A Month after the Invasion of Ukraine

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, rages on, now entering its second month


Photo by noah eleazar on Unsplash

A person in Bielefeld, Germany waves a Ukrainian Flag standing in solidarity with Ukraine as the war with Russia continues.

In February, when the Russian invasion of Ukraine occurred, people protested all over the world to stop the war, including Times Square in New York.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s excuse for why he invaded was that modern Ukraine was a threat and Russia wasn’t safe. But people still wonder what the true motive was behind the invasion.

Putin called the invasion a “special military operation,” instead of admitting that it was a war, according to BBC News. Putin’s initial plan was to overrun Ukraine and its government, ending their bid to join NATO, the alliance of 30 countries safeguarding the Allies’ freedom and security.

Putin also stated, “The purpose of this operation is to protect people who for eight years now have been facing humiliation and genocide perpetrated by the Kyiv regime. To this end, we will seek to demilitarize and de-nazify Ukraine, as well as bring to trial those who perpetrated numerous bloody crimes against civilians, including against citizens of the Russian Federation,” according to NPR News.

As this war drags on and Russian victory is less assured, Putin seems to be aiming for a neutral Ukraine, instead of the original plan of overthrowing the government. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, and Ukraine achieving independence, Ukraine has moved from supporting Russia to talks of joining NATO. Putin has been against NATO, and especially past Soviet Union countries joining, because he claims that the fall of the Soviet Union was the “disintegration of historical Russia,” according to BBC News.

An emergency NATO summit was called for Thursday, March 24th, where Poland is planning to formally propose a plan to organize an international peacekeeping mission in Ukraine. Jaroslaw Kaczynski, Poland’s prime minister, proposed this idea when the leaders of Poland, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic traveled to Kyiv. Kaczynski stated, “I think it is necessary to have a peace mission–NATO possibly some wider international structure–but a mission that will be able to defend itself, which will operate on Ukrainian territory,” according to New York Times. Poland is not advocating a deploy of NATO troops on Ukraine, just to support peace efforts. President Biden traveled to Europe on Monday, March 21st, to talk with NATO allies about the invasion and Poland’s plan to organize a peacekeeping mission.

Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, is shown by his wife Olena Zelenska, during his Inauguration in 2019, years before the war with Russia began.

On Monday, March 21st, a missile from Russia struck northern Kyiv. A soldier at the missile site said that there could be more than two dozen people dead in the destruction, though city officials said that at least eight were confirmed killed, according to New York Times. After this devastation, Russia demanded that soldiers who were defending the southern port of Mariupol to surrender on the 21st of March. Ukraine rejected this demand, as the war has reached a stalemate. Russia has turned to deadlier methods, such as targeting civilians. Olena Zelenska, who is President Volodymyr Zelensky’s wife, told New York Times, “The enemy desperately does not want civilians to break through. But they will. Please hold on, dear people, I beg you. I will repeat my husband’s words, ‘Ukraine doesn’t abandon her people.'”

The latest news on the Invasion includes Ukrainian forces retaking a town outside of Kyiv on the 22nd of March, while the Russian forces attempted to demolish cities of Ukraine and force civilians into submission. Antonio Guterres, who was a secretary general at the United Nations, told New York Times that Ukrainians were “enduring a living hell–and the reverberations are being felt worldwide with skyrocketing food, energy, and fertilizer prices threatening to spiral into a global hunger crisis.” At NATO’s summit on March 24th, they plan to discuss potential responses to this war.