Russia and Ukraine: need to know information


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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy chose to stay at the frontlines in Kyiv, Ukraine to help defend his country from the Russian invasion. Zelenskyy assumed office in 2019 after former president Viktor Yanukovych was removed due to an “inability to fulfill his duties”.

As most of the world is aware, Russia began its invasion of Ukraine on February 24; the countries have a long, intertwined history which in recent years, has consisted of conflict.
“The Russian military has begun a brutal assault on the people of Ukraine without provocation, without justification, without necessity,” President of the United States, Joe Biden, said in his state of the union address on Monday, February 28.
The Russian government has not given any specific reasoning for the invasion however there are a few reasons that people have speculated for the attacks. The first reason is that Russia does not want Ukraine to join NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) which is a treaty among thirty countries stating that if one country is being attacked, they will all retaliate.
“Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said Ukraine’s aspirations to join NATO are a red line and expressed concern about plans by some NATO members to set up military training centres in Ukraine,” world news website Aljazeera wrote.
Ukraine is Russia’s direct neighbor and it serves as a barrier between Russia and NATO countries. Essentially, Putin sees Ukraine’s interest in joining NATO as a threat.
Another reason for the invasion is that Putin wants Ukraine to become part of Russia again. Ukraine claimed independence from the Soviet Union (present-day Russia) in 1991. According to Aljazeera, because the split was so recent there are Ukrainian separatists (Ukrainians that support the Russian government over their own) in some regions of the country; this is how Russia was able to annex Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014.
Russia considers these areas independent and deployed Russian troops to the regions on February 21. Furthermore, Aljazeera states that the Russian government has justified this decision by dubbing it “peacekeeping efforts”. These efforts progressed into a full-on invasion throughout the following days.
“He [Putin] moved more than 175,000 troops, military equipment into positions along the Ukrainian border. He moved blood supplies into position and built a field hospital, which tells you all you need to know about his intentions all along,” Biden said.
The United States government believes that Russia’s attacks are premeditated due to the amount of preparation that Russia seems to have put in. Additionally, the world news website, India Times, stated that tensions between the two European countries have grown since the annexing of Crimea.
Many people have wondered why other countries haven’t shown intentions to defend Ukraine. According to the Biden Administration, this is because Putin alluded to threats of nuclear world war if other countries were to get involved.
However, while other countries haven’t sent troops to aid Ukraine, the United States and several other countries have sent weapons and additional supplies. Another way several countries have shown their support is by cutting off trade with Russia.
“Today, I’m authorizing additional strong sanctions and new limitations on what can be exported to Russia. This is going to impose severe costs on the Russian economy, both immediately and over time,” Biden said.
Biden stated that the U.S. has also cut off Russia’s largest bank from the United States financial system and has also blocked four other major Russian banks; this means that all Russian assets in the United States will be frozen. They will not be able to access their funds in the USA.