Cold War II: Do We Want to Repeat History?
Illustration by Rey Allan Orlanes Jr. (contributor)
Imagine a wall in the middle of a region, dividing both the land and the people. Wherein what’s on the other side will only be a distant idea and the family that we will never be seeing again is considered dead. Saying goodbye wouldn’t even be an option anymore, especially when we end up on the wrong side of the wall.
In 1989, the Berlin Wall separating East and West Germany was knocked down by protesters. It symbolized an iconic moment in history — the fall of the Berlin Wall. This momentous event concluded the Cold War, which spanned from 1947 to 1991.
However, has the tension between the United States and Russia really ended? If not, are the chances of another Cold War possible? Do we really need another wall to be knocked over?
Both the United States and the Soviet Union emerged as major powers at the end of World War II. Sadly, the two had different political ideologies for post-war which split them up for 45 years. The disparity between the United States and Russia has always been evident even after the Cold War where they should have supposedly “ended” it already. Thus, the possibility of a Cold War II occurring is inevitable.
The lack of warmth, though, reached its toll during early 2014 when Russia invaded and annexed the Crimean Peninsula located in southern Ukraine. The peninsula was the gift from a Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, to Ukraine 60 years ago. At the time, the move seemed inane because Russia and Ukraine were both republic countries in the Soviet Union. However, now, it’s the eye of a boiling crisis in the upper east.
Ever since the Soviet Union collapsed, Russia’s Black Sea Naval base docking in Sevastopol, Crimea has been a problem over the years. In 2010, Ukraine agreed to extend Russia’s lease on the area in exchange for a 30 percent decrease in the Russian gas that Ukraine is very dependable on. However, there were some terms that made Russia quite skeptical and hesitant.
In December 2013, Russian president Vladimir Putin stated that a forceful change of power in Crimea brought about by Russia is unlikely. In 2014, Putin first denied about the Russian troops invading in Crimea, but when it wasn’t such a secret to anyone anymore, he admitted to Russia’s participation.
Things started to go downhill for Russia when Crimea supposedly wanted to secede from Ukraine, making the annexation of Russia legal. Putin admitted that he gave orders on February 22, 2014, to annex Crimea. This was way before any supposed referendum was even mentioned.
Then, what does the United States have to do with the said issue?
According to Forbes.com, “The U.S. made a big deal about the rights of ethnic minorities there known as the Tatars, which account for around 10 percent of the population. Of the 4 percent total that said they did not endorse Russia’s annexation, the vast majority — 55 percent — said that they feel that way because they believe it should have been allowed by Kiev in accordance with international law. Another 24 percent said the referendum vote was ‘held under pressure’, which means political or military threats to vote and vote in favor.” Eventually, the U.S. offered its aid and protection to Ukraine.
The involvement of the United States in the crisis increased the severed ties between it and Russia. This added more fuel to the fire that we know as Cold War II. Maybe the fear of atomic bombs and a nuclear war may be more than a fear altogether.
Yes, the Soviet Union may have collapsed and the Communist Party may have disappeared into thin air, but their ideologies and principles are still being carried on. President Obama even pointed out in an interview that Russia has a “Cold War mentality”. Hence, the increased chances of Cold War II.
In an article by Jennifer Cain, 4 Reasons Why There’s Major Drama between U.S. and Russia, she pointed out four main problems that are building up the tension between the two countries:
First, Russia agreed to keep Edward Snowden asylum for up to a year. If this name sounds unfamiliar, he was the one who leaked classified government and surveillance programs of the U.S. National Security Agency. The United States wants him back, but why isn’t Russia agreeing to the terms?
Second, there is an oppression of homosexuals in Russia. In other nations, it may be a problem which is people-to-people. In Russia, however, they actually passed anti-gay laws forbidding displays of affection between the same sex and events promoting gay rights. Of course, since the U.S. recently granted gay marriage over the entirety of America, who wouldn’t think twice about a conspiracy brewing up?
Third, the Olympics in Sochi, Russia was similar to Russia’s weather — cold.
Fourth, the U.S. and Russia are having a hard time on how to respond to the civil war in Syria that has already been going on for two years now. The U.S. was hesitant in getting their hands dirty at first. Recently, Obama has been deploying troops to be of assistance to the Syrian government. Russia, as well, has been giving aid to the Syrian government, but it doesn’t mean though that these two are working together.
This just shows us that there’s really bad blood between the two. Their hostility will always be limpid, feeding the idea of a second Cold War occurring. However, who said that it’s impossible? Or are we so sure that it hasn’t started already?