russia will annex limited parts of Eastern Ukraine.”