Russia Invades Ukraine

Photo by palinchak on

Russia’s Initial Attacks

Russia’s assault started early Thursday morning and took place in various parts of Ukraine. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is the largest in Europe since World War II. 

The full-scale assault has shocked many Ukrainians who deemed this scenario as unthinkable. Amid these attacks, the country has declared martial law. 

All males between 18 to 60 have been called to the war effort and cannot leave the country. Ukraine has also distributed firearms to every non-disabled citizen to defend their country.

Russia has launched various airstrikes on military facilities. The Russian Defense Ministry has confirmed it has destroyed 83 Ukrainian military facilities.

The Russian military has also attacked major cities such as Donetsk, Odessa, Kherson, Mariupol, Luhansk, Kharkiv, Sumy, Chernihiv and even the capital, Kyiv.

Russia has shelled parts of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, and The Chernobyl Zone, located in northern Ukraine. The zone, which contains the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, was seized by Russian forces this week. 

According to “credible US reports,” staff is reportedly being “held hostage by Russian forces.”

Russia has failed to capture any major population centers but instead, focuses on critical infrastructures such as the Kakhovka hydroelectric plant. Russia has launched numerous cyberattacks on the country and has yet to seek negotiation with Ukraine. 

The curious case of Vladimir Putin

The Russian president has used outlandish claims to justify a despicable war against Ukraine. Putin has described the offensive as necessary to “denazify” the country. 

Putin’s attempts to paint Ukraine as a violent and fascist government have met much criticism from Ukraine and the international community. Putin’s stance hasn’t wavered, and he has gone on Russian state television to defend his stance.

“The goal is to protect the people [subjected] to abuse, genocide from the Kyiv regime,” Putin said. “To this end, we will seek to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine and put to justice those that committed numerous bloody crimes against peaceful people, including Russian nationals.” 

The Kremlin has fed false narratives to the Russian public to convince its citizens that they were dragged into this war, although Russia has been the aggressor since 2014. The form of revisionist history is insulting to much of Europe, who witnessed the horrors of World War II just 70 years ago.

Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, is of Jewish descent and had family members die in the Holocaust back in World War II. 

The Nazi regime executed three of his great uncles in the 1940s. His grandfather survived those events and lived to tell the tale. Zelensky responded to Putin’s comments via Twitter and said Russia had attacked Ukraine just “as Nazi Germany did.”

“As of today, our countries are on different sides of world history,” Zelensky said. “Russia has embarked on a path of evil. [Putin] is pulling on that thread from history to say that what you had was a neo-Nazi usurpation of power [in Ukraine] in 2014.”

Kyiv, Ukraine on February 25th 2022 in the aftermath of Russian bombings. Photo by Palinchak on

Sanctions on Russia

Various countries worldwide have refused to send Ukraine military support, but have been quick to announce sanctions on Russia. 

The United States, The European Union, The UK,  Australia, Japan, New Zealand and Taiwan have been among the countries to impose massive sanctions on Russia. Russia’s MOEX Index closed down 33% on Thursday, and with more potential sanctions looming, the Moscow Exchange is likely to see severe effects on its economy going forward. 

Germany has also responded to Russia’s aggression by announcing on Tuesday it would halt further work on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project in the Baltic Sea. The pipeline was designed to increase gas flow from Russia to Germany and is one of Europe’s most expensive projects in recent memory. 

However, amid these sanctions, Ukraine calls upon Western nations to ban Russia from SWIFT. SWIFT is a high-security network that facilitates international payments with over 11,000 financial institutions in over 200 countries. The Allied nations have been reluctant to take this step so far as it could critically affect energy exports throughout Europe.

Attack on Kyiv

Based on Putin’s actions so far, it seems inevitable that Russia will seek to overthrow Kyiv’s government and install a pro-Russian puppet autocracy. Russian troops have marched towards the capital, Kyiv, but have been met with heavy Ukrainian resistance. Russian attacks have slowed down on the capital’s outskirts in the last 24 hours. 

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry has told its citizens to turn off all lights at night, stay inside, and prepare Molotov cocktails to defend the capital against the Russians. Air raid sirens have rung out since early Thursday as Russian airstrikes have hit various apartments and homes. 

Many have taken refuge in underground shelters in subway stations. Images that have recently surfaced have shown rather stark comparisons to what residents in the UK’s Capital faced in the early part of World War II. 

Nazi Germany enacted nightly bombing runs for over eight months in the 1940s, and many residents also slept in subway stations to take shelter from the devastating attacks.

Russia’s unprovoked actions against its neighbor have shocked the world and have left many wondering what’s next. The world hasn’t seen a war fought globally in over 75 years, and with a potential war on the horizon, only time will tell how this situation unfolds. 

While this situation in Ukraine continues to develop, we’ll be sure to keep you up to date on the latest information.