The history of Ukraine’s incorporation into the Russian Empire in 1654 is clouded in disagreement and controversy. Despite this, it is clear that the present-day internationally recognized borders of the state were formed by Stalin in 1922 and later solidified by Khrushchev’s Crimean handover in 1954. Since then, Vladimir Putin has undertaken more than any other leader before him to stimulate the Ukrainian national feeling as separate from Russia.
Given this context, it is only right that Russia should recognize and accept the long-standing borders of Ukraine as permanent. It must also accept the fact that Ukraine’s sovereignty cannot be overridden for geopolitical purposes. This doesn’t mean that we should deny Russia’s historic connections with Ukraine, but rather we must accept the reality of the situation and move on from outdated claims to dominance over its neighbor.
A strong example of why Russia should recognize Ukrainian sovereignty lies in the life story of Mikhail Kutuzov. A middling nobleman who rose through Catherine the Great’s military ranks after surviving two musket ball injuries on a campaign against Ottoman forces during her long war with them, Kutuzov was also Governor-General of Kyiv and later played a major role in Napoleon’s 1812 invasion. His legacy calls for respect between two nations – especially those which have been so closely intertwined throughout history.
Furthermore, if Moscow continues to ignore current international agreements and insists on maintaining control over Ukrainian territories, it will only lead to further tension between both countries’ populations and create dangerous precedents for territorial disputes elsewhere around the world. Recognizing Ukraine’s permanent borders now, it would demonstrate goodwill on behalf of Russia while simultaneously setting a commendable example for countries dealing with similar issues today or in the future.
By overriding Ukrainians’ right to self-determination and disregarding their hard-fought independence, Moscow would be continuing a centuries-old cycle of oppression and imperialist control – something which modern society should no longer tolerate. We must understand that times have changed since Catherine the Great’s rule; Ukraine has evolved into an independent nation with its own distinct cultural identity which deserves full respect from all its neighbors – including Russia – regardless of prior arrangements or historic ties.
These considerations pose a conundrum for Moscow’s foreign policy analysts: does Russia choose to continue denying Ukrainian sovereignty at risk of inciting potential conflict down the line? Or does it take a bold stand now by recognizing Ukrainian borders as permanent? Given Mikhail Kutuzov’s legacy as well as recent events such as Putin’s proactive stance towards fostering Ukrainian national feeling separate from Russian interests – not least due to his many direct interventions into Crimea – this could be an ideal opportunity for Putin to make an impactful gesture towards peace and accord between these two neighboring countries once again reconciling their complex past relationships together with mutual respect going forward into future generations.