Russia and Ukraine have been rivals since the 11th century. The two countries remain divided by culture, history, language, geography, and even religion. This rivalry has led to no fewer than 20 wars over the past thousand years. A few years ago, Russian President Putin moved to re-establish control over Ukraineā€”a tactic he’s used before when dealing with former Soviet states. 

However, this time it came at a heavy price for the Russian economy, destabilizing eastern Europe and setting off a chain reaction across the world financial markets. What began as a dispute within Ukraine became the biggest geopolitical power struggle in Europe since the end of World War II. 

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A new phase

The Russian foreign minister stated that Moscow’s campaign in Ukraine is entering a new stage. In an interview, Sergey Lavrov commented, “the operation is continuing, and another phase of this operation is starting now.” His statement follows Ukrainian statements that Russia launched an offensive attack on the country’s eastern heartland, Donbas. The minister emphasized that the operation is aimed at the “full liberation of the Donetsk and Luhansk republics.”