By: Hannah Stoughton
Feb. 24th, 2022— Russia has launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine through eastern territory Donbas during the night of Feb. 24th, 2022.
After weeks of uncertainty surrounding Russian President Vladimir Putin’s next move, Russian troops invaded Ukraine overnight.
Since the invasion, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has declared martial law for the citizens of Ukraine, and also cut diplomatic ties with Russia.
Russia has dropped missiles on Ukrainian airports and military bases, attempting to demobilize the Ukrainian military. As of the morning of Saturday, Feb. 26th, Russia continues to move towards Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine.
While Russia’s motive remains unspecified, speculation is growing that Putin aims to overthrow the government of Ukraine and occupy the country. Zelenskyy has called on the citizens of Ukraine to remain firm in their fight. He has encouraged them to not stand down against the significantly larger Russian forces.
While Zelenskyy has called upon the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, to aid in fighting, Putin has reminded Western leaders of his nuclear arsenal. In a news release, Putin told NATO that any attack on Russia will warrant nuclear warfare. Because of this, leaders are choosing to send money and defensive supplies to Ukraine instead of soldiers in an effort to prevent nuclear war. Germany unexpectedly announced that it was sending 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 “Stinger” missiles as quickly as possible, adding to the German defenses that were approved to be sent from the Netherlands.
United States President Joe Biden approved $350 million in arms and defensive supplies from the U.S. stockpiles with another plan for $250 million being debated. The Czech Republic has also approved a plan to send aid and defensive supplies to Ukraine.
Multiple countries have announced that they are no longer accepting flights from Russian airports. Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have decided to close their airports to Russian airlines.
United States officials have estimated that Russia has moved 50% or more of their combat power to Ukraine with over a third of their total power engaging in combat with Ukrainians.
Despite Russia’s claims of only targeting military-affiliated places and buildings, schools, airports, bridges, and residential buildings in neighborhoods have been hit by Russian missiles.
Russia’s actions have spurred mass protests across the globe. Hundreds of companies and foreign leaders have announced solidarity with the people of Ukraine, and social media has begun to spread awareness like never before. Even Russian citizens, who, historically, have been attacked and arrested for speaking out against the Russian government, have begun to organize protests and are making statements throughout social media. A recent protest at the White House in Washington D.C., the United States capital, encouraged Biden to get involved with the Russian-Ukrainian war.
Russia’s motive remains unclear, but as the events roll out, it is important to remain up to date on the war. Understanding these events, the consequences, and the effects of Russia’s actions is key to showing strength and solidarity. To donate to credible charities for Ukraine, go to http://www.charitynavigator.org and search for ‘Ukraine.’