Russia and Ukraine: News Update

Joshua Einhorn and Ritika Subedi

Around thirty years ago, Russia and Ukraine were one country. The Soviet Union was probably best known for its 56 year long cold war with the United States in which many smaller countries would have proxy wars fought within their borders to lean influence to one side. But the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and ever since there has been disputes over the way the borders were drawn up for the 15 new countries that made up the Soviet Union.

In 2014, Russia invaded the crimean peninsula in response to a new anti-Russia government being elected in Ukraine. Many countries announced support for Ukraine, but eventually, Crimea was annexed by Russia. Crimea is not the only source of tension between former soviet republics. Earlier in 2008, a short war was fought between Russia and Georgia. South-Ossetia and Abkhazia are two breakaway states from Georgia with international recognition that is limited to only Russia. It was this recognition of these two states that led to a war between the former Soviet Republics.

Extra Details + Recent Updates
● Russia’s combat power is now speculated to be less than
90% of the original force that they had in the region which
could signify a weakening of Russia’s assault.
● The Ruble (Russian currency) which had dropped
significantly after the invasion of Crimea is beginning to rise to what it was a few months ago.
● Nato has stated that they will take significant action if Russia begins to use chemical weapons or other illegal war tactics.
● Ukraine has started a counterattack effort within the last few weeks that is rising in effectiveness.
● Outside nations continue to accept refugees and try to mitigate the human cost in the course of the war.
● On 3/24/2022 President Biden has stated that the United States will accept up to 100,000 Ukrainian Refugees and send a billion dollars to Europe in order to help rescue refugees.

The Human Cost:
Take this quote from a Russian Prisoner of war, “I want to tell our commander-in-chief to stop terror acts in Ukraine because when we come back we’ll rise against him.” This war has gotten to the point where even former Russian soldiers can see the flaws. Much more obviously, there are Ukrainian citizens’ lives being destroyed by this conflict. While the attacks have been causing tremendous damage, William Taylor, a scholar at the U.S. Institute of Peace thinks that the Ukrainian military has been performing defense above expectations. A civilian, Misha, described the frightening disaster: “I mean, it’s all just terrible. It’s terrifying. It’s a disaster. It’s like being inside a Hollywood movie about some sort of the end of the world.” This traumatic experience seemed like “the end of the world” and he couldn’t do anything about it. Another civilian, Svetlana, age 33, felt frustrated and scared. She describes the day of the attack as “a real hell on earth for the Ukrainians.” These fearful and terrifying events have left many speechless and traumatized along with Misha and Svetlana. Citizens of Ukraine are on the edge of life and death. With the hope of the help from NATO, Ukraine is still under attack and such individuals are still facing these disasters.