The War In Ukraine

Since the end of February, the world has been captivated by the horrors occurring in the Eastern European country of Ukraine. On February 24th, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to invade Ukraine on the pretense of taking the more ethnically-Russian regions of the country such as Donetsk and Luhansk. Ukraine and Russia have a very complicated and lengthy relationship reaching back to when they were both in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or the USSR. The USSR was established on December 30th, 1922, initially consisting solely of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. Before its dissolution in 1991, the Soviet Union consisted of a total of 15 member countries located in Euroasia. Post Soviet Union, Ukraine has had quite a tumultuous existence including blatant antisemitism, unreliable elections, and loss of territory due to annexation by Russia. In 2014, amidst the removal and exile of President Yanukovych, who was very closely aligned with Putin and Russia, the majority ethnically Russian Crimean peninsula was ordered to be annexed by Putin. The peninsula, which is still globally regarded as Ukrainian, was just the beginning of Russia’s expansion into the country, as is evident by recent events. 

Initially, primarily eastern Ukraine (which is right on the edge of the Russian border) was being shelled, however, quite quickly Kyiv (the nation’s capital) and Kharkiv (the second largest city) were closed in upon by Russian troops from the North. At the time of writing, 2,500 individuals have been killed by the events, including approximately 600 civilians. Ukraine, who is not a part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), despite attempts to join, has received much political and economic support worldwide, with an emphasis on President Volodymyr Zelenskyy who has refused an evacuation offer from the United States and has risked his life by remaining in Kyiv despite numerous assassination threats and attempts. 

The actions taken by other countries, including the United States, against Russia include economic sanctions being placed on individuals of power (oligarchs) and the sending of military aid and economic aid to Russia. Since Russia is the primary source of oil for Europe and, as of 2020, the United States, the sanctions have hit the United States and European quite hard. In conjunction with the already present inflation in the U.S., gas prices have risen to $5.50 in some states. General public sentiment remains in support of the United States actions against Russia in support of Ukraine, but the majority of Americans wants to keep the U.S. military uninvolved in the fighting, to prevent a conflict on a much greater scale. 



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