Why did Russia invade and occupy Ukraine? What are the causes and origins of the conflict?

(CNN Español) – After months of tensions and escalation between Russia and Ukraine, more than that 150,000 soldiersArmored vehicles are stationed along the border, and there are reports of gunfire between pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian rebels in the Donbass area of ​​Moscow. Invaded: Announced the start of special military operations in Ukraine on February 24.

A few days ago, the President of Russia Vladimir Putin Approved The separatist territories in Ukraine – Donetsk and Luhansk, which have been controlled by pro-Russian rebels since 2014 – announced that they would send troops to Donbass, further fueling tensions.

Since then, Russia has intensified attacks on civilians in Ukraine, killing more than 500 people, according to the UN. The war has unleashed a massive humanitarian crisis.

Follow the latest news about the Ukraine war here: cnne.com/guerraucrania

But why did Russia decide to invade Ukraine?

The situation has political, historical and strategic margins. This is the view of each of them.

Tense history between Ukraine and Russia

The history of Ukraine and Russia is intertwined and goes back at least to the Middle Ages. Given Rus, An East Slavic state. But the two evolved separately, each with a language and culture, starting from a common source.

Beginning in the 17th century, large parts of Ukraine became part of the growing Russian Empire. In the 20th century, except for a short period of independence in 1917, Ukraine was annexed. Soviet Union.

Prolonged independence finally came in 1991, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and then, Ukraine set its sights on Europe And his interest in being a member of NATO, the US-led military ally that opposed the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact during the Cold War.

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Meanwhile, many in Moscow see the history of Ukraine as still intertwined with Russia.

In July 2021, Putin said for a long time Test Russians and Ukrainians are “one people”. He also referred to the West Has ravaged Ukraine And took it out of Russia’s orbit by “forced identity change”.

Crimea and Donbass, centers of crisis

In 2013 a Historical Politics and Business Agreement Between Ukraine and the European Union Tense Relations with Russia. President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych Suspended negotiations – apparently under pressure from Moscow – and weeks of violent protests erupted in Kiev.

This expansion culminated in the most direct precursor to the current crisis: The Connection of CrimeaA peninsula that is part of Ukraine, which became independent from Russia in 1991 and Russia in 2014. To justify this, Russia said it would defend its interests and the interests of Russian-speaking citizens in Crimea. Strong allegiance to Russia.

Months later, Russian-backed rebels erupted in the Donbass area. Civil war broke out in eastern Ukraine, and in the region, which continues to this day and the Ukrainian government stands against the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, supported by Russia – which is considered its defender – was approved on Monday. Independence after eight years.

Expansion of NATO after the fall of the Soviet Union

Moscow insists it is not looking for a war and that whoever is responsible for the crisis is responsible OTANAlthough the United States and its allies claim that the author of the crisis belongs to Russia.

First Lady of Ukraine: We will win for the love of the country 0:37

“They have blatantly deceived us. Five waves of NATO expansion. There is that too: now they are with the armed forces in Romania and Poland.” Said In December, Putin promised that Russia “does not want military action.” “We ask directly that there be no eastward movement by NATO. The ball is in their court.”

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Former Warsaw Pact Members Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania and Albania Included NATO in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. After reunification in 1990, East Germany also became part of the alliance.

On the other hand, the Baltic states of Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia joined NATO independently in 1991 from the Soviet Union. 2004.

Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary-General of NATO Said At the end of January, countries have the “right to choose their own defense agreements”, which refers to additions to NATO in recent years, and to “avoid accepting Russia’s positions on the basis of coercive power and aggressive rhetoric”.

What do Russia and NATO blame each other for?

Putin has accused NATO of violating it Establishment of the Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security Act between NATO and RussiaA Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the two sides after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1997, using “systems” Armed attacks on Russian borders Especially in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland.

NATO, instead, points out that it has complied with the founding law, promising not to establish permanent military forces for new members without nuclear weapons, and accusing Moscow of non-compliance with the two pillars of the agreement.

It says 4,500 troops stationed in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland are “rotating and defensive forces.” OTANAnd in reaction to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Soldiers say goodbye to loved ones before boarding the train from the main train station in Lviv, Ukraine, to Dnipro on March 09, 2022. (Credit: Don Kidwood / Getty Images)

“By signing the NATO-Russia founding law, Russia has promised not to threaten or use force against NATO allies or any other state. It has broken this promise by illegally and illegally annexing the sovereign territory of Crimea. Reveals Coalition in an official statement.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky has recently reiterated his call for NATO to be notified. No flying area About the country.

Political changes in Ukraine

After independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine’s relations with Russia began to deteriorate, beginning to deteriorate in the early 2000s.

In 2004, candidate and former Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych backed Russia’s opposition Viktor Yushchenko – pro-Western – and He won the presidential election amid allegations of fraud.

A wave of protests advanced across the country. The so-called “Orange Revolution” rocked the country because of the color used by the protesters and Yushchenko’s propaganda, the Supreme Court ordered. Re-election, This time Yushchenko won.

Yanukovych was finally elected president in 2010 – Yushchenko received only 5% of the vote – and in 2013 abandoned his plans to implement. Ukraine to the European Union Under pressure from Russia, he started after that A new wave of resistance.

Parliament of Ukraine in February 2014 Voted to remove Yanukovych President-elect and Executive Chairman Oleksandr Turchinov took charge. Soon, Russia annexed Crimea and the conflict in the Donbass began.

There was Pedro Poroshenko Elected President in 2014 And he ruled until 2019, aThe real president is Volodymyr Zhelensky. Both are considered pro-Western and anti-Moscow.

In this context, a regime change is seen in Ukraine Possible Kremlin goals.

With information from Luke McGee, Anna Chernova, Zachary B. Wolf and Eliza Mackintosh.

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