Russia-Ukraine War


Samantha Epner, Staff Writer

On February 24th, 2022, Russia officially invaded Ukraine. Despite the fact that Putin’s ultimate goals have not been made clear to the public, and there are talks of peace, the two countries remain in conflict.

When Putin first invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, his original plan was to overrun Ukraine by taking the capital Kyiv and stopping the Ukrainian government from joining the NATO alliance. NATO is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization; the treaty is a military alliance between 30 countries, two of which are North American countries while the other 28 belong to Europe. Ukraine has continuously tried to join NATO but has been repeatedly denied. All 30 countries have to vote them into the treaty unanimously for a country to join NATO. Countries do not want Ukraine to join NATO because they would then have to defend Ukraine against Russia and its forces.  

Russia was unsuccessful in overtaking Kyiv and has now moved to try to take over the eastern and southern parts of Ukraine. The Russian army is trying to take over the prominent regions in that area and create a land corridor between those regions and Russia. 

Even though Putin’s military plan is to take down the Ukrainian government, Putin’s broader goal is to ensure Ukraine’s neutrality. Putin claims that Russia and Ukraine are just one people and that Ukraine was never a stable and independent country. President Zelensky of Ukraine officially declared that Ukraine understands that they would not be a part of NATO and has given peace proposals. Russia’s response to this declaration is that Ukraine was becoming sensible but that it was not a breakthrough so that the war would continue.

Since the start of the invasion, it is said that 4 million Ukrainians have fled to neighboring countries, and at least 6.5 million people have been thought to have fled their homes to other parts of the country or have taken trains to other countries. The UN and other organizations are helping in relief efforts by providing money, food, supplies, and beds, to the 12 million people who are unable to leave their homes due to the damage of the war; as well as transportation points throughout Ukraine for displaced people. The UN reports that Poland has taken the most refugees but countries such as Romania, Moldova, and even Russia are accepting refugees as well; most refugees are being let into the countries, however it has been reported that people of African descent who live in Ukraine are being denied entry and told to walk. To be considered a refugee, a person has to be a citizen of Ukraine or live there legally. Refugees in bordering states are set up in reception centers if they do not have someone to stay with and are given medical care and food. In order to qualify as a refugee, one has to be either a citizen of Ukraine or living there legally.

The EU (European Union), which is made up of 27 member states, has given Ukrainians the right to live and work anywhere within the 27 member states for up to three years and will have access to medical and social care and schools. It has been confirmed that over 1200 people have died and multiple people have been injured, but the actual number of deaths has not yet been verified. Russian soldiers have shot dead at least ten people and continue to bomb and destroy schools, hospitals, and other establishments in Ukraine, creating fear and panic.

Officials do not yet know where the war will go or how or when it will end. But, as the battle continues, many reporters are finding the truth about what’s happening and getting reports from witnesses to shed light on what’s happening to the citizens of Ukraine and Russia alike.