The Russia Ukraine Conflict
April 1, 2022
To stop Ukraine from joining NATO, a European- North American- Eurasian military alliance of 30 countries, Russian President Vladimir Putin deployed 150,000 troops near Ukraine’s borders. The Russian soldiers are closing in on the major cities in Ukraine causing over 1 million Ukrainians to flee the nation. Ukraine puts the civilian death toll at over 2,000 people killed. Russia claims that 500 of their troops were killed in battle, while Ukraine states that 9,000 Russian soldiers were killed reports CBS News.
The Biden Administration confirmed that 200 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles were delivered to Ukraine to defend themselves from the Russian offensive. The US and NATO turned down the request to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine fearing an escalation to a larger bloodier worldwide war.
The U.S., European Union, and the UK cut several Russian banks from the SWIFT financial messaging system. The Russian ruble has dropped its value by 30% against the U.S. dollar since the invasion.
In the early days of the invasion, Russia claimed to have destroyed Ukraine’s air defense systems as explosions were reported in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Odessa on February 23. CBS reports that the Russians have taken control of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy released a defiant statement on his Instagram account stating, “Ukrainians will never give up their freedom and independence to anyone. Glory to Ukraine!”
Russia attacked Ukraine in 2014 after pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted from office reports the BBC. Since then the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has led to 14,000 deaths. The US is not sending combat troops to Ukraine, but has sent Ukraine over $3 billion in military assistance reports CBS News.
Putin recognized the independence of the pro-Russian Ukrainian self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. This move allows for Russian troops to move into Ukraine, pushing the nations involved closer to war. On Feb. 12 the US evacuated its embassy staff in Kyiv to Lviv, 50 miles from Poland.