Putin launches militarized attack on Ukraine

The ongoing issue is predicted to be one of Europe’s most stressful and significant conflicts

Due to the attacks, gas stations, border crossings, buses, roads, and railines have faced masses of people as they are trying to protect themselves by leaving Kyiv and the country.

Photo courtesy of BBC under Creative Commons License

Due to the attacks, gas stations, border crossings, buses, roads, and railines have faced masses of people as they are trying to protect themselves by leaving Kyiv and the country.

Updated on March 15

  • Missile attacks have been launched on areas in Kyiv, including hospitals and residential areas. 
  • According to the United Nations alliance, around 13,000 have been killed in this conflict. Among this number, 3,393 civilians have died.
  • Multiple companies are pulling out of Russia including McDonalds, Starbucks, and Netflix.
  • In retaliation to Russia’s invasion, the US has imposed a multitude of sanctions on Russia. Most of these sanctions are targeting banks and the circulation of money.

What is happening?

  • Run down: Russia threatened to invade Ukraine to defend the Russian speakers and because Ukraine wanted to join NATO. Then Putin started to assemble troops around the border and created a facade that they were just practice exercises. Later, Russia started sending troops into the rebel regions of Ukraine and then a full on invasion started to occur. 
  • Even though the independence of Ukraine was recognized by the US in 1991, ongoing protests have been taking place since 2014. In 2014, Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych, who was backed by Russia, was ousted from office after denying the Ukrainian-European Association Agreement which would have established political and economic relations between Europe and Ukraine. In retaliation to his ousting, Russia annexed the Crimea peninsula and then supported rebel regions formed in Donetsk and Luhansk. 
  • During the night on February 23, Russia announced they will invade Ukraine and launch attacks: “We are ready to show what real de-communizations would mean for Ukraine.”

Why is Russia invading Ukraine?

  • Russia recognizes Ukraine and themselves as one collective. Their similar language, culture, and history lends itself to this mindset.
  • When the Soviet Union started to fall, it left Russia in an extremely vulnerable position with limited resources, limited population, and limited opportunities. Consequently, when Ukraine, who shares its eastern border with Russia, mentions joining NATO ( North Atlantic treaty organization, a large alliance of western countries) it threatens Russia’s stability. 
  • Ukraine’s intentions to join NATO and the EU remove Ukraine further from the sphere of influence of Moscow and Russia. 

Important things to know 

  • Many netizens on Twitter and other virtual platforms have shared concerns for what they think might become World War Three.
  • Russia also plans to gain control of the area surrounding the famous, inactive Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

Countries’ stances on the issues

  • On February 24, President Joe Biden held a conference with other G7 world leaders to discuss the ongoing conflict.
  • Officials in Ukraine have shared a political cartoon via Twitter depicting Russian leader Putin as endearing of Hitler.
  • Despite not providing military support for Ukraine, German officials have shared their disapproval of Russia’s actions.
  • The Brazilian president noted his support for Russian and in reverse Putin recognized Brazil as his biggest ally in South America.