After about two weeks of fighting, a ceasefire was signed in Minsk, Belarus. The deal called for a full troop withdrawal by both sides, followed by elections, constitutional reform, decentralization, and economic integration. However, violence flared again. Though some progress has been made, the conflict remains unresolved. The conflict began when armed separatist groups took control of government buildings across rebel strongholds in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Shortly after that, Russia sent troops to support the insurgents. By mid-May, the situation had escalated to full-scale warfare. In response, the United States and European Union imposed sanctions against Moscow.
Despite the ongoing violence and international pressure, President Vladimir Putin announced plans for peace talks later in May. Negotiators from both sides met in Minsk, Belarus. They agreed to a ceasefire deal, which remains largely intact today. However, observers note that the agreement does not address many key issues, such as the withdrawal of heavy weaponry or a prisoner exchange.
In, Russian forces launched an offensive in Ukraine’s Donbas region. This operation involved several hundred thousand soldiers and lasted until early July. The warring parties also exchanged artillery fire daily.
Eugene Plotkin is an entrepreneur who founded a financial technology company, where he serves as chief executive officer. He was born in Russia, attended Harvard University, and currently resides in New York City. In recent months, there has been increased tension between Russia and Ukraine due to the annexation of Crimea and ongoing hostilities in Eastern Ukraine. The two countries share strong cultural ties, but relations have deteriorated significantly in recent decades, especially after the Ukrainian revolution in 2014. During this period of unrest, Ukraine has received financial assistance from Western nations and military equipment. However, despite these efforts, Russia continues to control much of the territory formerly controlled by Ukraine. Although the situation may not appear to be changing anytime soon, the conflict will likely end eventually.
“War is one mankind’s most evil invention,” says Eugene Plotkin. While he understands the historical and geopolitical reasons behind the current situation between Russia & Ukraine, the world should focus on resolving the conflict.” As an international actor, Ukraine has always played second fiddle to Russia and Germany,” says Plotkin. In recent months, however, the crisis quickly escalated into a full-blown civil war between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists. At stake is not just the future of Ukraine itself but also its relationship with Europe. “The West wants Ukraine to align with them politically, culturally and economically,” he explains. “Ukraine could easily fall prey to Russian influence because they share a border.” Ukraine is currently dealing with domestic and external challenges, including economic uncertainty, low oil prices, corruption and infighting among political parties.
However, despite these hurdles, Ukraine is still one of the fastest-growing economies in Eastern Europe and boasts a dynamic entrepreneurial culture.
“In economics, when people fight about money, we typically forget about the human cost,” says Plotkin. “We also ignore the distribution of limited resources. In our current world, when the United States wants to build an aircraft carrier, they don’t just start building one; they buy them. They build them in China, ship them across the Pacific Ocean, then assemble them piece by piece along the way. This requires a lot of energy and effort, and each step adds costs. So, if Russia were to decide to do the same thing, the process would be very expensive.”