|Topic||Why Russia Invaded Ukraine?|
|Writer level||High School|
|Sources / references||5|
|Description / paper instructions
Imagine that you’re writing a research paper and your research question is “Why Russia Invaded Ukraine”?
Last week I have submitted a literature review and it was written by one of your colleagues, but the format and the work itself was wrong. My teacher gave me an opportunity to resubmit the assignment, so basically I will attach 2 documents. One document is the first paper that I have submitted and you should use the sources from that paper, but construct and write a new literature review and add one more source of your choice.
Please remember that the work should show how the literature contributes to answering the research question. What are the causes of Russia’s intervention? Look at geopolitical reasons, historical, Putin, etc. You should not insist on the facts, but on how it is possible to explain the broader sense, the political issue under study.
I will also attach a document which is a literature review but on a different research question, you can use it as an example of what the teacher is expecting from us.
Thank you very much!
Why Russia Invaded Ukraine: The Literature Review
The Ukraine crisis entails an internal power struggle that is influenced by foreign powers such as Russia and the European Union. The Russian interest in Crimea, for instance, is caused by the historical role that Ukraine played in the former Soviet Union’s economy in the 20th century. However, the latest persistent crisis erupted in 2014, featuring the power struggle between the Pro-Western and Pro-Russian political leaders. For instance, when the pro-Western president Petro Poroshenko approved a trade agreement with the EU that also removed the trade tariffs, the implementation of this agreement met resistance. Gerstel asserts that at stake were the Russian energy sanction and the need for a ceasefire (33). The interest in Crimea has significantly contributed to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the infighting between the political affiliates serving different interests.
Russia’s Fear of Ukraine’s Foreign Policies
In early 2014, Russian Special Forces occupied Crimea under the guise of protecting the Black Sea’s port access. However, the critical assessment indicates that Russian leader Vladimir Putin was against the partnership between Ukraine and the United States over the planned development of Crimea’s natural gas plant. This could have deprived Russia of ideal business, hence causing economic challenges. Russia’s interest in the Crimean peninsula is also fuelled by the activities of Russian-backed separatists who fight with the Ukrainian soldiers thereby escalating the conflict. Eastern Ukraine is hit the worst, with more than 10,000 people reported dead (Treisman 47). Therefore, the root cause of the Russia-Ukraine conflict is the annexation of Crimea by the former due to its strong economic interests and the need to counter the influence of the U.S. and EU in Ukraine.
Historical Perspectives: Crimean War
The historical perspective of the longstanding Russian interest in Ukraine’s Crimea became evident with the signing of the Treaty of Paris of 1856. This treaty was a concession by Russia to defeat in the Crimean War, based on the economic and military impacts of the existing engagements. The country also agreed to destroy the naval base in Sevastopol. These terms were influenced by the EU forces, such as Britain and France, in the wake of inhuman outcomes of the war (Forsberg and Pursiainen 214). The intention was to eliminate Russia’s military threat in the Black Sea region. However, the interest in Crimea increased during the World War II period after Germany’s bombing the cities when Russia’s rejuvenated need to facelift Crimea emerged.
The interest in Crimea is the major reason for the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, which has polarized the world leadership and agencies. The Black Sea has been a conflict zone, and in 2018, the Russian ships attacked the Ukrainian vessels in Port Azov, based on the violation of the Russian waters. The desire to reignite the Crimean War is associated with the role that this place plays for both Russia and Ukraine (Gerstel 34). The attack happened in spite of the agreement reached in 2003 allowing free passage at the port. The Russian authorities do not want the European Union and the United States to influence their activities in Ukraine’s Crimea, according to case analysis by Bandeira (218). The conflict of interest has escalated the war in Ukraine, resulting in deaths of tens of thousands and several others fleeing their homes adding to a major refugee crisis.
The Annexation of Crimea and Interference with Ukraine’s Governance
Russian interference with the Ukrainian internal affairs means that it focuses on divide-and-rule mechanisms to exploit the resources in Crimea. President Putin spearheaded annexation of Crimea; he is not comfortable with Ukrainian foreign policies and intends to rewrite them based on Russian perspectives. For instance, the country was against Ukraine’s decision to join NATO following increased aggression by the Russian Federation. Besides, Treisman posits that the issues related to the language used in Ukraine worry the Russian authorities who demand the official declaration of the Russian language in Ukraine (47). To achieve this, they require an amendment to make the Russian language official. Forsberg and Pursiainen observe that the interest in the internal governance of Ukraine also includes the proposal of the Russian Federation to introduce federative principles (233). This move is strongly supported by the separatists who want the state to include regions and cities in leadership and state power. Hence, Russia underscores Kyiv’s and Sevastopol’s need to have power and responsibility at the national governmental level.
Ukraine-NATO Position and Language Policies
The Ukrainian decision to join NATO is a challenge to the Russian Federation, with President Putin declaring that it should remain neutral similar to Sweden or Austria. Trying to defend its language policies and to separate from Russia’s influence, Ukraine is evidently on the battlefield with the Russian forces. Russia often defends the safety of its national borders based on military activities, missiles, and potential nuclear threats. Bandeira cites that the renewed establishment of the United States’ interest in the Ukrainian internal affairs makes Russia see Ukraine as its ideal partner in the international arena, hence generating interest in its internal matters (216). The need to remain non-aligned is essential in the achievement of Russia’s foreign goals.
In conclusion, there are a series of published studies on the course of the Crimean War and the renewed interest of the Russian authorities in Crimea. The war hit its worst levels in the past years and resulted in an increased humanitarian crisis. The Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine and the Ukrainian military have continued to fight over Crimea’s rich resources such as gas. The annexation of Crimea and the continued interest in the Ukrainian internal policies, such as language and NATO status, are essential reasons for Russia’s intentions. The EU and the U.S. have also been involved in the war based on the different factions they support. In its turn, the Ukrainian government fears the economic sanctions from Russia, whose intention is to seize control of Crimea.
Bandeira, Louis Alberto Moniz. (2019). “Crimea Back to Russia and Economic Sanctions Against Russia.” The World Disorder, Springer, Cham, 2019, pp. 211-221.
Forsberg, Tuomas, and Christer, Pursiainen. “The Pychological Dimension of Russian Foreign Policy: Putin and the Annexation of Crimea.” Global Society, vol. 31, no. 2, 2017, pp. 220-244.
Gerstel, Dylan. “Motivations of the Kremlin: The Crimean Annexation as a Diversionary Conflict.” Swarthmore International Relations Journal, vol. 1, no. 1, 2017, pp. 31-36.
Treisman, Daniel. “Why Putin Took Crimea: The Gambler in the Kremlin.” Foreign Affairs, vol. 95, 2016, p. 47.
Literature Review: To what extent has France’s strategic goal in Africa changed in the 21st Century?
The nation of France once controlled enormous swathes of northern and western Africa for over 80 years. During this time what was expected to happen, happened, France extracted as much capital and resources as they could through various strategies. Ater decolonization and independence, there was a common misconception among many Westerners that European control and influence vanished after an African nation was freed. However, the argument of this paper is here to refute this notion. In fact France has not only continued their “investment” in Africa but as of late has boosted its military presence in the area as we have seen operations across the old empire to defend vital extraction zones. The reason as to why this topic has relevance today is that France remains as the last major European power in Africa. The two regions are at a crossroads, France’s power is waning while many African nations are rising. The scope of the research shall be limited to the 21st century study of Franco-African relations while also borrowing sources from before then to understand wider view. However despite this knowledge on the subject we can still encounter bias and ill-prepared research amongst these scholars, so the objective will be to find flaws and differences in the literature and try to build upon it.
The paper will uncover if France has really changed its course in Africa and the new factors that have altered it. Literature on the subject for the most part believes that France’s ambitions in Africa remain although some are skeptical on the grasp it has. Most literature on the topic take a somewhat neutral approach although some borrow information for old sources. Regardless, three explanations to the current French strategy in Afric persist in the literature.
The clearest sign of French neo-imperialism in the region comes from their military interventions. Critics of France have argued that these are merely self-serving interests to secure their resource consumption. However, this view, which has been adopted by those such as Guy Martin is limited as it overlooks other strategic reasons to maintain security in the Sahara. Firstly a new wave of unrest has struck the region; with Tuaregs revolting against their southern overlords, jihadis running amok in Chad and Nigeria with the Libyan civil war to add, France has reason to be worried. Already the war in Libya has allowed for a greater rise in illegal migration across the sea. With the chaos of accommodating these new arrivals, logistical problems arise that cost money. Full-blown disorder in the region could lead to a domino effect around the region impacting trade and economy of the region. Those who call France’s military endeavors capitalistic imperialism look at this from a more biased marxist view while a realist might I argue what I have previously mentioned.
The next idea pushed by some of the scholars in this area of study is that the Francophonie is used as a tool of cultural imperialism. Although it can be argued that the organization does in fact push french culture and language one could also that it is used to facilitate trade and cohesion when dealing with the French. While the English language is used more business and generally more frequently, the centralized Academie Française is still staunchly pushing the French language to be used by its native speakers along with those within the French sphere. Yet the organization also helps poor rural areas by providing a French education that could help them with careers later on as well helping facilitate trade in the region by having a singular language everyone can speak rather than the hundreds of regional dialects in the continent. The French realize the strength and scope that the language has around the world still and seek to take every possible advantage that comes with it.
Observers also take note of the extent to which France protects and uses the African Franc when dealing with its affairs in Africa. So far the African Franc has been more or less stable with inflation in the Cote D’Ivoire going up by 5% in 20 years while Ghana’s has gone up by 20%. Most certainly the currency was put in place for imperialistic reasons, so that the French could sell products for cheaper prices along with control of the central banks through investments. Yet today the Franc serves a greater purpose, as it is used by most countries in West Africa not only benefitting France but stimulating trade amongst states. One could argue that the currency has been a stabilizing force as it has pushed for economic cooperation rather than waging aggressive war.
In summary the findings have shown that some areas such as economics, which tend to be more volatile, the French have had to learn to adapt to while maintaining a cultural and military control has remained more or less constant since the colonial days. But what has changed French strategy has been outside factors, such as China, global resource shortages, the greater world economy and Islamic extremism. These new factors have all come around since the beginning of the new millenia and are what can threaten France’s grip on Africa.
Most of these sources taken for this project were articles and journals who borrowed information from contemporary scholars and books. From what I’ve seen the sources seem trustworthy although more often than not these sources came from Western intellectuals. If a higher frequency of African primary accounts were used in the literature I would believe a more balanced view by the authors. In fact, most authors seem to agree on the same point which displays a perhaps Western bias. Additionally another problem I found in the literature is that many are secondary rather than primary accounts. Yet overall I have found sources to be concise and helpful in conducting my research. I believe that if we asked for a more African perspective on the situation we could uncover a wider range of ideas and directions to take the essay. Ultimately what I found got in the way of unbiased was simply the perspectives adopted by the authors which range from marxist to realist.