Vladimir Putin is the current president of Russia, and has been for over twenty years. Ukraine pulling towards Europe would take Ukraine out of Russia’s sphere of influence. This frightens Putin, as it would mean he would lose access to the valuable resources in Ukraine, as well as put European nations right at the border of Russia. His rule coming to an end, Putin is attempting to hold his name in history forever and expand Russia. He is doing so by unjustifyingly attacking an innocent country by creating a false narrative about Ukraine.
Putin invaded Crimea, a small peninsula on the southern portion of Ukraine in 2014. He began threatening war on Ukraine in late 2021, with the goal of preventing Ukraine from joining NATO. As Ukraine is on the border of Russia, it becoming a part of NATO would interfere with Putin’s future plans of invading and controlling the mainland of Ukraine. During this difficult time, Ukrainians need our support. Many Blind Brook students, including myself, have family in Ukraine, and spreading awareness of what is happening in our homeland is critical in order to show our support to Ukrainians.
February 23rd is Russia’s national celebratory day for their military. Early morning of February 24th, 2022, the first attack with a missile was made at Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv.
Out of the twenty four oblasts (provinces), eighteen were attacked by missiles from Russia, in the first week of the conflict. Missiles have been bombing Ukrainian cities, as well as the personal homes of the citizens. The Russians conducted over two hundred fifty missile strikes on cities, as well as military units inland. At this time, Ukraine has not returned any attack on Russian ground, and continues to defend themselves by military action on their own territory. No one expected Ukrainians to put up such an impressive defense to a much stronger enemy.
The world unified rapidly in their response to support Ukraine by putting stringent economic and financial sanctions on Russia, as well as speaking publicly about the issue.
Sanctions included a freeze on substantial Russian cash reserves, as well as cutting off Russia’s bank from the SWIFT messaging system. This has already resulted in a significant devaluation of Russian currency. European countries and the United States provided military intelligence to Ukraine to fight Russia more effectively. Russia’s president attempts to evade responsibility, by making his actions out to be something other than what it is, an uncalled for invasion. Putin also fails to inform the young soldiers drafted to the Russian army the reason for their attack. His effort has grown beyond keeping Ukraine from NATO, his current mission is to reassemble pieces of the former Soviet Union. Ukraine is an independent country which chose democracy, and has been violently attacked for this decision. Ukraine fights for its independence, international laws, freedom and most basic human rights. Supporting Putin is the equivalent of allowing an aggressor to land grab and invade another independent state without incident. At present, the world stands united on this issue to protect democratic values and avoid a third World War. If you’d like to help support the people of Ukraine, contribute to the Ukrainian Red Cross at: https://redcross.org.ua/en/donate/.