This has been an eventful year in foreign affairs with ISIS in Syria and Iraq and especially Russian involvement in Ukraine. The Ukranian Crisis is rooted in Putin’s anti Western attitudes.Putin has always had a grudge over the West ever since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Empire. He used to be a KGB spy stationed in East Berlin and the anti Russian riots that supposedly broke out destroyed his friends and family’s lives. KGB was virtually disbanded and Putin had no job and lost everything. He still holds a grudge which is showing up in his policies.
Another thing we need to know is that Putin wants to create an economic union that rivals the EU and NATO. He has Kazakhstan and Mongolia on board and is looking for more to possibly join. He really wants Eastern Ukraine to be part of it because of its great resources. Earlier in the year, Russia never admitted it but they took over Crimea. It would be a great port for an economic union but Russia claimed they needed it to protect ethnic Russians. The reality is Russians are not in danger they just do not have full citizenship or certain voting rights in Ukraine. However, this is not an excuse to invade.
Throughout the summer, Russian weapons and tanks were magically appearing in “rebel” hands but Russia denied it over and over again. Then a sophisticated weapon shot down the passenger plane killing all on board. Russia again denied it was theirs and blamed Ukraine. The real problem that made things worse were actually sanctions by NATO and U.S. It weakened their economy and trade all cut off. History is repeating. After WWI we made Germany pay war reparations until they went bankrupt and then Hitler came to power and bullied and took neighboring territories. The issue now is that we pushed Russia in a corner and their only option is to attack. Many say we are in a new Cold War but the way things are the outlook is grim and it might be a “hot” war if peace is not pursued aggressively.