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    Russia-Ukraine tensions: 10 developments you should know

    Russia-Ukraine tensions: 10 developments you should know

    Russia-Ukraine tensions: 10 developments you should know
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    By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Published)

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    The spectre of invasion looms thick and large over Ukraine, with the Russian military deploying 1,00,000 troops along the Russia-Ukraine border and NATO sending its own jets and ships to Eastern Europe. Moscow maintains its position that it has no plans to invade Ukraine.

    Tensions between Ukraine and Russia are at an all-time high amid concerns of a likely invasion of Ukraine by Moscow. The current tinderbox situation, building up over the months, has intensified with the Russian military consolidating its presence along Russia’s border with Ukraine. Russia has deployed around 1,00,000 troops along the border, according to a report.
    Ukraine has cautioned that Russia is attempting to destabilise the country ahead of its military invasion plans. Russia has been alerted repeatedly by Western powers to refrain from taking further aggressive actions against Ukraine. On the other hand, Russia has alleged that NATO’s support for Ukraine, which included increased weapon supplies and military training, poses an increasing threat to its western part.
    In mid-January, Russia moved troops to Belarus, a neighbour of both Russia and Ukraine, for a joint military exercise. The military exercise was planned to be conducted in February.
    The movements and concentration of troops along Ukraine border have been defined as exceptional by the United States and NATO forces.
    Despite warnings from US President Joe Biden and European leaders that an invasion by Putin would be disastrous, about 100,000 Russian troops are now stationed near the Ukrainian border. This build-up continues even as other European nations voice their concern over a war.
    Here are 10 important points about the conflict and its background.
    1. Tensions between Ukraine and Russia, both former Soviet Union republics, increased in 2013 as a result of a historic political and trade deal with the European Union. Massive protests in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv erupted in violence after the pro-Russian President, Viktor Yanukovych, suspended talks with the EU under pressure from Moscow.
    2. In March 2014, Russia annexed Crimea, an autonomous peninsula in southern Ukraine with strong Russian ties. Thousands of Russian-speaking troops entered the Crimean peninsula and took over the region. Ukraine termed this annexation as illegitimate.
    3. Moscow has constantly denied that Russia aims to invade Ukraine, claiming that the country does not pose a threat to anyone and that deploying troops across its own territory is not a matter of concern.
    4.  Moscow also says that NATO's growing support for Ukraine is a threat to its security. It has also accused Ukraine of increasing its own troop numbers in preparation for a recapture of the Donbas region, which Ukraine refuses.
    5. Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has also met with the United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken for talks in an attempt to avoid a wider conflict in Ukraine. Lavrov has denied that the Russian forces near Ukraine's borders will be used to invade the country.
    6. Russia demands a ban on Ukraine’s entry into NATO and an agreement that NATO will withdraw troops and weapons across multiple nations in Eastern Europe. The Russian President has sent these points in a written note, along with other demands, to US President Biden in exchange for withdrawing his troops.
    7. Any invasion, according to Antony Blinken, however, would be met with a harsh response. The US and its allies have also threatened new sanctions if the Russian military acts. President Biden also cautioned Putin, on January 19, that he will regret invasion of Ukraine, if he goes ahead with it.
    8. The government of Ukraine insists that Moscow has no power to prevent Kyiv from maintaining ties with NATO.
    9. The Secretary of NATO General Jens Stoltenberg has said if Russia invades Ukraine then it will have to pay a heavy price. In an interview with CNN in December, Stoltenberg said NATO has a wide range of options, such as financial and economic sanctions and political restrictions.
    10. Ukraine’s government is planning to apply for European Union membership in 2024 and also wants to join NATO, according to reports.
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