Balanced approach needed to prevent possible new Cold War
Updated: 2014-12-19 13:56
BEIJING -- A serious analysis of the current standoff over the Ukraine crisis reveals a stark reality worse than people are willing to admit. As the simmering conflicts in Ukraine continue to take lives and exacerbate the already precarious humanitarian conditions in the country's eastern regions, the world is in urgent need of a solution.
Historically speaking, Ukraine and Russia share much of their history, as the modern peoples of Russia and Ukraine all claim Kievan Rus', a federation of East Slavic tribes in Europe from the late 9th to the mid-13th century, as their cultural ancestors.
However, after hundreds of years of historical bonding with Russia, Ukraine now finds itself entangled in a knot of regional and global interests.
FAULT LINE WITHIN UKRAINE
For months, conflicts between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian forces have been raging on in two eastern regions of Ukraine, despite a fragile ceasefire agreed by both sides. At least 4,707 people have been killed and 10,322 wounded since mid-April, according to the latest data by the United Nations.
Begun with massive street protests to back the country's European integration in November, 2013, the crisis evolved into a government breakdown in February, as the elected President Viktor Yanukovych was removed from office by a parliament controlled by West-leaning opposition which favored integration with the EU instead of closer ties with Russia.
Tensions in Ukraine turned white-hot when a referendum was held in the country's autonomous region of Crimea in mid-March, in which the majority of the region's people voted to join Russia.
By mid-April, hostilities flared in eastern Ukraine as at least five other cities in the region were targeted by uprisings and the violent takeover of government buildings by independence-seeking rebels.
In September, a ceasefire agreement was reached by both sides in Belarussian capital of Minsk. However, a UN report said that at least 1,357 fatalities have been recorded in Ukraine's eastern regions since the ceasefire was declared.