US President Joe Biden and Russia’s strongman Vladimir Putin were on the phone yesterday about what on earth are Russian troops doing on Ukraine’s borders. There’s been bad blood between the two presidents, with Biden previously calling Putin a “killer”.
The relationship between Russia and Ukraine has historically been complicated. Europe’s magnetic attraction is at play here, with its promise of democracy and single market unity. In short, Ukraine wants to join NATO and Putin can’t stand it.
Russia barely considers Ukraine an independent country. For Putin, Ukraine is part of Russia’s sphere of influence, and any move towards the West is betrayal. That’s why his troops are there.
President Biden has threatened targeted sanctions if Russia invades, but he won’t intervene militarily. Let’s hope we won’t have to see for ourselves whether Ukraine can defend itself from a heavily armed Russia.