Helloooo History People!
Today, January 26th, (well, yesterday) several exciting events occurred, including the discovery of Brazil (1500), Joseph Hooker’s promotion to commander of the Army of the Potomac (1863), and Ukraine’s declaration of independence (1918).
Although all of these events are extremely interesting, I’d like to focus on the last topic for a moment. Feel free to follow the links provided above to learn more about all of the topics.
Ninety-nine years ago, Ukraine declared its independence from its mother country and became an independent
entity within the larger nation of a united Russia. In the midst of Russia’s chaotic civil war that began with the overthrow of the long-time czar in late 1917 (aka the Bolshevik Revolution), the bread basket nation of Europe separated itself, created its own form of government, and became its own self-governing country.
However, as a fresh, little nation with its fragile leadership and virtually no power to enforce its laws, the Ukraine, with its abundant natural resources and strategic locations, was overwhelmed by the Axis Powers during World War I. Its hopes of becoming a sovereign nation were consequently crushed for years, as after the first World War ended, the Ukraine’s old friend Russia decided to invade and take over the area, forcing the Ukraine to become one of the original members of the Soviet Union in 1922. This relationship would continue for almost seventy years until the fall of the USSR in 1991.
Fast-forward to the year 2014. Ukraine is now recognized internationally as its own nation, as it had been since it
regained its independence in the early 1990’s. But, in 2014 Russia decided to recognize Crimea, a portion of land in Ukraine, as its own pro-Russian entity, separate from the rest of the nation. Russia then annexed Crimea by sending in troops of its own, essentially taking over the area and all of its strategic attributes.
Many other governments, particularly the United States, took note of this act and proceeded to impose sanctions on economic relations between Russia and themselves, but nothing was done by external forces to return the Crimean Peninsula to its former owners.
In fact, this invasion of Crimea actually spiraled the Ukraine and Russia into a tense war that today, people seem to have put on the back burner. Of course, many things have been happening in the three years since the invasion, but now, dots across the board are becoming connected and the lines connecting them are intertwining.
As the newly appointed U.S. administration is just finishing up their first week in power, some questions are being raised as to one point that President Trump tried to emphasize during his campaign: better relations between the U.S. and Russia. President Trump has refused to acknowledge the involvement of the Russian government in cyber attacks on the U.S. time and time again, even after his many briefings once gaining the presidency. However, countless intelligence analysts have claimed for years of the cyber war that has continued far and wide, and slipping under the radar of the general public.
While the Ukrainians are facing a physical invasion by a foreign entity, they are also up against a major cyber invasion from the same source as well. Earlier this month, several U.S. senators were in the process of developing a piece of legislature that would “target those who engage with the Russian defense or intelligence sectors and sanction investments of more than $20 million in Russian oil and gas development” in an effort to reprimand individuals or entities who participate “in significant activities undermining the cyber security of public or private infrastructure and democratic institutions.”
What the future for the U.S., Russia, and the Ukraine will hold, we’ll just have to wait and see
But in order to even attempt to understand the future, or on a much more abrupt note, the immediate present, we must learn about the thick and muddled history among these nations.
That’s all for now, folks.
Quote of the day:
“Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.”
– Edgar Allen Poe (Famous Writer, Born: January 27th, 1809)