The war between Russia and Ukraine continues to escalate creating several challenges not only for Ukraine but the entire world. Ukraine remains vulnerable and at a disadvantage in the war due to its limited resources in Military and equipment.
Russia invaded Ukraine on the 24 of February 2022 after the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin declared that the country was going to undertake a ”special military operation” in the region.
The war has a history based on the geopolitical, ethnicity, and sovereignty of both countries took a dramatic turn after the Minsk agreement was violated in 2015 when Russia attacked Ukraine.
The Russian President, Vladimir Putin highlighted his interest and position which goes contrary to those of Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine. Below are some interests and positions both leaders gave for their actions.
Interest and stance of Ukraine
To ensure that all parties conclude to resolve their differences, the interest and positions of both parties must be heard and attended to equally. Ukraine is on the receiving end of the war, hence also vocalizing its interest and position time and again.
The first one was the withdrawal of Russian military forces from Ukraine. The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called for a total withdrawal of the Russian forces from the territory of Ukraine. This he described as a condition for peace.
The Russian Forces have been on the territory of Ukraine for several days now and their presence has caused several damages to the peace and sovereignty of Ukraine.
They have continued to expand their base level to be able to capture most of the major cities of Ukraine including the capital city, Kyiv. Ukraine has stated that their presence violates the rules of the country and has called for them to leave.
Another condition of Ukraine is long-lasting security. It is pertinent to note that, guaranteed security is the reason why Ukraine insists on joining NATO.
The Ukrainians feel unsafe in the hands of the Russians as far as their security is not well guaranteed, stating that, Russia should agree on a common ground that they will not attack any Ukraine city now or in the future.
Security has been a major factor for Ukraine. It believes that when adequate security is provided, Russia meant not attack them in the future. The President of Ukraine stated that this was one of the major reasons why they decided to enter NATO.
In addition to the above, Ukraine continues to stand by the fact that, they are not ready to give out their territories as Russia demands.
President Zelenskyy in addressing the UN repeated their demands for the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity as their biggest sticking point in the negotiations.
Putin wants to keep those states he has already annexed, but Ukraine insists those territories must remain part of Ukraine. The annexation of some key cities of Ukraine by Russia has been a major issue of concern to Ukraine.
In conclusion, the Russia-Ukraine war has stemmed from largely historical factors that have caused several harms to the Ukrainian population.
Ranging from, the issues of power shortage, loss of lives, destruction of properties, and to the distortion of democracy. There is a need to take decisive measures in ensuring that the war is brought to an end.
That is the reason why the four points agenda on conflict resolution outlined some possible ways the war can be solved. It is left to the parties involved to accept each other demands.
Interest & stance of Russia
It is worth noticing that, Russia has always stood by the idea that if justice must prevail demands of the Russian people must be taken into consideration. In this vein, the President of Russia has stated his interest and position in the invasion of Ukraine.
As part of their first and basic position, Russia has stated that Ukraine will be agreed to sign a neutrality agreement that will prevent it from entering the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
NATO is a collective security organization with member countries, whose aim is to protect their members from any attacks. They also ensure that their members are provided with maximum support whenever there is any invasion.
Ukraine has always had an eye on NATO since they began their partnership in 1992 but now it is seeking to join the organization fully. However, the decision by Ukraine conflicts with the interest of Russia as the latter sees this cooperation as a threat.
Consequently, the region of Donbas should be free from any form of disturbance from any organization or country.
Time and again, Russia has called out NATO for trying to expand its military toward its borders and has constantly issued warning against it. Stating that the region remains a stronghold of Russia and that the lives of the people must be protected at all times.
It is pertinent to note that this region has been a major place of dispute by Russia since the war started.
Russian President before the war started recounted the situation where genocide has been carried out on the people of Donbas. Stating that Ukraine forcefully took over the region in 2014.
With a large majority of the people of the region supporting Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia has stated that he can not watch for the people of that region to be humiliated and killed daily by Ukraine.
Russia’s interest lies in the fact that those regions serve as a strategic area population of Russian-speaking people, and the need to protect them as far as they have accepted to be part of Russia.
That area also serves as a hub of major political and economic importance to the Kremlin with large Russian supporters.
Moreover, Russia proposes to demilitarize and denazified (denazification) Ukraine as part of its position. President Vladimir Putin has made demands for the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine.
By that, he aims to weaken the military power and might of Ukraine through military conquest. Russia sees Ukraine as a Nazi regime under Volodymyr Zelenskyy who it claims has committed genocide against the people of Luhansk and Donetsk.
Russia stated its position on this matter very firmly. With their interest in the fact that they seek to protect the lives of the people in that region.
In an address to the people, President Putin stated that ” this move is intended to protect the sovereignty, security and territorial dignity of Russia.”
He stated that Ukraine’s refusal to grant the independence of some states violates the right of those people. That is why they annexed that part of the country to be able to set the people of that region free.
Another position of Russia on the war is that Ukraine recognizes Crimea as a Russian territory. It is pertinent to note that, Crimea serves as a historical and strategic basis for Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Russia annexed the region in 2014 and from there has continued to push for its full control even though Ukraine continues to claim ownership of the place.
*The writer is a Fellow at The Diplomatic Insight, published by the Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies
**The Diplomatic Insight does not take any position on issues and the views, opinions & findings represented herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Diplomatic Insight and its staff