Russia-Ukraine Conflict


Photo courtesy of Max Pixel

Abhay Ganesh, Newspaper Staff Reporter

Tensions in Russia and Ukraine have been rising over the past few months as Russia has deployed as many as 130,000 troops next to the border.

In order to truly understand this situation, we have to go back to the early nineties, when the Soviet Union broke down. Ukraine had one of the largest nuclear arsenals in the world, and they gave the weapons to Russia, and in return, Russia assured Ukraine that they wouldn’t launch an attack on them. However, in 2014, Russia invaded Ukraine and took over a part of the country known as Crimea. There were no major consequences forced on Russia. 

Russia’s main goal is to regain most, if not all, of the lost territory taken in the fall of the Soviet Union. When it collapsed, the U.S.S.R. split into 15 different countries, which took out a big chunk of the Russian territory. NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) has been accepting lots of countries over the years since the fall. The way NATO works is, if a member of the alliance is attacked, the other members will side with them and grant support.

Lately, Ukraine has been talking about joining NATO. If that happens, Ukraine will have the support of the other countries in the alliance, and it will make it next to impossible to take the country back. So, Russia has started placing troops next to the border in an effort to intimidate NATO into denying Ukraine membership.

When that request was turned down, on February 24, 2022, Russia launched a large invasion of the country. They sent helicopters, tanks, and thousands of troops over the border. Women and children were permitted to leave, while men were forced to stay and help fight the Russian army. Over 9,000 people were killed on both sides, and about 1M people were displaced from their homes.

The Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, is hiding in a shelter somewhere, after discovering that he is on a kill list. This isn’t to say that Ukraine hasn’t been fighting back. The citizens, as well as the army, are fighting bravely to defend their country.

The United States, Germany, and other countries have placed powerful sanctions on Russia. A sanction blocks any good of that type from entering a country. These sanctions have had a major impact, and they have made the Russian currency, the Ruble, crash in value.

President Joe Biden said in an address to the country, “Putin’s war was premeditated and unprovoked. He rejected repeated efforts at diplomacy. He thought the West and NATO wouldn’t respond. And he thought he could divide us here at home. Putin was wrong. We were ready.”

A temporary ceasefire was declared in certain parts of the country on March 4th, 2022, but it was quickly violated, though nobody knows for certain who violated it. Then on March 9th, 2022, a hospital in Mariupol was destroyed by Russian forces, which signifies that Russia is starting to attack civilian buildings as part of a military strategy.

The war is evolving and changing every day, and new events are happening . The war could end this week, or it could spiral into another World War. Either way, there is no real way of predicting what could happen. Only time will reveal what will happen in the future.