Ukraine and Russia: Fighting for the Border


Morgan Fuerstenberg graphic

Previous tensions between Russia and Ukraine have violently risen in the past week as Russian President Vladimir Putin began his invasion on the Ukrainian border. Motivated to capture Ukraine’s border to solidify Russia’s status as an empire, Putin has engaged in land, sea, air and cyber invasions. In an address to Russian citizens, Putin elaborated on other reasons behind his attacks stating, “I am referring to the eastward expansion of NATO, which is moving its military infrastructure ever closer to the Russian border.”

To prevent further Western expansion into Ukraine and Russia, Putin is attempting to secure the border and has deployed over 175,000 troops. As Putin pursues an all-out invasion attempt, fatalities rise. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, there has been an estimated 50,000 fatalities since the invasion began less than a week ago. Due to the ongoing violence and attacks, over 1.5 million citizens have been displaced, forced to flee to neighboring countries.

Counteractive measures have been taken by the United States to isolate Russia from its resources. President Joe Biden addressed the U.S. on Feb. 24 about current defenses being used against Russia, detailing how there are various sanctions and limitations put in place. One of those defense strategies has cut off Russia from the majority of its primary banking systems with the hope they will be isolated completely from the global banking system. In President Biden’s description of sanctions he said, “And today, we’re also blocking four more major banks. That means every asset they have in America will be frozen. This includes V.T.B., the second largest bank in Russia, which has $250 billion in assets.” 

He added that the United States is not alone in its defensive efforts and is joined by 27 members of the European Union, including Canada, Japan, New Zealand and more. Dozens of nations have united together to protect Ukraine and prevent Russia from further violence.

The Exponent reached out to Dr. David Krugler and Dr. Andrey Ivanov, professors of history at the UW-Platteville, for insight and comments on the events. Dr. Krugler stated, “His (Putin’s) larger goal is to permanently debilitate the American-European alliance that cohered after WWII. This is a challenge to not just NATO, but also to the European Union and to the concept and practice of international collective security based on democratic values and institutions.” Dr. Krugler added that Putin is stepping out of bounds, breaking agreements and challenging allies.

Dr. Ivanov responded with his personal experiences regarding the invasion. His family in Kyiv was forced to relocate to a bunker along with other displaced Ukrainians. Dr. Ivanov remains in communication with his family in hopes they can relocate to another country. Dr. Ivanov stated, “I really hope that our Wisconsin congressional team will step up their efforts to authorize additional help to Ukraine.” Despite his personal connection to the conflict, Dr. Ivanov continues teaching courses and will soon be hosting a press conference in Madison concerning his experiences.