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Ukrainians continue to stand their ground against the Russian forces. The rest of the world hopes for a peaceful ending to this invasion.

Allyn Ransone

 February 21, 2022, the sounds of bombs going off in the distance, people fleeing their homes, a war for a country’s freedom on the rise.

The invasion by Russia into Ukraine has raged day and night since February 21st and there is no definite end in sight.

Looking back

After World War II, the USSR fell into disarray leading to many of the former territories claiming their independence in the years that followed. 

  • Ukraine officially declared its independence on August 24, 1991. 

The animosity between Russia and Ukraine has been clear for the past century. 

  • 2014 Parliament voted to remove President Viktor Yanukovich after bloodshed in major protests. 
  • Days later, armed men seized parliament in the Ukrainian region of Crimea and claimed it as Russia. 

Later, Moscow annexed the territory.

  • In April of  2014, Pro-Russian separatists in the eastern region of Donbas declared independence. 

2021

  • January, President Volodymyr Zelensky petitions for Ukraine to be admitted into NATO.
  • Then in the spring, Russia began massing troops along the Ukrainian border claiming they were just there for a training exercise.
  • November approximately 100,000 troops had amassed near the border.
  • Finally, by December Russian president Vladimir Putin demanded that NATO bar Ukraine from ever joining.

Source: Reuters

This year

Since the beginning of the year, attempted diplomatic talks between NATO countries and Russia have occurred, but nothing has come of them.

On February 21, after many days of threats and shellings of Ukrainian areas near the border, Putin sent ‘Peacekeeping’ forces into Ukraine.

These were not meant for peacekeeping, but instead, an army was used to try to overthrow the Ukrainian government.

Many analysts believed the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, would fall within 48 hours of the invasion, but as of March 10, 2022, this does not seem to be the case.

Major retired Bart Ransone who has a Masters Degree in Defense Analysis and National Security Affairs said, When you look at the Russian military, the majority is a conventional force. 

A conventional military is not designed to fight in an urban environment… they become ineffective.

When you enter the urban environments you have to start ditching the heavier vehicles.

The US learned this during the ground invasion of Iraq.”

MAJ (Ret.) Ransone severed as an armor officer for 16 years.

Ransone then said, “In Urban environments, you have to begin to rely more on infantry which causes your forces to become a lot more vulnerable.”

Repercussions

Countries across the world have seen what is happening in Ukraine and responded with a resolve to show Russia that this is not acceptable.

NATO has begun to send aid to the Ukrainian forces, while they are not sending soldiers, they are sending supplies.

Countries everywhere have made it clear that if Russia steps foot into any NATO country this would lead to a global war.

As of right now, the losses of Russian soldiers far outweigh that of Ukrainians.

According to The Washington Post,  approximately 2,870 Ukrainian troops have been killed and more than 3,500 wounded.

This compares to the estimated 2,000-4,000 Russian troops that have been killed.

On March 6, 2022, the UN reported that 1.5 million refugees had fled Ukraine and the flow does not seem to be stopping.

Loretto junior, Anette Valdés said, “The citizens of Ukraine have had to leave their place of security to exist and develop in safety due to the shattering events in Europe due to Russia’s modern choices. 

 The Ukrainian citizens will continue to fight and succeed for their freedom as they enter countries with safety accepting them without the worry of their nationality. 

It is a concern, and an ongoing crisis that deserves our full attention and cooperation for human rights.”

 On top of the loss of life, countries throughout the world including the UK, US, Germany, and Switzerland, have implemented strict sanctions on Russia, Russian officials, and Putin himself.

This has led to the crash of the Russian stock market and their isolation from global events.

Countries are not the only groups pulling out of Russia, many companies and organizations have removed themselves as well.

Companies such as Visa, Apple, Mastercard, Coke, and Disney have pulled out of Russia in light of these horrific events.

Even sports organizations such as FIFA, UEFA, and the IOC have come out and said that Russian athletes are no longer welcome to play at their events at the present time.

Humanitarian outreach

People everywhere are discovering ways to help the people of Ukraine defend their freedom and find safety.

  • Harvard student, Avi Schiffmann, created a website to help Ukrainian refugees find places to stay once they are safely in another country.
  • Celebrities such as Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, Gigi Hadid, and Leonardo DiCaprio have made or promised to match donations to relief funds.
  • People across Poland have set up stations for food, clothing, water, and shelter near border cities.
  • Polish citizens are leaving toys, winter necessities, and even strollers near the border for the refugees.

As the invasion wages on, the world must wait and see what the fate of these countries is and how far each is willing to go for their cause.