The conflict at the Russia-Ukraine border continues as Russia launches new military exercises and stations an estimated 100,000 troops there.

Tom Preston

Ukraine, which shares borders with both the European Union and Russia, has gone back and forth on its politics since the Soviet Union broke up, said Thomas Preston, political science professor at Washington State University. The eastern part of the country tends to be more pro-Russian while the western side tends to be more pro-Western.

“It’s important to understand the situation from Russia’s perspective,” he said. “Russia has done nothing to provoke the West and yet this military alliance exists that continues to absorb countries.”

Although no one plans to send troops, Preston said the solution won’t be simple.

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