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The Real Reason Behind The Invasion of Ukraine

Beyond the civil war in the Eastern European country, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is also about the wealth of the territory

Soldier during an anti-terrorist operation in eastern Ukraine

Photo: Євген Силкін - Ministry of Defense Ukraine

LatinAmerican Post | Anderson Ayala Giutsi

Eastern Ukraine has been in conflict for eight years. The Donbas region, on the border with Russia, has been the epicenter of multiple attacks, protests, migrations, and even territorial separations. But the political problem also has a historical, cultural, and, of course, economic background, due to the vast mineral wealth that is attractive in the eyes of Russian neighbors.

Since 2014, when the nationalist and pro-European protests of the Ukrainians stripped power from the pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, the entire eastern region has been a flank of instabilities. The secession of Crimea and the unilateral attempt to separate the provinces of Donetsk and Llugansk (all this in the first half of 2014 ), are only the most visible consequences. 

It should be noted that this is a region where more than half of the inhabitants are Russians, and many rose in protest against the Ukrainian government, to the point of war. As a result, the Donbas region became a permanent conflict zone, causing the migration of thousands of Ukrainians and more than 10,000 military and civilian casualties, according to figures from the United Nations Organization.

Despite the ceasefire attempts in late 2014 and early 2015, with the so-called Minsk Protocol and the Minsk II Agreement, the violence has not stopped. Despite the fact that the Ukrainian government agreed to give greater self-determination to the provinces of Donetsk and Llugansk, denying them representation in the national parliament since that year has been seen as a lack of goodwill. For their part, the separatists forces have taken advantage of every opportunity to fuel the conflict, in the shadow of the support given by the Russian government to their compatriots.

Although it is true that Russian President Vladimir Putin uses the pretext of citizenship (Donbas has more than 3 million inhabitants, of which at least half are Russian), The geopolitical importance of the area can be set aside. This is due to its abundant mineral wealth, regardless of its historical weight within the Soviet Union.

In general, Ukraine is a country of great diversity in terms of natural resources. Starting with minerals, which make Ukraine one of the countries with the most world deposits of magnesium and iron, as well as a country with abundant deposits of metals such as aluminum, copper, zinc, steel and others, or raw materials for energy such as coal, gas and uranium, according to the Ukrinform portal, the Ukrainian foreign multimedia platform.

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However, the Donbas region is one of the regions that most concentrates these riches, being the basin my nation of the country For this reason, it has also become the axis of heavy industry, with the development of steel, processing, chemical and petrochemical industries. In fact, the Equal Times website estimates that almost half of the country's mines and factories remained in the two breakaway territories, those that are now recognized as independent by Russia.

All this, together with the presence of thermal, hydroelectric and nuclear power plants, explains its weight within the Ukrainian economy. However, despite having such resources, it cannot be forgotten that Ukraine has a strong dependence on energy with respect to Russia, especially regarding oil and nuclear fuel.

Although the Russian government insists that it will not go beyond Donbas, Ukraine's closeness to NATO, as well as its demand for a timetable for entry, could continue to increase tensions between Kiev and Moscow, despite none of the parties wanting this. However, the drums of war are still beating. 

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