by Taylor Brown
It’s the latest sign of the diplomatic breakdown between Russia and the West. Russian diplomats who were expelled from the U.S. arrived back in Moscow on Sunday. In the propaganda war, one image President Vladimir Putin didn’t want the world to see was the return of Russian diplomats and families from the U.S. — and they went to great lengths to avoid it.
There has been a struggle between Russia and the West on the global stage since the end of WW2. Many fear that with Putin and Trump at the helm of two of the world most powerful countries, another cold war may happen sooner than later.
The US’s backing of the United Kingdom after an attack on their own soil by Russian operatives is now being seen as chess pay in larger game of East vs. West. Many countries have followed the United States suit, expelling a few diplomats of their own. Yet, where loyalties lie in this capitalist vs. socialist narrative are still unclear.
On Wednesday, March 7th, a nerve agent attack was carried out on former Russian spy Sergei V. Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal. The attack left both hospitalized while another 21 victims were treated for the nerve agent. London was swift to respond to attack, conservative lawmaker, Edward Leigh called the attack a “brazen act of war.” The English government conclusively attributed the attack to Russia, although the Russian government has denied any involvement in the attack. The UK and its allies have taken great measures to hold Russia accountable for its actions and its best to assume that these tension will not cease anytime soon.
The worsening crisis between Russia and the West has already seen a wave of tit-for-tat expulsions. To make matters worse, it seems the Kremlin will retaliate with its on wave of US diplomatic expulsions in the next few weeks.
In recent weeks, the United States, Britain and France launched a series of bombs on Syria in response to a chemical attack on Syrian citizens thought to be the work of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Although, a conclusive UN investigation has not been done. The superpowers were retaliating against a Russian-backed Syrian government. Putin has since condemned airstrike and Assad has denied any involvement in the chemical attack.
It can be surmised that hasty actions like these are the result of a growing divide between Russia and the west. Unfortunately, with the current diplomatic climate more of these assaults can only be expected.