Russia Launches Military Invasion Against Ukraine

Jasmine Judge, Design Editor

On Feb. 23, Russia declared war on the eastern European nation of Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a series of airstrikes and explosions on the cities of Kyiv, Kharkiv and other regions of Ukraine while making a televised announcement of the unsolicited military assault.

While Russia continues to call itself a democratic republic, President Putin has sat in the executive office for 22 years. He has dictated nearly all the aggressive military attacks Russia has made since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Though world leaders recognize Putin’s repeated efforts over the past decade towards invading Ukraine, most saw these threats as bluffs.

Since declaring its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, the Crimean Peninsula was said to be Ukrainian territory. The Russian invasion of the region in 2014 posed a direct military threat against Ukraine, and the two nations have been in armed military conflict ever since, with the events of Wednesday night reflecting the disagreement reaching its breaking point.

Ukraine became a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization shortly after its declaration of independence, in order to protect itself from further threats against Ukrainian freedom. NATO consists of 30 countries dedicated to guaranteeing peace and security to its members. Putin made a statement targeted towards these allies of Ukraine who may attempt to interfere in the conflict, saying it would lead to “consequences they have never seen.”

NATO will be holding a summit on Friday to discuss how to handle the situation and affirm solidarity in the alliance.