On the edge of Europe and thousands of miles from the United States, the relevance of Ukraine extends far beyond its borders.
First and foremost, a Russian invasion would upend the lives of 44 million Ukrainians. But its fate has huge implications for the rest of Europe, the health of the global economy and America’s place in the world.
It would increase fears over the security of other former Soviet countries in Eastern Europe. It would heighten fears over the strength of the post-1989 international order and America’s ability to influence it. And it would risk raising fuel prices across the world.
Here’s how Ukraine ended up at the centre of a global crisis.
Why do Russia, the US and Europe care so much about Ukraine?
Both Russia and the West see Ukraine as a potential buffer against each other.
Russia considers Ukraine within its natural sphere of influence. Most of it…