COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Two words that have taken over headlines for weeks: Russia; Ukraine. The world is watching the conflict on the borderline of those two countries. It has some saying the situation is only getting worse.
Russia can be described as a very big and sometimes aggressive neighbor. Despite claims from its leader, Vladimir Putin, that they will not start a war, he continues to flaunt his military force. While the show is alarming, it is not new.
Conflict between Ukraine and Russia goes back to 2014, when Russia invaded Ukraine's Crimea region.
In 2022, thousands of Russian troops are on three sides of Ukraine's border, and war ships are in the waters of the Black Sea.
Keeping a close eye on those heavy deployments of Russian forces is Larry Napper, a professor at Texas A&M University. Before becoming a scholar, Napper spent 30 years of his career in foreign service, representing the U.S. in multiple European countries.
"This is behavior that is really outside the scope of what we would consider to be normal or reasonable relations with a neighboring country," Napper said during a video call with KRIS 6 News. “It's really about power and control. If Russia decides to use those forces, they would probably get the upper hand in the conflict.”
Russia has around 150,000 troops positioned along Ukraine's borders.
A graph from the Council on Foreign Relations' website shows how the two countries' militaries stack up. Ukraine seems to be severely disadvantaged.
Napper describes Russian forces as being much larger, better equipped and capable. But it could be a mistake to underestimate Ukraine. It is a country of 40-million people, some of whom are ready to support their independence.
President Joe Biden will host a call today between transatlantic leaders about continued efforts to restrain any violence and push for peace.