Why is Russia invading Ukraine? Simple guide as UK wades into brewing Putin row

Russia has been gathering troops at its border with Ukraine in what many see as an aggressive move in a bid to invade the former Soviet Union state. The Kremlin has denied any plans to invade its neighbour but President Vladimir Putin has so far built up an estimated 127,000 troops on the border, sparking cause for concern.

President Putin fears that Ukraine will become a member of NATO, pushing it further away from Moscow’s control.

According to the latest polls by the International Republican Institute’s Center for Insights in Survey Research (CISR) in Ukraine, a strong majority of Ukrainians want their country to become a member of NATO and the EU.

When asked which international economic union they would join if Ukraine could only join one, 58 percent of respondents said they would choose the EU.


President Putin claims that Russians and Ukrainians are “one people” and he feels that Russia has been “robbed” as Ukraine adopts a more European mentality.

Last summer the president wrote treatise entitled “On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians.”

In this 5,000 word essay he claimed: “I am confident that true sovereignty of Ukraine is possible only in partnership with Russia.”

It now seems increasingly likely that President Putin will seek to take control of Ukraine by force.

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