Conflict in Ukraine

By Maddie Fiorante, Staff Writer

The efforts put out by Ukraine to try to distance themselves from Russia is becoming more complicated after tense standoffs between the two countries these past few months. The crisis they’re facing is due to Russian authorities trying to take control over the Crimean peninsula, which had been part of Russia until surrendered to Ukraine in 1954 by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. There have been accusations by Kiev and West Union that Russia is invading the Ukrainian peninsula. The evidence in this is from what seems to be thousands of Russian troops securing the region, despite Western demands to withdraw. So far, no shots have been fired.

Today, Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Ukraine with a package deal in order to support the country’s new government: $1 billion from the U.S. given to Ukraine to help get through the next few months of turmoil, according to U.S. Treasury Department. The deal is a loan that guarantees technical and financial experts to help banks and fund ministry with its money affairs, also preparing the country for national elections in May.

“The significance of this is Kerry is going to show political and moral support for the people’s revolution and the new government,” said Carnegie Endowment for International Peace expert Eugene Rumer. “He brings with him this loan guarantee which is, relatively speaking, well, a billion dollars is a billion dollars but it is a small step compared to Ukraine’s needs. It’s significant in that it says, if you do the right thing we’re prepared to help you.”

The U.S. has decided to get involved because originally, Putin offered Ukraine a $22 billion aid package, with $15 billion in loans on very favorable terms and $7 billion in energy discounts. Today however, an announcement was made that they have withdrawn that deal. Amid the rising tension in Russia and Ukraine, both sides insist that they don’t want war, but neither are backing down, and military forces are at the ready for any given moment.