Russia and the United States: distrust and allegations in the Ukrainian conflict

Status: 01/15/2022 1:29 p.m.

Russia is trying to create a pretext for an invasion of Ukraine, according to the US prosecution. It was nothing but “unfounded sensational news”, was the Russian response. The tone between the two camps remains harsh.

What brought about a week of high-level talks on the conflict in Ukraine? Statements from both Russia and the West suggest that mutual distrust has increased rather than diminished.

From the American side came the charge that Russia was trying to use agents in Ukraine to create a pretext for a possible invasion. “We have information that suggests Russia has already deployed a group of operatives to conduct a false flag operation in eastern Ukraine,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said yesterday. Furthermore, the groundwork has been laid for a disinformation campaign in which Ukraine is portrayed as an aggressor planning an imminent attack in eastern Ukraine.

“As usual, no evidence is presented”

Russia immediately dismissed the allegations. As is so often the case, allegedly sensational information has been released by the United States without any basis, the Russian Embassy in Washington said. “As usual, no evidence is presented.”

However, Russia has created facts in the border area with Ukraine that worry the West: the Russian army has gathered about 100,000 soldiers there. Russian-backed separatists have been fighting Ukrainian government troops in eastern Ukraine since 2014. And in 2014, Russia also annexed the Crimean peninsula, which belongs to Ukraine.

For weeks, Russia has repeatedly dismissed the accusation that it planned to invade its troops in eastern Ukraine with similar words. “Russia is against war. We are in favor of a diplomatic solution to all international problems,” the Russian Embassy in Washington said.

West points to Ukrainian sovereignty

However, the West cannot accept the preconditions that Russia sets for any diplomatic solution to the Ukrainian crisis. Because President Vladimir Putin demands, among other things, a NATO commitment so that Ukraine is not included in the transatlantic military alliance.

There are currently no concrete plans for Ukraine’s admission to NATO. But the West stresses, among other things, that sovereign states themselves decide which alliances to join and which not. And since the end of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine has again become a sovereign state.

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