Russia started a large-scale invasion of Ukraine, one of its southwest neighbours, on February 24, 2022. Early reports indicated that it was Europe’s largest regular warfare campaign since World War II. It was a significant escalation in the hostilities between the two countries, who had been at conflict since 2014. Following the Dignity Revolution in 2014, Russia annexed Crimea, and Russian-backed separatist troops seized a portion of the Donbas in eastern Ukraine, sparking an eight-year conflict in the region.
When Putin Announced Military’s Operation On Ukraine?
On the 24th of February, shortly before 06:00 Moscow Time (UTC+3), Putin stated that he had decided to conduct a “special military operation” in eastern Ukraine.
Putin stated in his speech that there are no plans to invade Ukrainian territory and that he supports the right of Ukrainian peoples to self-determination. Putin also declared that Russia desired Ukraine’s “demilitarisation and denazification” .
The Russian Ministry of Defence instructed Ukraine’s air traffic control units to halt flights, and the airspace over Ukraine was restricted to non-civilian air traffic, with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency declaring the entire area an active war zone.
Invasion Of Ukraine
Explosions were reported in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odessa, and the Donbass within minutes of Putin’s announcement. Russian forces arrived in Mariupol and Odessa, according to Ukrainian sources, and cruise and ballistic missiles were launched from airfields, military headquarters, and military depots in Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Dnipro.
On Feb 24th 2022 at around 6:48 a.m. local time, military vehicles entered Ukraine through Senkivka, near the border with Belarus and Russia.
Root Causes of Ukraine-Russia Conflict
Ukraine has been a source of conflict between the United States and Russia. Russia wants the West to keep Ukraine and other former Soviet republics out of NATO, to stop deploying weaponry near Russian borders, and to withdraw military from Eastern Europe.
Ukraine wishes to join NATO, which has enraged Russia. Russia believes that if Ukraine is permitted to join NATO, the organisation will move closer to its borders.
If Ukraine joins NATO, it will be entitled for assistance from the organization’s members in the event of an external invasion.As a result, Russia fears that if Ukraine joins NATO, it will strive to retake Crimea.
Putin, too, has recently stated his concerns in this area. As a result, Russia insists that the West remain out of Ukraine, as Putin seeks to reestablish Moscow’s dominance throughout the post-Soviet space.
Furthermore, following the demise of the Soviet Union, Russia lost control of 14 former republics, including Ukraine. Putin sees this as unfortunate because both countries shared a “historic and spiritual area.”
The Russian President demands assurances from the West and Ukraine that Russia will not join and that Ukraine will demilitarise and become a neutral state.
Russian Economic Fallout
On Monday, the Russian currency fell around 30% against the US dollar after Western nations moved to bar some Russian banks from the SWIFT international payment system and to limit Russia’s use of its massive foreign currency reserves. When Russia’s central bank intervened promptly, the currency regained ground.
People who are concerned that the sanctions will cripple the economy have been going to banks and ATMs for days, with reports on social media of huge lineups and machines running out.
Over the weekend, Moscow’s public transportation administration warned people that using Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay to pay fares could cause issues because VTB, one of Russian banks suffering sanctions, handles card payments in the city’s metro, buses, and trams.
According to economists and commentators, a quick devaluation of the ruble would lower the average Russian’s standard of living. Russians continue to depend on a wide range of imported goods, and their prices are projected to rise.
Earlier in the day, in his first State of the Union speech, US President Joe Biden vowed to make Vladimir Putin “pay a price” for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In announcing that Russia will be barred from its airspace, Biden stated that the Russian president will face a “wall of strength” in Ukraine.