By Valerie Velikaya
I was overjoyed at the thought of visiting my family in Odessa, Ukraine over the summer, my memories of them fading with each waking day.
I had a vision of me lounging in the quaint, little living space where I had taken my first steps, the lingering aroma of my grandmother’s cooking encompassing the air as my grandfather’s hearty laughter echoed throughout the flat.
That crumbled to dust as turmoil began to flood my homeland in the form of violent protests and a sea of armed Russian troops, determined to take over the Crimean Peninsula and beyond.
Despite Vladimir Putin stating that he was not urging Russia “to fight the Ukrainian people,” he has since expressed a possibility that more troops might flood the Crimean Peninsula and the eastern half of Ukraine.
The country had surrendered its nuclear arsenal after the dismantling of the Soviet Union in 1991. In return, the United States, Russia, and Great Britain convened to form a pact, protecting Ukraine against future invasions by said countries. This 1994 agreement was called the “Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances.”
However, due to mayhem and anarchy initially induced by the fleeing president, Ukraine is regretting the decision of surrendering their nuclear weapons.
Normally, this would be a bad thing, but with limited military and a nonexistent nuclear arsenal, Ukraine has no way of intimidating Russia to stay out of the Crimea.
All Ukraine wants is peace between them and neighboring countries, whereas Vladimir Putin desires control. He’s more than willing to sacrifice lives in order to obtain absolute hegemonic domination.
Putin wants to rebuild the Soviet Union, morphing Ukraine into a shadow of its former self.
Citizens remain divided about the impending threat. Some of them are willing to embrace Russia’s totalitarian grip while others wish to remain free and independent.
Putin has the potential of becoming this century’s Stalin or even worse. He is Machiavellian in nature; to him, the ends always justify the means.
It’s difficult to address probable solutions when dealing with an individual that commands one of the largest armies in the world. Many might say that the U.S. should intervene while others would argue otherwise, proclaiming that violence begets more violence.
Nonetheless, the past has showed us that appeasing power hungry tyrants won’t satisfy their desire for control, regardless of lives lost.
Contact Valerie Velikaya, news editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.