Ukraine invasion by Russia


Photo Courtesy of: James Bove, Air Force

US military personnel prepare to send supplies to help Ukraine. The US is also sending about 200 million dollars in aid, but no troops will be sent. “That’s a world war when Americans and Russia start shooting at one another” President Biden told NBC news.

On Thursday, Feb. 24, Russia, under the orders of President Vladimir Putin, began a military operation and invaded Ukraine. President Putin claims that Russians living within Ukraine are being persecuted and wants to help them.  Putin also wants to invade Ukraine to keep it away from NATO because if Ukraine joins NATO, then  NATO’s missiles could be installed in Ukraine along Russia’s borders, according to TASS (Russian News Agency).

“If the aggressive line of our Western colleagues continues, we will take adequate military-technical response measures and react harshly to unfriendly steps,” President Putin said to the Russian Defense Military Board, according to  The New York Times. 

Once the Soviet Union fell in 1991, Russia, the Soviet Union and Ukraine went through ties and tensions. Ukraine’s policy was to keep its independence that was stabilized with the European Union (EU) and Russia.  The relations between the two countries were hostile since the 2014 Revolution of Dignity, which took down Ukraine’s president Viktor Yanukovych and his supporters. Yanukovych turned down a trade agreement with the EU and aligned himself more with Russia. 

 In 2014, with former territories of the USSR joining the EU and NATO,  Russia thought that if Ukraine joined NATO and the EU, then Russia would be cut off from the Black Sea. The Russo-Ukrainian War in 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea, killed about 13,000 people. 

Within the current mainland of Ukraine are two main separatist regions, Luhansk People’s Republic and Donetsk People’s Republic. These two areas are home to separatists that side with Russia and consider themselves part of mainland Russia. Ukraine states that Russia is using these areas to instigate a broader war and seize all of Ukraine. On Feb. 21, 2022, President Putin and the Russian assembly declared these to be independent regions and ordered its military to invade Ukraine and help support them.  

“In the absence of any aggressive action from the Ukrainian defenders, the (Luhansk and Donetsk) occupiers themselves are blowing up infrastructure in the occupied territories and firing chaotically on towns,” the Ukraine military said on Feb. 21. 

Airmen load provisions to be flown to Ukraine. (Photo Courtesy of: Air Force Senior Airman Karla Parra)

Since the invasion, the people of Ukraine have decided to take up arms themselves along with their military to help support their country. The president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenski, has so far stalled the complete invasion of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv.

Russia has already taken over the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant where one of the worst nuclear catastrophes took place. Russia’s army is now a few miles from Kyiv. Russia, on March 6, 2022, continued to bomb Kyiv according to The Guardian.  

Ukraine has also received support from the EU, US and NATO, which have sanctioned Russia severely. 80% of Russia’s banks have been removed from the SWIFT (the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications) system which will take a heavy toll on Russia’s economy.  The US Commerce Department announced Friday it had further restricted Russian access to oil and gas extraction equipment and products needed for refining oil, and to American software and technology that might be used by the Russian military according to TIME.

Nobody knows how Russia is going to respond to the sanctions.  CBS News reports that some people are saying that Russia is going to use Cyber Attacks on the US and EU. They also say Russians might use nuclear weapons against Ukraine. 

The Biden Administration is convincing other countries to ramp up oil production as an offset for not buying Russian oil. They have also released 30 million barrels of oil from the US Strategic Reserve.  

According to The Wall Street Journal, Russia and Ukraine officials have met three times to try to broker an agreement without success.   

“It’s not that I want to talk to Putin,” Zelenski said. “I need to talk to Putin. The world needs to talk to Putin. There is no other way to stop this war.”