Russia and Ukraine: A concise summary of the tensions so far
The situation between Russia and Ukraine has worsened over the past month or so. The situation to date stands that Russia has invaded Ukraine and President Vladimir Putin commented that 'operations in Ukraine were going to plan'.
Explosions were reported on Thursday 24th February on the outskirts of the cities Kharkiv, Kramatorsk, Mariupol, as well as the capital Kyiv. This prompted many Ukrainians to form massive queues at supermarkets, ATMs, and petrol stations in an attempt to prepare for weathering a siege or attempting to flee the country.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Joe Biden and the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres have joined other global forces to condemn Moscow's attack, labelling it an 'unprovoked and unjustified' attack and promising to hold them accountable.
To be able to try and understand why Russia has launched this attack on Ukraine, we need to take it back a few years to properly understand what is currently happening.
The conflict surrounds Ukraine's future. It is argued that Ukraine is a larger stage for Russia to be able to state its influence in Europe and the rest of the world.
Russia/Putin demanded to the US and NATO that they stop eastward expansion and essentially deny membership to Ukraine and that NATO stop troop deployment in countries that have joined after 1997, which would essentially cause other issues.
Ukraine is not joining NATO any time soon, and this has been confirmed by President Joe Biden. The core to the NATO treaty Article 5 states that any form of attack on any NATO country is an attack on the alliance as a whole. For example, if Ukraine did join NATO and Russia did attack Ukraine this would mean they had a conflict with the US, the UK, France and 27 other NATO members.
Fast forward to February 24th and Putin launched his full-scale invasion of Ukraine, despite early denying any plans for invasion. So far Moscow has not been victorious in taking over any major cities across the country including Kyiv, the capital—but Putin has indicated he will not back down from taking over the capital.
Putin has been forcing Russian commanders to intensify civilian attacks and this has led to a devastating humanitarian toll and has claimed hundreds of innocent lives. An estimated 2 million people have been left with no choice but to flee Ukraine in less than two weeks.
Hundreds of western businesses e.g. oil companies and fast-food chains like McDonald’s have ceased operations in Russia, due to the current conflict.
Whilst the rest of the world is trying to put together what Putin has torn apart, the peace talks between Russia and Ukraine are not going well. Putin launches more attacks nearly daily, in order to try and take different cities within Ukraine, causing tremendous effects across the whole world as many Ukrainians are trapped from returning to somewhere they once called home.
The UK government are currently offering people money in order for them to take in any Ukrainian refugees. Other countries are offering aids like this in order to help home some of the refugees.
Although the war does not look to be ending anytime soon, we can hope that soon it will be over, and the people of Ukraine can return safely to their home country.
If you wish to help support the Ukrainian people, in their time of crisis, then follow the links below…