Putin’s War on Ukraine

Isabella Goates, Pawprint Staff Reporter

On Feb. 24, 2022, news sources flashed something somewhat surprising but very predictable: Russia announced war on Ukraine. 

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have always been apparent. During the reign of the USSR, Ukraine was just the western part of the enormous country, but when it split up, pressure arose. After all, the newly formed Russia had just lost much of its land, including trading routes to Europe, which were now in Ukraine. 

Reports from around the world found that Russia had been staging this attack for months, maybe even years. As many as 19,000 soldiers were moved into Crimea, Belarus, Transnistria, and around the border of Ukraine. Then, after a speech from Russian President Vladimir Putin, immediate war was waged on Ukraine. 

With Ukraine’s close relationship with NATO, many people thought that immediate and early confrontation with Russia would occur in Ukraine. However, many parts of Europe rely heavily on Russia’s natural gas product, causing hesitation. Many items people in Europe and the U.S. buy come from Russia, giving it a booming economy, including vodka and parts for vehicles. In worst-case situations, Russia could potentially use this dependency as a weapon, a reason not to become involved. 

Russia’s primary reasons for invading Ukraine are economical. Ukraine provides a large amount of land that could expand into other parts of western Europe. Ukraine was a part of the USSR. Opinions about eastern Europe still technically being Russian are still prominent in some people today. 

With the advancements in Ukraine, Russia has failed to consider and empathize with the civilians of Ukraine. As a result, many families have been separated; others have lost their homes and safety. Ukrainian civilians have been to take up arms and protect their lands, while the brutality of Putin’s initiation to taking over Ukraine continues onward.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine, has agreed to meet with Putin to try and reach an agreement to salvage the remnants of his country. In a speech directed toward the Russian people, he announced, “They’re telling you that this flame will liberate the people of Ukraine, but the Ukrainian people are free. They remember their past and are building their future. Ukraine on your T.V. news and the real Ukraine are two totally different countries. Ours is real.”

Many civilians, Russian and Ukrainian, have been the victims of Putin’s provocations. Soldiers aren’t meant to take over a country; they’re meant to protect their own. By provoking and harassing the people of Ukraine, Putin dehumanizes his own and Ukraine’s civilians, only recognizing the advantages of having Ukraine. 

“This is about society’s right to be safe and people’s rights to live without threats,” Zelenskyy addressed the citizens of Russia. “This is all-important for us and the world. I know for sure that this is important for you too.”