Russia Invades Ukraine


On February 24th, 2022, Russian forces, under the direction of President Vladmir Putin, launched a full scale invasion of Ukraine. In addition to a land invasion, Russia also began a widespread bombing campaign, hitting major cities all over Ukraine.


 In response, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declared martial law and started mobilizing military forces, and called on the nations of the world to stand with Ukraine. As the invasion progressed, he and other government officials vowed to remain in Kyiv and defend the city. 


Following the invasion, nations around the world condemned Russia’s actions and imposed strict sanctions, hoping to cripple the Russian economy. Many nations and companies have cut ties with Russia entirely, freezing bank assets and business relations. This has had drastic effects on the Russian economy, which is currently plummeting. 


NATO nations such as the United States, Britain, and Germany have sent weapons, supplies, and aid to Ukraine. In addition, the US has dispatched troops to NATO nations in Europe, such as Poland, should Putin advance further west. 


The invasion followed a months-long buildup of Russian troops along the Ukrainian border, which escalated tensions for months. For more background information, please checkout my article “Russia-Ukraine Conflict Explained”.


The invasion follows a three-pronged approach, with one force advancing south towards Kyiv from Belarus; one force advancing west from the People’s Republics (Russia-backed breakaway states within Ukraine) in the east, and one force advancing north from the Russia-controlled Crimea Peninsula. 


The invasion has created widespread destruction and casualties. As of March 4th, over 1,000 soldiers have been killed on both sides of the conflict (I’m not listing a specific figure here because it varies widely by source. The 1,000+ figure comes from US intelligence). Cities such as Kharkiv have been heavily bombed, and many Ukrainians are fleeing the nation. 


According to some estimates, over one million Ukrainian refugees have fled, and are currently seeking asylum in bordering nations such as Poland. Many children have been rushed out of cities by train to more secure locations. Some citizens have volunteered to take up arms and defend Ukraine themselves. These volunteers defend strategic positions such as roads and bridges.


As foreign nations rushed aid and supplies to Ukraine, Putin retaliated by putting Russia’s nuclear forces on high alert- an action which has been almost universally condemned as escalatory and dangerous. It is likely that this was intended to frighten nations into staying out of the conflict, a tactic which has proven ineffective. 


As a result of the invasion, Ukrainian President Zelensky has requested that Ukraine be allowed to join NATO. Should this happen, NATO nations would be forced to become more directly involved with the conflict, which could escalate the situation. 

It remains to be seen how this conflict will play out, and so far diplomatic talks have proved ineffective. One thing is for certain: this conflict will have lasting effects on the balance of power on the world stage.