Historically and geographically, Ukraine is located and influenced by both Europe in the western border and Russia in the eastern border. After the collapse of the Soviet Union (mostly dominated by Russia), Ukraine became an independent state which turned afterwards to be a crossroad or an overlapping sphere between the European Union and the Russian federation. The enlargement of the European Union and NATO to include new countries in Eastern Europe like Poland , Estonia, Czech republic, Romania and others that were previously under the rule or influence of Soviet Union was another slap to the Russian Federation. Russia responded by an attempt to regain its power and influence especially in Eastern Europe where it had former allies close to her border. Is this the start of another cold war again between Russia and Western World?
Concerning Ukraine itself, Viktor Yanukovych , the previous Ukrainian president and a close ally to Russia , was removed from power by Ukrainian uprising (in February 2014 ). Russia accused the west of supporting it.
Another internal factor is that western Ukraine mostly prefers to have more commercial treaties and both political plus economic ties with the European Union. On the contrary, Eastern Ukraine favors more economic and political connection to the Russian federation. In addition, some causes of Ukrainian revolutions in 2004 and 2014 were the recall and demand for social, economic and political reforms. The protesters in 2014 succeeded in retaining or restoring the new modern constitution that was formulated between 2004 and 2010 after the Orange revolution in 2004. Many opposition leaders and protesters in Ukraine in 2014 destroyed monuments of the past Soviet Union period. The years succeeding the end of Soviet Union is to many Ukrainians a forward step or transitional stage towards democratization and economic reforms to sustainable development into a higher standard of living like that in Western Europe. To compare, yearly income GDP per capita (PPP) of Ukraine and the GDP per capita (PPP) of Russia in 2013 is almost $ 7,400 and $ 18,100 respectively , whereas that in Germany and France for example it is $ 35,700 and $ 39,500 respectively. This indicates that France , Germany and other parts of western Europe enjoy better standard of living and more technological and economic development and advancement than Russia despite the fact that Russia has the largest area in the world and one of the richest countries in natural resources especially natural gas and petroleum extracted and exported. Definitely, Russia has to a certain extent technological and industrial development but not to the level achieved in the Western Europe and North America where liberal Economy prevails and better management of human, natural and financial resources exists.
In conclusion, many Ukrainian people and citizens in Eastern Europe are more attracted to western European countries that has more democratic and liberal regime and more modernized economy and technology than Russia. This explains the fact that NATO and EU expanded to East Europe on the one hand.
On the other hand, the majority of East Ukraine, whose origin and spoken language of many of its residents is Russian, favor closer ties with its door-to-door neighbor Russia. Crimea, which is in the South of Ukraine, has many of its residents of Russian origin as well. Besides, Crimea, is a semi- island located on the Black sea, where Russia has always wanted warm seas for ship navigation. Crimea historically was a place of risidence for Russian kings and Cesars histotically. After the acquisition of Crimea by Russia in 2014, the latter was accused of unfair elections due to Russian army intimidation and presence in Crimea. Crimea remains an area of dispute between Russia and the west. At the same time, Russia is now accused of military interference and back up to pro Russian rebels in the east of Ukraine. Finally , we hope that a final and everlasting peace agreement would be achieved in Eastern Ukraine giving Ukraine more stability,continuous development and prosperity.
Peace and blessing to the whole world