The Russia-Ukraine Conflict: Does might make right?

The most recent world crisis, not surprisingly, involves Russian interest in the Ukraine. Fighting between Ukrainians and Pro-Russian eastern Ukrainian separatists has killed over three-thousand people thus far. According to an Associated Press Reporter, today about twenty-thousand people, gathered in Moscow to protest Russian involvement in Ukraine. Many native Russians find the conflict unnecessary and another excuse for the use of warfare. The United Nations (UN) warned against Russian involvement, but as more troops are deployed by the Russian government, backlash against Russia seems inevitable. However, is backlash justified? Does the UN have the legitimacy of authority to prevent brother countries from settling their own disputes?

Russia’s interest in Ukraine can be chalked up to a variety of things. A majority of people in Ukraine speak Russian and reflect the Russian culture through their political idealism.  Ukraine also contains an abundance of valuable resources including: iron ore, natural gas, petroleum, and methane. Conquering the Ukraine would not only be economically beneficial to the Russian government, but also patriotically practical. In addition, Russia’s reputation as a world superpower will make repercussions for their actions against the UN less severe. Many countries benefit greatly from trade with Russia, and thus would not appreciate another twenty year stint of Russian isolation.

Beyond the petty political and economic reasons behind the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the age-old ethical controversy intertwined within the fabric of social Darwinism remains. Does Russia truly have the right to conquer the Ukraine? The immediate answer is no; however, who’s to say that might doesn’t make right? In the eyes of Darwinists, the answer is clear.

According to the Social Darwinist Theory, the weak were diminished and their cultures are delimited, while the strong grow in power and in cultural influence over the weak. Social Darwinists held that the life of humans in society was  ruled by “survival of the fittest.” In a sense, Social Darwinism is the natural law of progression and advancement of human relations within the sphere of society.

However, I would like to pose a new insight to the ethical debate surrounding the Russian-Ukraine controversy. One may deny Social Darwinism as being necessary in today’s age for societal advancement. Most of the world has the technology, the manpower, and the intelligence to easily survive. Therefore, I do not see the Russian conquest of Ukraine justified by any means. Unless both countries are willing to negotiate to become interdependent, Russia should not be allowed to occupy Ukrainian borders. If anything, a divided Ukraine should devote efforts into splitting the country into two separate entities, allowing the east to join Russia while allowing the west to stay independent.

In regards to Social Darwinism from the prospective of the Ukrainians, the eastern Ukrainians should be allowed to become a part of the Russian nation if they so desire. The cost of splitting the nation would be steep. Ukraine has suffered greatly over the past two decades. The nation’s debt is rapidly increasing along with the percentage of people living in poverty. Civil war will only further plunge the nation into turmoil as well as dismantle Europe’s important link to gas supplied by Russia. European trade will also be impacted. Ukraine is one of the world’s top exporters of corn and wheat. As a result, prices on these products could sky rocket and production could be halted all-together.

From where I stand, Social Darwinism holds no place in a developed, industrialized society where men are reasonable enough to resolve issues through peaceful means. The rebels of Ukraine should leave the country peacefully, without dragging physical land with them, at the expense of the Russian government. Ukraine is a poor country and cannot endure the consequences of further warfare. The UN should continue to monitor the situation and prevent Russian troops from causing more havoc.

With the United States serving as the watchdog of the world, President Obama has made efforts to help the Ukrainians reach a diplomatic resolution. The following is President Obama’s most recent commentary on the crisis as reported by

“In addition to the concrete expressions of support through security assistance and economic assistance, we are going to continue to help to mobilize the international community towards a diplomatic solution,” the President told reporters after meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko at the White House.

Obama praised the Ukrainian leader for his efforts to broker a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine and pass legislation offering more autonomy to the regions there.

“Those were not easy laws that President Poroshenko passed, but I think they indicated his commitment to an inclusive Ukraine, his commitment to a Ukraine that has decentralization and empowers local communities,” Obama said.

Interesting insight from the U.S. president….

Was it not long ago that the U.S. implemented a policy known as “manifest destiny?” Hmmm it seems like we Americans can be a little hypocritical regarding our involvement in foreign affairs.