written by Rosalyn brady
On February 24, 2022, the Russian Federation launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, commencing with a barrage of missiles and airstrikes in cities including Kyiv and Kharkiv. Unfortunately, nearly two months later, the invasion is still ongoing, leaving thousands dead, 7.1 million displaced within Ukraine, and 4.2 million displaced outside of Ukraine.
Some questions are yet to be answered: what were the root causes of this conflict? And what was it that caused Russia to make this move?
It can be said that the causes of this conflict are deeply rooted, dating back to the era of the Soviet Union and the Cold War.
After the Second World War, most of Europe was forced to undergo the long road to economic recovery after its devastating effects. The United States and the Soviet Union were left as the world’s only two great powers, and, therefore, as rivals - meaning that the United States wanted to do its best to curb Soviet expansion. America viewed an economically strong and independent Europe as the best way to keep communist influence at bay, so it began to supply aid to Western Europe and, when communism seemed to be gaining traction, to negotiate a security treaty in which if one country were to be attacked, the others were to aid in its defense, which provided these countries a ‘safety net’ against tensions such as the civil war in Greece, communist expansion, or a blockade against West Berlin, the U.S-, British-, and French-controlled part of Germany surrounded by the Soviet-controlled part of Germany, as well as reassurance that a global superpower such as the United States would intervene in case of conflict, providing these countries a great deal of aid and protection. This treaty was called the North Atlantic Treaty, and the signatories are a part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO has expanded to include Eastern European countries, some of them historically part of the Soviet Union, such as Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Romania, and Poland. Since 2008, there have also been discussions regarding Ukraine’s membership in NATO. However, each time this is discussed, Russia has demanded that it be 100% guaranteed that Ukraine will not join NATO, or host any foreign military operations; this has continually been vetoed by the NATO Secretary General on the grounds that nations must move past expansionism and spheres of influence, and that Ukraine and other NATO countries are the ones who have a say in Ukraine’s membership. Due to this, these discussions have stagnated, making no progress.
In late 2021, discussions regarding Ukraine’s membership in NATO resumed, which Russia again attempted to refute. On December 17, Russia unveiled a draft proposal it had for the United States, proposing that NATO renounce Ukraine’s admission and that the United States not build any military bases within Ukraine, which was refuted by NATO out of respect for Ukraine’s integrity.
After weeks of stagnated discussions and renouncement of these demands that Ukraine not join NATO, Russia grew displeased with the constant refusal, seeing Ukrainian membership of NATO as a national security issue as Russia would have a member of an organization meant to curb its influence right on its borders. Angered by this perceived threat, Russia continually threatened an attack on Ukraine if its demands were not met, going so far as to deploy 100,000 military troops.
With Russia’s demands not met, Moscow launched an invasion of Ukraine, under the guise of eliminating ‘militarism’ and ‘extremism’ in Ukraine and ‘protecting Russian-speaking Ukrainians from Kyiv’s oppression’. Thus, on February 24, 2022, the Russian federation launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, commencing with a barrage of missiles and airstrikes in cities including Kyiv and Kharkiv. Unfortunately, nearly two months later, the invasion is still ongoing, and it is hoped that it will soon finish.
Designed by Anneabella Pioquid
Designed by Anneabella Pioquid
RUSSIA'S INVASION IN UKRAINE, EXPLAINED
written by lynne kim
The Russian war in Ukraine is currently one of the most prominent news present in a global context. Despite nearly every country talking about the invasion, not many people know the reasoning behind the invasion and the knowledge to support their discussions.
How It Started
Europe has not had any major conflicts for decades and remained relatively peaceful with one another and kept good relations. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in February sparked tension that suddenly put Europe into a conflict and a break from the peace.
Russia continued the invasion by seizing Zaporizhzhia on March 4th, where one of Europe’s largest nuclear power plants is located. Russia set off a fire in a Ukraine facility, which could have possibly set off a nuclear disaster. After hours, the fire was extinguished and no elevated radiation levels were detected. However, this incident reminded everyone how dangerous the invasion of Ukraine was getting and began to make many people anxious. Russian troops continue to advance towards the capital of Kyiv, and thousands of people are fleeing in case of a possible siege on the city.
In early March, Russian and Ukrainian officials agreed on humanitarian corridors, which are safe zones for fleeing civilians, but did not reach any agreements. Russia’s continued shelling prevented the successful evacuation of Ukrainian civilians. The invasion is now becoming deadly, as thousands of civilians have lost their lives and more than 1.5 million have already fled.
Putin’s Reasoning and its Effects
Putin attempts to redraw the map through the Ukraine invasion. However, the invasion has the potential to set up another possible cold war by a clash of nuclear world powers. Through the invasion, Russia has destabilized Ukraine and terrorized many citizens. It is impacting the inflation rates, and gas prices because Ukraine supplies oil, which links to the global economy as a whole. Despite the numerous negative consequences, Putin’s initial invasion started in the Crimean peninsula, a piece of land in Ukraine, where many ethnic Russians still live. It is quoted that Putin says it was to “ensure proper conditions for the people of Crimea to be able to freely express their will”. However, many argue that such an invasion is a violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty.
How Other Countries are Responding
The United States and its European Allies have responded to Putin’s actions with unprecedented sanctions. As of now, none of the members of the European allies or the US have any intention of sending troops to Ukraine. If the US were to send troops to help Ukraine, the possibility of a nuclear war arises. With the possibility of a nuclear war, comes the possibility of a second Cold War. The United States is neither politically nor mentally ready for a global war, which is why the US and its allies are opting to stay out of the invasion as of now. However, they placed sanctions on Russia to slightly cause obstacles in their economy and functioning without the allies.
How You Can Help
There are many donations to help the citizens of Ukraine. Some organizations have created donations for children, refugees, women, average citizens, or something as simple as donating food to those who are starving. Even the smallest donations can help, so donating whatever is available can be of great help to the people of Ukraine during this time. Here are ways to donate.
HOW YOU, YES YOU, CAN HELP UKRAINE
written by michelle bok
With countless headlines being bombarded with updates on the war, the ongoing event came as a shock to many people, many of whom were not so conscious of the escalating tension between the two nations. In fact, Russia, for a long period, has been hostile toward the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), deeming it a direct threat to the security of Russia. As a result, due to Russia’s uncontrollable ambition, that is to say, greed, countless innocent lives in Ukraine are being sacrificed as Russia wants to rewrite the history of the cold war.
Even in consideration of the current fatalities and destruction, the atrocity that the Russian government can bring is substantial. In contrast to previous years, war no longer consists of merely atomic bombs and arms; rather, with the development of cyberattacks, threats rise, targeting the crucial banking system, water supply, and electric grid that would put people’s immediate lives at risk.
As a response to the critical issues, various organizations and international networks across the globe have immediately been brought to action to support soldiers, women, and children who are most vulnerable to the disastrous effects of the war. However, at times, even when being provided with ample resources and having the burning will to help, people can feel reluctant and often overwhelmed with where to begin. The following information will serve as a stepping stone and guide to contributing to the peace in Ukraine, fulfilling our duties and responsibilities as global citizens.
People in Need
From food packages to the provision of emergency shelters, People in Need focuses on engendering direct humanitarian aid to over 200,000 Ukrainians that are threatened by the war. By donating and supporting their work, donors will play their role in contributing to global safety through secure access to basic resources such as water and women's hygiene products. Donate here.
The International Medical Corps
From the front lines, the agency helps citizens of Ukraine through emergency health services along with mental health support, a standard that is often ignored and ignored in comparison to the idea of safety. Simultaneously, the International Medical Corps also prioritizes preventing the spread of the pandemic that could easily be neglected in wartime. Given that medical supplies in Ukraine at the moment are alarming scarce, those who are interested in the field of health or wish to make this change would be best fit to collaborate with this agency. Donate here.
CARE fulfills its mission as a humanitarian organization by transferring food, hygiene kits, psychosocial support services, and monetary support to Ukraine. Given that CARE international is more widespread and ubiquitous in different member nations, working with this organization may be fit for people who prefer to physically donate their materials through a supply drive in their region. Donate here.
Designed by Anneabella Pioquid
Designed by Anneabella Pioquid
DONATE TO HELP UKRAINE
written by emma ferraro
In the midst of Russia’s substantial violence, the world is standing beside Ukraine and all of the civilians struggling in this horrible war. Many outsiders are looking for ways to help, but with thousands of sources out there describing methods of assistance, it’s difficult to know where to start. Here, I’ll be breaking down some organizations to donate to lend Ukraine a hand in a time of such extensive need. All of the websites linked below contain instructions on how to electronically donate.
Voices of Children is a Ukrainian organization that provides “psychological and psychosocial support to children affected by the armed conflict.” These measures of assistance include mobile psychologists for families and individuals, as well as activities such as art therapy and video storytelling. Children growing up in a state of such immense violence and war need all the support that they can get, and donating here would allow for this support to be provided.
Sunflower of Peace is another Ukrainian nonprofit organization. It is currently raising money to assist by distributing backpacks for paramedics and doctors on the front lines of such a dangerous conflict. Each backpack contains a variety of critical first aid supplies, including bandages, medical instruments, and other means of survival. This organization has been saving lives since 2015 and needs donations now more than ever.
Save the Children is a London-based organization that helps to deliver medical aid to children in Ukraine that is essential to save the lives of the youth that are injured in such violence. It also distributes items like blankets, food, and clothes to Ukrainians in desperate need. According to their website, just $50 “can provide enough food to keep 3 children from going hungry for a month.”
UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is another international organization that provides assistance in the form of cash and resettlement opportunities in the US for Ukrainians seeking refuge. They work with the United Nations and Ukrainian partners to constantly provide humanitarian assistance to those that are struggling. They guarantee opportunities for security whenever they are necessary and possible.
THE CRUX OF UKRAINE
written by umar mohammad
In the epiphany of hollow buildings, swallowed by
hunger, agony, muted in the din
Cold copper foreign, forced, within flesh
Dead alloy bathed in Crim-sin
Holodomor. Bucha. Mariupol. Kyiv.
Dust settles on dust, jaundiced sunlight spills,
Through pock-marked glass, through the mares of the night
The truth doesn’t drown in water
And doesn’t burn in fire.
The crux of newsmanship, the public eye, their
Tears exchange mediums,
condensing into dismissal,
Hearts harden to tedium
Watered till saturated
From the ground shall it grow,
Sunflowers of hope
From the seeds they sow