The crisis in Ukraine which began on 21st November 2013 after President Viktor Yanukovych abandoned plans to sign an association agreement with EU resulting into his ousting out of office on February 2014 is a culmination of a long struggle for freedom and creation of a national identity. The country located between Russia and Europe has for centuries been under the influence of Eastern and Western nations. Sakwa argues that “the present contest between Europe and Russia is a constituent element of Ukraine’s historical DNA” (9). Ukraine first declared independence in 1918 after the collapse of Russian Empire in 1917 but not for long as it was then conquered by Russia under Vladimir Lenin in 1919 and Poland in 1921 thereby becoming part of USSR in 1922. The Ukrainians suffered under the Soviet Union as mass executions and deportations were carried out by Vladimir Lenin and worst of them by Joseph Stalin who deported 200, 000 Crimean Tatars to Siberia and Central Asia to avoid rising nationalism sentiments from affecting Russia (Yekelchyk, 2014). It was then occupied by Nazi Germany on the onset of WWII in 1941 until 1944 leading to mass deaths and wiping out of the Jews (BBC, 2015). The Ukrainians were reunited at end of WWII in 1945 through the annexation efforts of Stalin’s Red Army. In 1954, the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev transferred Crimea from Russian republic to Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic as a gift. For Yekelchyk, this was “a shrewd economic move, as much as a symbolic political gesture”.
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The author of the paper casts light on the Ukranian crisis and explores whether it is a new US/Russia Cold War. According to the text, this crisis is the sharpest manifestation of post-Cold War international system and a continuation of the East-West conflict. …
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