Russia vs. Ukraine

Russia vs. Ukraine

Kylie Richardson

As you may or may not be aware, under Vladimir Putin’s rule, Russia has been invading Ukraine for over a month. As a brief summary, according to the BBC, “The Russian leader’s initial aim was to overrun Ukraine and depose its government, ending for good its desire to join the Western defensive alliance Nato.” The Russian military’s main goal was to work its way into Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine where they will invade Belarus in the north, south, and eastern parts of the country. For a while now, Ukrainian leader, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has made numerous attempts to push back Russian control attempts, but bombings, shelling, and invasions continue. 

But, why is Putin doing all of this so suddenly? The Russian leader has made several claims that the Ukrainians and Russians are “one people” (The Conversation Website). To simplify this, Putin is basically saying that older brother Russia needs to be in charge of younger brother Ukraine…forever. Now imagine your older sibling saying the same thing, but rather than them peacefully telling you that they’re older and they want to be in charge, they tackle you. That’s basically Putin’s strategy. Through war, not peace, he hopes to gain control over different territories of Ukraine. He also does not want Ukraine to join Nato. Nato is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization which is an intergovernmental military alliance between countries of the world. The BBC lists that Putin “demanded that Nato turn the clock back to 1997 and reverse its eastward expansion, removing its forces and military infrastructure from member states that joined the alliance from 1997 and not deploying “strike weapons near Russia’s borders”. That means Central Europe, Eastern Europe and the Baltics.” 

How has all of this affected the Russian and Ukrainian citizens? There are some parts of Ukraine that are fortunately untouched by Putin and his army. Putin has taken control of several major Ukrainian cities such as Chernihiv, Mariupol, and Kharkiv. There has been a strict no-fly ban on most Ukrainian men aging from 18 to 60 years old. Additionally, public establishments have been destroyed by Putin. Establishments such as maternal homes and children’s schools have been immensely damaged. Citizens of Ukraine have been ushered to bomb shelters, have been split from their families, innocent soldiers and citizens have died, and many people are forced to leave their homes with little to nothing left. Many citizens have fled, many are seeking refuge in Poland and other countries they can escape to, and many are unwillingly trapped in a country that Putin won’t let up.

The entire situation between Russia and Ukraine is extraordinarily tragic and scary. If you are interested in helping the people of Ukraine, please donate clothes, canned foods, and any supplies that can help the citizens of Ukraine that have been left with nothing because of Putin’s out-of-control desire for power and control. CARE is a foundation that goes towards raising funds for its Ukraine Crisis Fund, which will provide immediate relief/aid including water, food, hygiene kits, support services, etc. The Ukraine Lifeline offers several different dropbox locations seeking non-perishable foods, thermal clothing, and women’s hygiene products.