The Beginning of the Russian Invasion

Zakary Robinette

Russia recently launched an invasion on Ukraine, attacking cities and bases as civilians are fleeing the area. The Ukrainian government has said that Russia pushed past the border for a “full-scale war”. This attack on Ukraine is the most aggressive invasion since the Soviet Union’s attack on Afghanistan in 1979. President Putin mentioned Russia’s nuclear arsenal in a conference. The Ukrainian president has said that Russian soldiers attempted to take control of the Chernobyl power plant, the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident. The Ukrainian Ministry has said that if Russia continues the war against Ukraine, another event like Chernobyl could happen again. Explosions were heard from a fight for an airport which led civilians to flee to nearby cities.

Jens Stoltenberg, the chief of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), commented that “the brutal act of war” ruined the peace in Europe. The ongoing conflict has already affected global markets, rising prices, and demand for supplies and oil. From President Putin’s action against Ukraine, some of his allies have already started to distance themselves from Russia. The Ukrainian president has declared martial law and ended diplomatic treaties with Russia. NATO and its allies have not said whether they will partake in the war against Russia, but they have sent soldiers and supplies to western Ukraine while Ukraine begged for defense against the invading Russian army.

The attacks started with several airstrikes and missile barrages. After the strikes, soldiers, tanks, and artillery equipment moved into Ukraine in multiple areas across the border. President Putin said that there is no reason for Ukraine to be a country, but denied his plans to seize control of the country. With many social media platforms showing graphic scenes from the ongoing war to gain attention, it is hard to know which scenes are real and which are outdated and unrelated footage from a different conflict. Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Ukraine’s military chief, said that Ukrainian soldiers were fighting only four miles from the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. The Russian Defense Ministry said that they attacked and destroyed several Ukrainian airbases and other facilities. Certain Russian propaganda frames several Ukrainian government figures as “Neo-Nazis”.

Flight tracking websites show that the airspace over the Russian border with Ukraine is empty while the space around the border is very crowded. Flying over an active warzone is very dangerous because the plane can be accidentally shot down. In 2014, Malaysia flight 17 was hit by a missile in eastern Ukraine during a fight, it killed 298 civilians.

On Wednesday, the US government accused Russia of lying to the press about their pullback from the Ukrainian border. US defense official mentioned to reporters that “the size of Russia’s invasion has not been seen since World War II”. If another World War were to occur, it would take years to form. However, hopefully one would not develop and the conflict will down die into due time, bringing Europe back to more peaceful times.

The US government offered President Zelenskyy extraction from Ukraine, but he refused to leave his country because he wanted to help defend it. Ukraine recently released prison inmates who have military experience to help fight off the invading Russians. The Russian military has started to suffer in Ukraine, running out of food and fuel, proving that Ukrainians are able to stand their ground (for now). According to Ben Wallace, the Secretary of State for Defense of UK, stated that Russian soldiers failed their objectives on the first day of the invasion. NATO declared a no-flight zone over Ukraine to help relief efforts.

Overall, Ukraine is doing a better job at defending the country than people thought, and they will continue to do so. If Ukraine’s persistence continues to stand, military weapons are received, and sanction’s against Russia hit them hard, then hopefully Russia will eventually be forced to withdraw from Ukraine.