I’m just getting back into the swing of things following a long (and very relaxing) holiday weekend. Unfortunately, the world has been going on as normal and there are now two specific areas in the world where tensions are growing quickly and the prospect of at least one crisis on the horizon appears to be quite good.
Tonight, I’ll take a quick look at Ukraine and the surrounding area. Tomorrow it will be an update on the South China Sea and probably more Ukraine news. Then come Thursday, I will begin taking an in-depth look at both areas and what the future may hold.
Russia’s buildup of forces along the border is continuing. On Tuesday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated that major military exercises are commencing across the country. On the surface, this news appears to be an attempt to tamper down rising speculation and concern over growing indications of Russian troop and equipment movements aimed at the Ukrainian border and Crimea. The United States and NATO have noticed the troop movements and are requesting a clarification of the Russian government’s intentions.
Also on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy publicly called on NATO to begin laying the foundation for Ukrainian membership in the Atlantic Alliance. The statement appears to be a knee-jerk reaction to the geopolitical tensions and the prospect of Russian military action against Ukraine. Zelenskiy is hoping the prospect of Ukraine rapidly earning NATO membership will encourage Russia to think twice about any designs it may have on Ukraine. On the flip side, however, the prospect of Ukraine actually joining the alliance could prompt Russia to move fast and hard to achieve its objectives before Kiev falls under the protection of NATO’s powerful military umbrella.