Viking Call

Upper Merion High's Student Newspaper


Russian-US Tensions: Will Biden Go to War?

Tensions have been rising across Europe as the United States and Russia face off in a series of international conflicts regarding Ukraine, who had experienced a largely successful, democratic revolution in 2014. As part of the revolution, Ukraine sought deeper ties with the West, something President Vladimir Putin believed would damage the cooperative relationship between Russia and its neighboring states, declaring that Ukraine and Russia were “one people — a single whole [Country]” (Vox, Ioanes). Russia’s recent aggressive behavior toward Ukraine has caused President Biden to criticize them for said behavior, with the president implementing several sanctions on Russia and considering further US support of Ukraine in the form of medicine, weapons, and military advisors. 

    While it’s important to see the tension and conflict as a proxy war between the US and the West against Russia, it’s also crucial to learn and understand how Ukrainian citizens feel about their country’s increasing tensions with their powerful next door neighbor . One Ukrainian activist, Sofiia Pylypenko, stated “This position [Russian Domination of Ukraine] completely excludes respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and for their {Ukraine’s}ability to choose its own economic and political path” (NBC, Talmazan). Her views of Russian domination and aggression towards Ukraine seem to be reflected throughout much of Ukraine, as Russian troops are sent to the large border the two states share. Speaking of border troops, there is an increasingly clear message being projected in response to the crisis: A united Western defense of Eastern partners against the aggression of Russia. In fact, Ukrainian President Zhelensky even mentioned that “This will not be a war between Ukraine and Russia — this will be a war in Europe” (NBC, Talmazan).  

    Zhelensky’s desire for further alignment between Europe and Ukraine seems to be reciprocated by the major powers in Europe, with both Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emannuel Macron announcing their support for Ukraine. President Biden has sent over 3,000 soldiers to “bolster” the US’s European allies (CNN, Bertrand). Meanwhile, in  Russia, patriotism and nationalism seems to dominate, as many Russian people view Ukraine as part ofRussia, which is reflected with the public’s support of the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014.  

    Many Americans are afraid of war with Russia! Cognizant of this fact, the president has tried to resolve this fear of war, with his declaration that he does not wish for such an outcome. Unfortunately, The president’s declaration  hasn’t stopped concerns over whether or not such a war could occur. From our very own school, interviews with several students reflected  concern over the issue, with One student saying “I have aspirations to join the military, but considering the situation, I’m scared I might be sent off.” Others expressed support for the largely NATO based mission, declaring that “I support Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, A Russian attack is not justified.” 

    I myself am one of those who fully supports a democratic Ukraine and it’s right to defend itself. A Russian attack is unjustified, and the United States has an obligation to defend itself and allies in the face of foriegn aggression. While war is never a good thing, it’s important to, as President Roosevelt once said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” That is, America has an obligation as the leaders of the free world to defend and support other nation-states that are allied to us. However, as leaders of the free world, we also have an obligation to  conduct diplomacy in a manner to reduce these tensions. It will certainly be interesting how President Biden and President Putin will conduct themselves for the stability of world peace, and hopefully both sides can come to a peaceful agreement.


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