On Sunday 11/25/2018, “Russian ships fired on three Ukrainian vessels in the Kerch Strait — a critical passage connecting the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov — injuring at least six sailors. Moscow’s crew has since boarded Kiev’s two warships and one tugboat, detaining more than 20 sailors, and even placed a freighter ship length-wise along the only entrance in and out of the strait” (Vox, 2018). The reason all of this is happening is because of the dispute revolving around Russia annexing the Crimea peninsula about five years ago which, up to that point, was a part of the Ukraine. Now Putin wants to build a twelve mile bridge connecting the peninsula to mainland Russia. Putin’s goal is that he simply wants Russia to control the waters and land around Crimea “completely under Russian control” (Vox, 2018).
As a result, US President Donald Trump is considering cancelling the upcoming G20 summit with Vladimir Putin of Russia and the Ukraine has declared martial law for “at least” the next 30 days so that they may mobilize their forces quick enough to counter any threats from Putin.
So what does this mean for us in other parts of the world? As I’m a US citizen I can only speak for our country but many are looking at President Trump right now to stand up to Putin at the G20 summit that he may be cancelling. He also needs to decide if he’s going to respond to Russia’s aggressive move and take any action.
As of now, Trump has given off the political dismissive answer not showing support for either side of this conflict, which makes sense given his past with Putin and Russia during the 2016 election. As the US has often been a country to get involved in other countries affairs like this, his actions here, show that he’s trying to keep both sides happy, which in a conflict like this will never happen. Not a typical American Republican. Were Bush still in office, we’d likely have gone to war the day after the event in question. If Obama, he’d have stood against Putin at the G20 summit. If Trump cancels the summit then he’s not taken the actions that either US major political party would have taken which just makes him look like he’s scared. Fox news has reported that Trump is working with the European officials to ease tensions, but as we’ve seen the live footage of his non-committal answers ourselves, I’m wondering how much of a pro-Trump slant they are attempting to spin in their story whereas every other media outlet is saying the opposite. We also know that more than 50% of Fox’s stories are falsely represented so take their statement with a grain of salt either way.
While I do think getting into a war with Russia or the Ukraine would be a huge waste of resources and not to mention lives for the US and lives for whichever side ends up being the US’ opposition, Trump’s failure to comment and state what he’s going to do just shows us more about what type of man he is. He needs to figure out how the different scenarios will benefit him before he’ll decide and he’ll pick what he wants irrelevant of what US advisers say. Right now he’s too focused on a government run TV network to think about silly things like preservation of life.
Many news outlets are demanding Donald Trump stand up to Putin because they think Putin’s actions will escalate even further if he’s left unchecked. Only time will tell what is actually going to happen, but we can all agree that this is a scary event and that the ripples associated therewith will go out far. Let’s hope our President here in the US makes the best decision for the US and for our international relations with other countries, but history has taught us that he typically sides with the dictator so mentally prepare yourselves for the worst.