A summary of the events leading up to, and since, the Russian invasion of Ukraine

On Feb. 24, at 5 a.m. EET President Vladimir Putin of Russia declared a “military operation” to invade Ukraine. President Putin stated on Russian TV that his plan was to bring those to justice who were involved with bloody crimes against Russian citizens in Ukraine. He emphasized that the West was expanding the NATO alliance military operations near Russian Borders. Therefore, this was the red line that the West had crossed against Russian national security interests. 

Several cities of Ukraine were assaulted by Russian forces including Kyiv. For approximately 80 years, Europe has not dealt with detrimental military assault since WWII. The Russian invasion sparked outrage across the world. The Western allies did deliver their message of condemning Russia’s action of military invasion. Throughout the first whole entire day of the invasion, citizens were already leaving Ukraine for their safety.

The aftermath of the Russian invasion, President Joe Biden condemned the attacks. He emphasized that Russia would pay dearly for their actions. President Biden stated, “Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war. And now he and his country will bear the consequences.” The press conference of President Biden also sought to impose more sanctions on Russia for the occupation of Ukraine. 

According to France 24, some sanctions were already placed two days prior to the invasion of Ukraine. This was due to Russia’s lack of acknowledging two eastern Ukraine territories as sovereign countries. President Biden announced on Feb. 22 that more sanctions would come if Russia invaded Ukraine. Leading to the aftermath of the invasion of Ukraine, the United States and the European Union set forth new sanctions along the way.

The invasion of Ukraine has brought dire consequences for Russian investors, banks and elite government figures who are in support of President Putin’s decision. 

On Feb. 25, the United States, the U.K. and the European Union planned drastic measures to impose sanctions against Russia that would hurt their economy. Russia is a huge exporter of gas to the European Union. About 45 percent of Europe’s import of gas is estimated according to the Columbia Climate of School. 

In retaliation for their invasion, Germany has also halted the Nord Stream pipeline from Russia. This was in immediate response to the Russia-Ukraine Crisis. The European Union Commission announced on March 15 a fourth package of sanctions against Russia. This has hopes of crippling the Russian economy and destabilizing the military funding of the invasion. The purchase of luxury goods and services from Russian elites was banned by the latest round of sanctions. Countries will also no longer be able to import steel or other necessary building products from Russia. 

Despite sanctions from a variety of countries, Russia has continued aggressively to plunge Ukraine to its demise.

Military operations from the Russian Government have killed innocent civilians. These include

women, children, men and the elderly. According to NPR, about nine hundred civilians have

died due to the Russian-Ukraine crisis.

Cities across the country have experienced Russian assault. The second largest city, Kharkiv, has been a target from the Russian military after the capital of Kyiv. A residential complex was hit by an incoming missile days after the occupation of the country. 

Mariupol is another city that the Russian military have bombarded. Mariupol suffered casualties when the Russian military hit a maternity hospital. A release of Russian intelligence allowed for medical staff, children and women to leave before the airstrike hit the building.

Another city that fell under Russian occupation is the city of Kherson. This city is one of

Ukraine’s important key ports of the country. One citizen of Kherson described the Russian invasion of the city. “We are blocked in my city. The Russian soldiers are everywhere, even in the city. They have blocked the city; you cannot pass from one area to walk to another area because they shoot people,” Stanislav said to the press. He has a wife and a nine-year-old child.

The Russian army also bombarded the Mariupol theater. About 1,300 people were inside the building complex. No confirmation of casualties has been released yet. According to the UN Refugee Agency about 3.1 million people have fled Ukraine. 

In addition, President Biden on March 16 called President Putin a “war Criminal” for the first time. President Zelenskyy addressed his speech to the US. Congress. He pleaded a humanitarian No-fly zone on Ukraine’s airspace. President Biden offered an additional eight million dollars for security aid to Ukraine. 

President Zelenskyy challenged Biden to be “The Leader of Peace.” Zelenskyy said that negotiations were in talk with Russia, but he emphasized that Ukraine must still fight for the sake of their country.