What Russia’s invasion of Ukraine means for the US

As Russian forces mount a full-scale war on Ukraine, the West must prepare for the larger implications that this further invasion will have for the international community. Not only is Ukraine an aspiring democratic state with Western ambition, it is also a committed partner to the US. This further invasion could have a ripple effect on international order: If the sanctity of borders is no longer respected, that paves the way for future land grabs and violations of state sovereignty. What will prevent Russia from invading other democracies in Eastern Europe?

Spirit of America Stands by Ukraine, Then and Now

Spirit of America has been working with the US military and US Embassy to support Ukraine’s independence, freedom, and security since 2015. We have invested over $174,000 in projects aimed at building our partner’s capacity and deterring Russia’s aggressive agenda. From renovating a music school damaged by pro-Russian separatists to providing three transmitters to a Ukrainian radio station combatting Russian propaganda on the front lines, we have always stood with Ukraine.

In response to Russia’s attacks on Ukraine, Spirit of America has launched a Ukraine Emergency Fund to provide urgently needed assistance for Ukrainians fleeing their homes. We will continue to work alongside our military and diplomatic partners to help the Ukrainian people stay safe, defend their homeland, and uphold democracy. We hope you will join us in our commitment to helping the people of Ukraine stay safe so they can live a free and better life.

Ukraine-Russia Conflict Background

In 2014, Russian troops invaded and ultimately took control of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. Since then, Russia has continued to provoke turmoil within Ukrainian borders in an effort to weaken the former Soviet state, making it more vulnerable to annexation. From backing separatist forces in Eastern Ukraine to large-scale cyber-attacks, the effects of which were felt by the West, Russia has been indirectly priming Ukraine to fall for nearly a decade.

Source: Office of the United Nations of High Commissioner for Human Rights

Beginning in 2021, Putin began amassing military forces along the Ukrainian border, indicating that an invasion is imminent. With footholds in Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Georgia, and with the goals of growing a larger sphere of influence over Eastern Europe, many analysts view the Kremlin’s aggression toward Ukraine as the first step in restoring the Russian Federation to its former Soviet-era glory.

What does Russia’s large-scale invasion mean for the US? And what are the larger implications for the international order?

Implications for the US and the International Order

There are a number of things at stake with Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine: First and foremost, the sovereignty of our Baltic and other Eastern European partners. Putin has long held aspirations to restore Russia to its pre-1991 borders. It is easy to speculate that this could be the first in a series of land grabs and the sovereignty of other satellite states could be in jeopardy. Should Putin achieve his goal, there would be a major shift in the global balance of power, posing a threat to the US. And if Putin were to invade NATO countries, NATO member states would be forced to retaliate in what could quickly become the next world war.

Source: The Map Archive

These land grab attempts have other implications for the international order: If Russia further invades Ukraine with minimal consequences, that sets a precedent for future violations of state sovereignty and the sanctity of borders. If the US and its friends and partners allow Russia to invade and ultimately annex a sovereign democracy with few consequences, what is to prevent other countries from doing the same? Will China feel free to tighten its grip on Taiwan – a burgeoning democracy that the US has a vested economic and diplomatic interest in? Will territorial borders no longer mean anything and we will revert to an age of expanding empires and spheres of influence?

Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine is not just an assault on Ukraine, but an assault on all democracies.

“Once the principles of sovereignty and self-determination are thrown out, you revert to a world in which the rules we shaped together over decades erode and then vanish. And that emboldens some governments to do whatever it takes to get whatever they want. That’s why governments and citizens everywhere should care about what’s happening in Ukraine. It may seem like a distant regional dispute…but at stake are principles that have made the world safer and more stable for decades.”

– US Secretary of State Antony Blinken

Spirit of America is the only 501(c)(3) non-profit working alongside US servicemembers and diplomats to improve their safety and success. In 2018, Congress recognized us as a partner in “supporting the missions of deployed United States personnel around the world.”
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3033 Wilson Blvd.
Suite 700
Arlington, VA 22201

Follow Us

No endorsement of Spirit of America by the US Department of Defense, Department of State, or US personnel is intended or implied.

Registered 501(c)(3). EIN: 20-1687786

“You don't have to wear a uniform to serve the nation.™” and “Patriotism without politics.™” are trademarked by Spirit of America.

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