As of now, Russia is funding separatist forces in Ukraine to attempt to conquer and absorb the land. Despite this information being common knowledge, Russia still denies this claim and says that it has no hand in the situation. The U.S. has been acting in a peaceful manner by sending only non-lethal military aid up until this point, but President Obama is reconsidering this policy after seeing the war in Crimea develop over the last few months.
On Saturday (1/31/15), separatists killed 5 Ukrainian soldiers and 15 civilians, and separatist numbers don’t seem to be decreasing by any means. In fact, they have made claims to increase their numbers exponentially to 100,000. Moreover, Reuters recently reported that international observers saw 81 cargo trucks crossing the border into Ukraine, unloading goods, and returning to Russia the following day. Clearly, Moscow’s denial to providing aid to the separatists has no backing.
But what now? The United States and NATO are left with two options: Either leave a nation to be invaded and taken over, or provide military aid to Ukraine and start a proxy war with Russia. The first choice would delay the war retain peace with Russia. However, it would also mean practicing appeasement, the same type of policy which allowed Hitler to rise to power; needless to say, it would result in the infringement of various U.N. policies for nations and people alike. On the other hand, the second choice would call for a much larger commitment and the possibility of provoking Russia, but would be the ethical choice according to international and humanitarian law.
Thus, the United States needs to proceed with caution. The best plan would be to directly confront Moscow verbally, and give Russia one last chance to ensure the impossibility of a peaceful resolution. However, if Putin stands his ground on not providing aid, the United States would have to take decisive action to save Ukraine, and end another World War before it begins.