The Crimea Invasion And Crisis In Ukraine

Although the Global Peace Index shows that the peace in EU has been steadily increasing, however, with one exception, Ukraine, which ranks in 150th in the world has been experiencing large-scale conflicts. The crisis in Ukraine outbroke with protests in the capital city of Kiev in November 2013 against Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to reject a deal for greater economic integration with EU. The situation was exacerbated when Russian troops took control of Crimea and annexed the Crimea after the Crimean voted to join the Russia in a disputed local referendum. Ukraine military and Russian-backed separatists have been in warfare since 2014. 

The root of conflict can be traced to the fact that the ethnical distribution inside Ukraine is uneven. In East Ukraine near the Russian border, there is a much higher density of people who still maintain the same life style from the time when the region was part of Soviet Union and majority of them still speak Russian. One can find from Barash and Webel that such a movement is called “secessionism” where “a group of people yearn to secede from a larger collectivity of which they do not feel a part,” this readily applies to the separationists in Ukraine. Also, “International or Transcendental Solidarity,” meaning, “the sense of ‘nationhood’ often extends across political boundaries” applies to the action Russia took to take a control of Crimea where President Vladimir Putin cited the need to protect the rights of Russian speakers in southeast Ukraine. 

However, some says that Ukraine’s national identity is in crisis. Ukrainians are too diverse and polarized about their attitude towards Russia. So-called pro-western political elites reject all things Russian, however, despite the recent five years of war, 57 percent of Ukrainians feel “good” or “very good” towards Russia, and only 27 percent feels “bad” or “very bad”. 

In the frontline, the conflict has transitioned to a stalemate recently, however, shelling and skirmishes still occur regularly. Tensions boiled over when Russia confirmed that it had seized three Ukrainian naval vessels after having fired on them on November last year. The ships were sailing on Ukrainian territory of Black Sea when they were attacked. Oleksii Makeiev, Ukraine’s Foreign Affairs ministry expressed disapproval; “(the incident) undermines security of the whole region.” Recently, however, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky plans to pull Ukrainian troops back all along the front line in the east, if Russian-backed rebels reciprocate. The separationist rebels are defiant. Thus, it is uncertain that the rigorous preconditions set by the President could be accepted by them.

In the midst of all this, UN motivated peacebuilding has been initiated. It has launched several projects that provide social assistance to internally displaced persons. By restoring the infrastructures such as water pumping systems which have been destroyed. Some of them also provide technical assistance to local government authorities to decentralize recovery plans. And, a legal aids system has been established to try to ensure that the displaced people can obtain aid for community-related social issues. 


  • Barash, D. P., & Charles P. Webel. (2018). Peace and Conflict Studies (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
  • Conflict in Ukraine. Global Conflict Tracker. Council on Foreign Relations. Oct 4, 2019. Retrieved from
  • Johnson Alex. Russia attacks, seizes Ukrainian vessels in Black Sea off Crimea. NBC news. Nov, 25.2018. Retrieved from
  • Mirovalev Mansur. Caught in Ukraine’s violence, war and identity crisis. Aljazeera. 7 Jul 2019. Retrieved from
  • Recovery and Peacebuilding. United Nations Ukraine. Retrieved from
  • Shramovych Viacheslav. Ukraine’s deadliest day: The battle of Ilovaisk August 2014. BBC. 29 August 2019. Retrieved from
  • Ukraine conflict: Zelensky plans frontline troop withdrawal. 4 Oct 2019. Retrieved from
  • The UN recovery and peacebuilding programme. UNDP. Retrieved from
10 Jun 2021
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