From Order to Chaos: How the Actions of One Man Could Determine the Fate of a Continent.
March 1, 2022
Earlier last week, President Vladimir Putin of Russia surprised the world with a sudden invasion of Russia’s neighboring country, Ukraine. Though being a shock, this event had seen considerable buildup over the last month with hundreds of thousands of Russian military forces being seen surrounding the border of Ukraine. Although the events occurring in Ukraine are horrendous on a humanitarian level, this article is not meant to inform its reader of the chaos occurring within the country. Rather, it is an article explaining the motives, aftermath, and future of the geopolitical sphere after the dust in Ukraine settles and how one man’s decisions could control the fate of the world.
President Putin has been vividly clear on the reasons he would invade Ukraine over the past decade. Putin believes the two countries to be sister states of the Soviet Union, claiming the two must come together to regain the strengths of that regime. There is also the geological importance of Ukraine. The country is situated on a newly discovered oil field with much of Russia’s oil coming from pipelines close to Ukraine. It also shares a large border with the Black Sea, a mass of water that grants direct access to the Mediterranean sea, something that could open up thousands of new trading opportunities for the country. However, the biggest reason for invading the country would be in preventing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) from having access to Russian borders. Putin has already shown to have an intense fear of NATO and if Ukraine was to ever become a part of the organization, they would have massive access to the border of southern Russia, closing in on the country…
For these reasons, Putin’s motives become abundantly clear. No country wants to start a global conflict and that is especially true with Russia. Though Russia has one of the largest militaries in the world, it is not enough to defend itself from the entirety of NATO. Simply put, all Putin wants is a buffer state to protect itself in the possibility of a NATO-declared conflict. However, his choices in obtaining this state may have started this conflict invertedly.
The aftermath of this invasion has already sent shockwaves throughout the global community. Already, hundreds of countries have shown their disapproval of this invasion starting with the U.S. and NATO declaring sanctions on the country. Unfortunately, this is all most countries can do at the moment. Although what Putin is doing in Ukraine is deplorable on a humanitarian and wartime level, offering support in terms of troops to Ukraine could create a far greater crisis. Putin has already leveled the nuclear option at Ukraine and has verbally threatened countries with war if they were to aid Ukraine. Because of this, both governing bodies cannot help Ukraine in any way without threatening the safety of millions, possibly billions of human lives. However, that’s not to say that war has been entirely prevented. Because of these surprise actions, almost eighty years of European peace have been shattered. Moving forward, tensions are going to return to the Cold War level in Europe, with Russia becoming a loose threat that could attack at any moment. Because of this, NATO will funnel more troops to any country bordering Russia, something that Putin was trying to prevent with his invasion of Ukraine. Russia will then feel more threatened than ever before and Putin’s dream of reuniting the Soviet block might be only achievable through a mass European war.
It is easy to say that the invasion of Ukraine could be a turning point in human history. The world has not seen an event like this since the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany at the onset of WWll. Because of this, it is important to project what could happen next in both Europe and the rest of the world. As stated before, Putin’s main goal for the invasion of Ukraine is to reunite the Soviet Block and keep NATO off of his borders. However, by invading Ukraine, Russia has invertedly caught the attention of NATO and ruined any kind of peace it had with the organization. It is also important to consider countries outside of Europe: China, Pakistan, and North Korea are all potential world powers that have failed to prove themselves as such. With the invasion of Ukraine, these nations may be emboldened to invade lands besides their own. China has already shown interest in seizing the country of Taiwan, this being met with considerable U.S. backlash, and Pakistan and North Korea have already shown how much they despise their respective neighbors. If any of these countries tried to do anything similar to what Russia did in Ukraine, these actions would almost certainly be met with conflict from the U.S. and other Asian allied nations. Finally, the United State’s reaction has to be considered. Because of the newly formed crisis in Ukraine, there is already anti-Russian turmoil being stirred within the U.S., with thousands of Americans believing that intervention in the current Ukraine crisis could be the only solution to this issue. Many Americans feel directly threatened by Russia and these feelings are only going to increase as Russia takes Ukraine as the U.S. government and NATO stands by in silence. With one action, Putin has destroyed almost eighty years of peace and started a sequence of events that could result in one of the largest wars in human history. As NATO reinforces its allies, countries become emboldened to take risks, and other, much larger, powers gain a newfound hatred towards Russia, the entire fate of the continent of Europe and possibly the world is in the hands of a merciless dictator hell-bent on uniting his broken country.