Talks with Russia Break Down

Moscow has left the US and its partners wondering about its future steps in the greatest security crisis with Moscow and the Western world since the Cold War.

Currently, thousands upon thousands of Russian soldiers are stationed near Ukraine.

The Russian Military Buildup Grows

Russia has upped the stakes by launching further military training in the region, amid concerns of an impending invasion of Ukraine.

It also declined to rule out troop deployments in the Caribbean, and Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken out to anti-Western countries.

The military bravado underscores the Kremlin’s audacious attempt to reverse years of NATO growth, following the end of the Cold War.

In discussions with the US, Russia is seeking legally binding assurances that the association will not embrace Ukraine, as well as other former Soviet states, nor will it deploy arms there.

It also wants NATO to withdraw its troops from Central and Eastern European countries that have been members since the 1990s.

Putin declared NATO admission for Ukraine and many others, as well as the alliance’s military installations in the country, a red line for Moscow. He’s threatening to take unspecified “military-technical actions” if the expectations are not met.

Putin emphasized the seriousness of Russia’s security demands by citing NATO maneuvers with the Ukrainian army, more frequent visits by alliance vessels in the Black Sea, and flights of US aircraft near Crimea.

He claimed that by establishing training facilities in Ukraine, Western countries might gain a military foothold in the region even if they did not join NATO.

Putin stated, “Well, there is nowhere to retreat. They’ve gotten to a point where we just have to tell them, ‘Enough!'”

Russia Will Not Budge

Russia rejected its plans to attack Ukraine after it previously attacked Crimean Region, which it acquired in 2014.

Last year, Putin issued a stark warning that any move by Ukraine to recover control of the eastern districts held by Russia-backed rebels would have “severe implications for Ukrainian sovereignty.”

While officials disputed such an onslaught was being planned, US intelligence officials assessed that Russia already dispatched agents to commit an act of sabotage in the separatist east and attribute them to Ukraine in a “false-flag mission” to establish a pretext for an attack.

The assertion has been dismissed by Russia as “complete misinformation.”

Putin has stated repeatedly that Russia and Ukrainians are “one nation,” and significant swaths of Eastern Ukraine are ancient parts of Russia that were given to Ukraine unilaterally by communist authorities during the Soviet era.

In over eight years of conflict in Ukraine’s heartland (the Donbas, where the Moscow-backed rebellion began shortly after the invasion of Crimea), over 14,000 people have been slain.

Large-scale warfare was ended by a 2015 piece pact brokered by France and Germany, but a negotiated solution has stagnated, and periodic skirmishes have occurred along the sensitive line of contact.