The International Corner: Europe’s Forgotten Civil War


Credit to byvalet /

KIEV, UKRAINE – AUGUST 22, 2016: Ukrainian tanks at the military parade rehearsal for 25 years of Ukraine’s independence in Kyiv, Ukraine.

By Ethan Winchester

One of Europe’s bloodiest civil wars has been going on for almost four years, and hardly anybody is still talking about it. Although, now that Donald Trump is in office, things might change for the better or for the worse. Started by a revolution against the old pro-Russian Ukrainian government in 2014, the war has grown and lasted long enough to warrant attention from the west. Many countries have already sent support to the new government in Ukraine. Canada is actively training Ukrainian personnel along with many other countries sending advisors to the Ukrainian military, including the U.S. to some degree. 

The battalion “Donbas” conducting exercises at Mariupol 01.04.2015. Ukraine. Mariupol. (Liukov /

Trump has been talking about the conflict since the beginning of his term. At first, he didn’t show much concern, but now that he is in the Oval Office, his viewpoint has changed. Trump is deciding on whether or not he should send weapons to the Ukrainian military. I think that it would be a good choice to stop Russian aggression in Eastern Europe. However, according to many analysts and news sources, Trump’s supposed connections to Russia may interfere. Still, the U.S. must act. According to the United Nations, the death toll is over 9,600 in this civil war, and if actions are not taken, the situation will only worsen. In the past, American equipment sent was non-lethal, a good amount of the equipment was also captured by the pro-Russian rebels, so if Trump does send these weapons, there is a chance that these weapons might end up in enemy hands.

Ukrainian crisis. Protesters burn tires to stop the riot police. Street fights in Kyiv, Ukraine. Ukraine crisis. Fires of a Revolution.

The conflict started in early 2014 after a revolution was sparked by President Yanukovych’s pro-Russian stance and disregard to cooperate with the European Union. After a few months, he was ousted and escaped to Russia to avoid prosecution. Putin then invaded and annexed the Crimea region of Ukraine, aided by pro-Russian militants. Those same militants have also taken the city of Donetsk and surrounding area and declared it the Donetsk People’s Republic. Since then, the war has been a bitter stalemate. An end is not in sight.


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