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Putin orders forces into Ukraine 

Conflict between Ukraine and Russia, male fists – governments conflict concept

After months of tension building between Russia and Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared the start of “a special military operation,”an official declaration of war with Ukraine. Russia has launched bombs into the major cities and airports across Ukraine including Kyiv, Kharkiv and Odesa beginning Thursday, Feb. 24 before dawn. 

The smoke from mass destruction remained across the Ukrainian sky and the demolition could be seen across major Ukrainian cities after attacks from Russian troops. According to USA Today, at least 57 Ukrainians have been killed and 169 more were injured so far.  

The Ukrainian citizens are terrified, some taking videos of explosions only miles away from their homes. Entire buildings and areas are wiped out by Russian missiles and Russian troops have moved across the Ukrainian border for a week now. On the southern border, at least 18 Ukrainian military officials have been killed in an attack outside the city of Odesa. The city of Kyiv was attacked with rocket attacks and bombs causing a cloud of darkness across the nation.  

The United States is now warning the rest of the world that Vladimir Putin is planning on a full invasion of all of Ukraine, not just the borders.  

“Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war. And now he and his country will bear the consequences. ”, President Biden said. “Putin’s aggression against Ukraine will end up costing Russia dearly economically and strategically. We will make sure of that. Putin’s action portrays a sinister vision of the future of our world when nations take what they want by force…This aggression cannot go unanswered, if it did, the consequences for America would be much worse. America stands up to bullies, we stand up for freedom. This is who we are. The United States will defend every inch of NATO territory with the full force of American power.” 

But why?  

There has been   an ongoing dispute over Ukraine’s goal of joining NATO (a defense alliance containing over 30 countries) and now Russia is demanding Ukraine to not join NATO. Ukraine however shares borders with the European Union and Russia, but with such close ties to Russia as a former Soviet republic, Russian culture is highly prevalent there.  

In early 2014, Ukrainians suddenly removed their pro-Russian president from office and annexed the Southern Crimean Peninsula. There has been fighting between the Ukranian government and the Ukrainian rebels since that conflict, which has taken more than 14,000 lives.  

Russia however is pertinent on Ukraine never joining NATO. Moscow accuses NATO countries of “pumping” Ukraine with weapons and accuses the U.S. of keeping tensions high. To sum it up, Russia wants NATO to go back to how borders were pre-1997, which simply isn’t going to happen on the watch of NATO.  

Putin claims his country was betrayed when the West promised in 1990 NATO would not expand, including combat units being pulled out of Poland and Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and no missiles to be deployed in countries like Poland and Romania. The crash of the Soviet Union, made this promise no longer permissible. 

So, what does Russia want with Ukraine? Simple, they feel they have a historic claim to it. Putin refers to Russia and Ukraine as “one nation” and has labeled Ukraine’s current leaders as running the “anti-Russian project.” By claiming Ukraine as Russia’s, this includes everything Ukraine has to offer such as taxes, oil and more land.  

Biden is promising the U.S. will not be sending troops to Ukraine, however, The United States and the United Nations are putting economic sanctions on Putin until he pulls out of Ukraine. This will blockade some products from getting in and out of the two countries.  

These economic sanctions would include cutting off Russia’s largest bank and largest companies from any Western financial businesses and markets and put restrictions on of any technology imports to Russia. This would impact the country’s ability to compete in the global economy in the weeks, months and years ahead.  

President Biden has authorized the sending of troops to Eastern European countries that are part of NATO, but ensured no U.S. troops would be involved in Russia and Ukraine. Biden did confirm the U.S. would defend its NATO allies if Russia moved beyond Ukraine’s borders.  

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