Russia Invades Ukraine, Ukraine perseveres

Helena Buli, Editor-in-Chief Reflections Yearbook

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have been increasing for years. Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, has stated that he believes the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a threat to his country, so he stated that Ukraine should be barred from joining. He also has questioned the validity of Ukraine being a country, and began placing troops around the border of Ukraine as early as 2021. Feb. 24 was when Russia officially began to invade Ukraine. According to Putin’s plan, Ukraine would be completely invaded by March 2. He never expected the uproar from his people, soldiers, and the Ukrainian people.

Russian soldiers were informed they would be performing military drills inside Ukraine, and never expected a kill order. Many soldiers texted their families, extremely upset. They were told Ukrainians would accept them with open arms. In the beginning of the Russian soldiers invading Ukraine, if they ran out of gas they would ask citizens if they could spare any.  Russian soldiers are deserting at alarming rates, and those who haven’t deserted yet are refusing to harm citizens. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been gaining fame around the world. He has refused to give up Ukraine easily. Despite being told to evacuate Kyiv, Zelenskyy has stated one of his most famous quotes, “I need ammunition, not a ride.” That means he would prefer to fight for his country instead of escaping to prevent his own assassination. 

At this point in time, Putin isn’t talking to anyone but his inner circle. Photos of him looking gray and bloated are circulating around the internet, and some suspect he has pancreatic cancer and had to have surgery in early February. 

As for Zelenskyy, he has voiced that he would be open to negotiations. “If there’s just a 1% chance for us to stop this war, I think that we need to take this chance. We need to do that. I can tell you about the result of these negotiations — in any case, we are losing people on a daily basis, innocent people on the ground,” he said.

Joe Biden has made a phone call with Xi Jingping, the President of the People’s Republic of China. This regarded mainly Russia and their invasion in Ukraine, however other world leaders have been making negotiations. The inflation in oil is noticeable around the world, and it is currently a goal to decrease inflation. As of now, negotiations are still being worked on in Belarus which is located on the border of Ukraine.

As of now, countries are donating millions of dollars to Ukraine for humanitarian aid. Russia isn’t letting up on its attempt to capture Ukraine, however it is not going as quickly as Putin would like. Ukrainians aren’t going to give up defending their country so easily.