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Ukraine is amidst a revolutionary time, with protests and civil unrest taking hold throughout the country. In this article, Eugene Plotkin, a Russian-born Israeli political analyst and commentator looks at the current situation in Ukraine and what the endgame might be.

The Russian Perspective

In an interview with RFE/RL’s Russian Service, Eugene Plotkin says Moscow sees the conflict in eastern Ukraine as a defining moment in its relationship with the West.

“The Kremlin sees this as a watershed moment,” Plotkin says. “It feels like it has been marginalized and doesn’t have a significant voice in the international community… so this is another chance to show that Russia is a responsible player and has constructive interests.”

Plotkin says there are three main reasons for Moscow’s involvement in Ukraine:

National security concerns.

It believes that the West has mistreated Moscow.

Its quest for allies in an increasingly challenging global environment.

“All of these factors were at play when Russia intervened militarily in Syria,” Plotkin says. “Ukraine is just one example of how Putin feels he needs to take a stand against what he sees as Western aggression.”

The Ukrainian Perspective

According to Eugene Plotkin, there are three possible outcomes for the current standoff in Ukraine: (1) a negotiated settlement that results in some degree of autonomy for eastern Ukraine; (2) a full-blown war with many heavy casualties on both sides; or (3) a Russian military intervention that leads to the annexation of eastern Ukraine. He believes that option (3) is the most likely outcome because Vladimir Putin “sees strength in numbers” and does not want to lose control over a large part of southeastern Europe.

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