This paper discusses how history affects the present, arguing that the outcome of the Cold War aids our understanding of the current Ukraine Crisis by shedding light on the identity crises which Ukraine, Russia, and the United States faced after the Soviet Union collapsed. These new identities conflicted with each other, ultimately leading to the conflict we are facing today. The paper starts by discussing what the Ukraine Crisis is: current fighting between pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine and Ukrainian troops, due to conflict that began after Ukrainian pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown in 2014. The situation in Ukraine did not spontaneously appear, but is the culmination of many years of tension and conflicting identities. Because of Ukraine's long, intertwined history with Russia, many Ukrainians in the eastern reaches of the country believe they are more Russian than Ukrainian, and many of them are ethnically Russian. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, many Russians were displaced and found themselves living in newly independent Ukraine, which they did not consider their homeland. Meanwhile, those in western Ukraine were closer to the democratic west, and ideas of free democracy were more prevalent. Also discussed is how Russia, after losing its identity as an empire, did not know what its relationship was with the post-Soviet states, causing it to revert back to an imperial state of mind, explaining its desire to get involved in the Ukraine Crisis. Meanwhile, the U.S. wishes to become involved in order to protect the New World Order and its identity as victor of the Cold War. However, the U.S. is also hesitant to interfere too much, as it could lead to a new Cold War and threaten its status as the victor. These conflicting identities all contribute to the Ukraine Crisis, and this paper aims to describe how this information can be used to better understand the crisis.
Lichon, Sara Catherine
"Identity Crisis: How the Outcome of the Cold War affects our Understanding of the Crisis in Ukraine,"
Augsburg Honors Review: Vol. 10
, Article 6.
Available at: https://idun.augsburg.edu/honors_review/vol10/iss1/6