Wed. May 18th, 2022

Russia has deployed dozens thousands of troops near the Ukraine border, causing the worst security crisis that has arisen between Moscow and the West since the Cold War.

The West, led by the US, has thrown its weight behind Ukraine, which lost control of its Crimean peninsula when Russia annexed it in 2014.

The Kremlin justified her military muscle flexion as an effort to counter decades of NATO enlargement in the region. Russia has demanded legally binding guarantees that the NATO alliance will not embrace Ukraine and other former Soviet nations, or place weapons there. It also wants NATO to withdraw its forces from countries in Central and Eastern Europe that have joined the alliance since the 1990s.

Russia has also been accused of supporting armed separatists in eastern Ukraine. The conflict has more than 13,000 people died in nearly eight years of fighting. A 2015 peace deal mediated by France and Germany helped end large-scale fighting, but a political settlement came to a halt, and frequent skirmishes continued along the strained line of contact.

Early in 2021, a rise in ceasefire violations in the east and a Russian troop concentration near Ukraine fueled fears of invasion, but tensions eased as Moscow withdrew most of its forces after maneuvers in April.

The army build up near Ukraine late resumed in 2021, with Ukrainian and Western officials warning that the increased troop concentration could usher in a multiple Russian attack.

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