Ukraine War

My students in HIST 384 History of War since 1500 at Northern Illinois University are following the developments in the Ukraine War, which relates directly to the themes we are studying this semester.

Russian rocket launcher destroyed in fighting around Kharkiv, Ukraine. Photo: Reuters

I have opened an optional Discussion Forum this week for NIU students who would like to discuss the Ukraine War and consider the comparative history of war.

My personal website and blog already includes links for websites analyzing the Russian invasion of Ukraine. One of the websites that I highlight is the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a think tank specializing in the comparative study of war.

The ISW’s maps and analyses of the Ukraine crisis and Russian invasion are being used by many major news media. Here is ISW’s latest update on the Ukraine War:

I will be posting additional information on my personal website soon.

My students will definitely be discussing the Ukraine War in HIST 384 History of War since 1500 throughout the rest of the semester and during the last week on current conflicts and the future of war.

A Russian military build-up on Ukraine’s borders created the Ukraine Crisis (November 2021 – February 2022), but this crisis grew out of political tensions and unresolved strategic concerns involving Russia and Ukraine stemming from the end of the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union.

We can discuss many political, military, strategic, economic, and historical factors that have contributed to the current conflict.

The Maidan Revolution in Kyiv in February 2014 ousted a Russian-backed government in Ukraine, provoking a Russian annexation of Crimea and support for Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine (Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic). Since 2014, Ukrainian military forces and Russian separatists have repeatedly clashed, and pro-Ukraine and pro-Russia militia groups have fought a low-intensity conflict in eastern Ukraine. We might consider whether state or non-state armed actors have been more important in the civil conflict in Ukraine from 2014 to 2022 (prior to the Russian invasion of last week)?

For an overview of Ukrainian and Russian history, see NPR’s report:

United States military intelligence issued a series of warnings of a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Institute for the Study of War, a major think tank specializing in war studies issued its own warning of a probable Russian invasion on 18 February:

“Russia may launch an attack on Ukraine on Saturday, February 19, 2022. The attack would likely begin with an air and missile campaign targeting much of Ukraine to decapitate the government and degrade the Ukrainian military as well as the ability of Ukrainian citizens to prepare to resist a subsequent Russian invasion. US and allied governments have been warning of such an attack for some days, pointing to the size of the Russian forces concentrated on Ukraine’s borders. …”

Russia launched a major invasion of Ukraine a few days later, on 24 February 2022.

We can discuss why some nation-states, military organizations, and political groups downplayed the threat of a Russian invasion prior to the outbreak of war?

This entry was posted in Arms Control, Civil Conflict, Civilians and Refugees in War, Comparative Revolutions, European History, European Studies, European Union, Revolts and Revolutions, Security Studies, Strategy and International Politics, War, Culture, and Society. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Ukraine War

  1. Benjamin Rotolo says:

    Hey Professor Sandberg, I had your class for History 420 – The Renaissance last semester. I really enjoyed it and I liked your style of teaching. Do you know if you will be teaching this course (HIST 384) next semester?

    • Benjamin: Thanks for reading the posts on my website. Since I am currently teaching HIST 384 this semester, I probably will not be teaching it again in the Fall semester, but may be teaching a related course on War in Film.

  2. Sylvia Scoggin says:

    If Russia is victorious and defeats Ukraine, will Putin put in a “puppet” regime or will he incorporate Ukraine back into Russia? Will Putin stop with Ukraine if he is victorious? If not, what country do you think will be next on his list?

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