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American actions in the Black Sea

During the past week, the tensions between the United States and Russia have worsened significantly. In 2014, Russia invaded the eastern section of Ukraine, a separate country and Russia’s neighbor to the southwest. This invasion included the takeover of the Crimea, a Ukrainian peninsula on the Black Sea that was important to Russian trade and sea fleets. At the time of this invasion, Russia argued that the people living in these parts of Ukraine were predominantly Russian speakers and considered themselves to be Russian, not Ukrainian. Though this is partly true, the invasion was seen by the West as an unacceptable use of force and occupation.

Surprisingly, these actions were “condemned” by western allies such as NATO, but Ukraine received no support on the ground. To this day, Russia occupies Crimea and the eastern part of Ukraine.

Ukraine is an ally to the West and has been trying to become a member of NATO, but so far, this has not happened. This week in particular, Ukraine is fighting further aggression from Russian troops on its own.

President Biden has taken two actions this week: He sent two U.S. ships into the Black Sea and he expelled Russian diplomats from their posts in the U.S. These are actions that escalate tensions between the United States and Russia so much that, if we had still been in the Cold War Era, we might literally be fearing for our safety.

Imagine a U.S. conflict with Canada. The U.S. disputes a border and enters the southern section of Ontario by force. This conflict is not resolved through diplomacy, and U.S. troops continue to occupy that part of Canada – despite the “condemnation” of international alliances and other countries. Putin sends warships to the St. Lawrence River, laying in wait. This seems preposterous, and yet it is exactly what we are doing now. Perhaps we should fear for our safety.

DARCY ETKIN

Gloversville

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