Russia’s Invasion on Ukraine – What You Need to Know

Russias Invasion on Ukraine - What You Need to Know

Carson Carpenter, Co-Editor in Chief

On Thursday, February 24, 2022 Russia launched a full-scale invasion on the sovereign country Ukraine. The invasion came after months of speculation and build up of Russian troops around the Ukrainian border.  The move stems from Russia’s invasion and siege of the Crimean peninsula in 2014. Crimea was originally annexed by Russia in the 18th Century, but was given to Ukraine in the 1950s. Just a few years before it was invaded by Russia, Crimea was found to be rich in oil reserves. This is significant because it would’ve allowed the Ukrainian government to bolster its economy drastically, and it would almost guarantee them the ability to join The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Before the discovery of the reserves, Russia ran a pipeline through Ukraine to transport gas to the rest of Europe for which they paid Ukraine. With their own oil reserves, it would eliminate not only their reliance on Russia for natural gas, but the rest of Europe as well. The aforementioned invasion of Crimea, however, prevented this from happening. Russia succeeded in their siege of the peninsula, and was ultimately annexed by Russia in March 2014.

Fast forward eight years later, and the world is witnessing another Russia-Ukraine conflict, but the stakes are higher in this one. The world is on high alert, watching closely as the potential of another world war looms larger each day. It isn’t clear what Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intentions are, but so far he’s threatened nuclear war on any country that intervenes in the ongoing conflict. This attack hasn’t gone without its repercussions for Russia. The Russian economy has been tanking in a downward spiral since their attack on Ukraine has started. They have been hit with sanction after sanction from numerous countries all around the world. These sanctions are weighing heavy on the economy, forcing Russia’s central bank to raise its interest rates to 20%, a number that could continue to rise in the coming weeks. The list of sanctions are growing by the day, with the U.S. set to impose perhaps its biggest one yet in banning all Russian imports.

The economy is not only where Russia is facing challenges. The invading military has been met with stiff resistance from Ukrainian military. Over two million citizens have been displaced, but many have stayed behind to help the fight in any way possible. Those that have stayed behind have taken up arms and devoted their homes and businesses to help in any way possible. The Russian military has been struggling in its siege of big Ukrainian cities, but it is still being aggressive in its pursuit. So far, the Russian military has control around the border the two countries share, Crimea and some land north of it, and the Russian breakaway states of Donetsk and Luhansk, which declared their independence from Ukraine in 2014 and 2015 respectively. Miles long convoys have been advancing toward Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, and the cities of Kharkiv and Mariupol are fighting to keep Russian forces from fully overtaking their land. Both cities are under intense fire and shelling. Recently, Russian Forces bombed a maternity and children’s hospital in Mariupol. Russia has also admitted to using thermobaric bombs. These bombs don’t violate any international laws, but they are quite controversial. These bombs that essentially suck all the oxygen out of an area. They are quite lethal, and they suck all the air out of the lungs of the people in the blast radius. Even worse however, the bombs are capable of rupturing lungs and other internal organs, and the pressure set off by their explosion can even crush a person to death.

So far an estimated over 15,000 lives have been lost, which is a number that will only continue to climb as this conflict continues. Not only have thousands of lives have been lost, but over three million people have been displaced, forced to flee their homes, possibly to never come back to them and seek refuge in other countries. Poland opened up its borders and so far has welcomed over one million Ukrainians refugees. In addition to the thousands of lives lost and the millions displaced, roughly around $120 billion in damages have occurred.

A children’s hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine after being bombed by Russian military forces.

Russia has been ruthless and inhumane in their unprovoked attack of Ukraine. Ukraine is a free and sovereign nation that’s been independent since the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. Is Putin trying to reestablish the Soviet Union he’s previously spoken of? There’s almost no telling what direction this will go, but it’s becoming apparently clear that it won’t end good. Putin’s iron fist on Russia is closing by the day. So far he is working to isolate Russia’s internet from the rest of the world. Mix in the nationalist propaganda the Russian government is pumping out to justify this so called “liberation” of Ukraine, and this is a brewing recipe of disaster for Russia and its citizens.

It’s unclear if Ukraine can withstand the growing invasion, but if they are, they will need as much help as they can get. The following organizations are accepting donations and helping in many different ways: UNICEF, Voices of Children, Sunflower of Peace, International Committee of the Red Cross, Save the Children, CARE, and the UN Refugee Agency. Even if you don’t have any money to give, you can pray if you’re religious, or even offer your support to any of the people affected by this crisis via social media. There is no place in this world for war, and the innocent people of Ukraine do not deserve this. Anything at all helps, and the only way we as people can get through this is being together as one.