Russia Attacks Ukrainian Ships ⚓

Kerch Info / AFP

Kerch Info / AFP

That escalated quickly

On Sunday, Russia opened fire on Ukrainian navy boats entering the strait between Russia and Crimea into the Azov Sea. Several Ukrainians were injured, and Russia has detained 24 sailors. Russia claims that the fleet provoked such action by violating maritime law.

Historic tension

According to a 2003 agreement, the Azov Sea and Kerch Strait were to be shared between Russia and Ukraine. However, Russia seized control of the strait in 2014 when it annexed Crimea. These tensions bring us to Sunday - when Ukraine sent boats through the channel.


Washington Post: Russia’s escalation against Ukraine shows how little Putin worries about the West

NY Times: Russia Attacks Ukrainian Ships and International Law

The left focuses more on the attack and asserts that it perpetuates Russia’s status as a violator of international law. They argue that Ukraine was fully within its rights to use the strait and that Russia is simply proving that no one in the west will dare to stop them. This side fears that Trump’s ongoing criticism of European allies will undermine any counteraction.


WSJ: Putin Tests Trump on Ukraine

Washington Examiner: After Putin's Ukraine aggression, time for Trump to strongman Russia with new sanctions

The right focuses more on what Trump can do to enforce accountability. They commend Trump for saying that he’s “not happy” with Russia, but urge concrete action. They also list ways in which the US can play an active role in counteracting Russian aggression. These outlets argue that the US should be at the forefront of maintaining democratic order.

Why did Russia do this?

Putin's approval rating has been falling all year - going from 82% to 66%. The data shows a similar drop in January 2014 - a month before the annexation of Crimea. After the invasion, the Kremlin’s approval jumped to 83%. Thus, the recent attack on Ukraine, combined with a burgeoning anti-Ukraine campaign, may be a ploy to increase domestic favor of Putin.

Putin over here like



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