Russia and Ukraine: Why is the Russian army entering the territory of its Ukrainian neighbor and what does Putin want?

Russia launched a devastating attack on Ukraine, a European democracy of 44 million people, by air, land and sea.

For months, Russian President Vladimir Putin denied planning to invade Ukraine, but now he tore up a peace agreement and sent his troops across the border into Ukraine’s northern, eastern and southern regions.

Putin faces accusations of threatening peace in Europe as the death toll rises. What will happen in the next few days may threaten the security of the entire European continent.

Why did the Russian army launch an attack?

Russian forces are now advancing from multiple directions towards the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, after the Russian leader has ordered their invasion.
Moments before the invasion began, President Putin appeared on television and declared that Russia could not feel “safe and developed” due to what he described as the constant threat from modern Ukraine.
Airfields and military headquarters were bombed for the first time near Ukrainian cities, including the main Boryspil International Airport in Kyiv.
Then Russian tanks and troops rolled into northeastern Ukraine, near the city of Kharkiv with a population of 1.4 million, from Luhansk to the east and from neighboring Belarus to the north. Russian troops landed in the main cities of Odessa and Mariupol in southern Ukraine.
President Putin has made many false or unreasonable arguments, claiming that the purpose of his military operations is to protect those who “practise bullying and genocide” and seek “disarmament and Nazi ideas” from Ukraine.

There is no genocide in Ukraine, an active democracy led by a Jewish president. “How can I be a Nazi?” said Vladimir Zelensky, who likened the Russian offensive to the invasion of Nazi Germany in World War II. President Putin has often responded to his accusations that extremists have occupied Ukraine since pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych stepped down in 2014. In protest of his rule. Russia responded by seizing southern Crimea and supporting a rebellion in the east by pro-Moscow separatists fighting Ukrainian forces in a war that has so far claimed 14,000 lives.

In late 2021, Putin began deploying large numbers of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border. Then this week he scrapped a 2015 peace deal in the east that recognized the independence of rebel-held areas. Russia has long resisted Ukraine’s move toward EU and NATO alliances. Putin accused NATO of threatening our “historic future as a state” when he announced the military operation in Ukraine.

How far can Russia go?

It is unclear whether the Russian leader is seeking to overthrow Ukraine’s democratically elected government. The Kremlin refuses to disclose this, although it sees the ideal as “the liberation of Ukraine and the purge of the Nazis.” However, by entering his forces from Belarus and near Kharkiv in the north, Putin is sending a signal that he is targeting beyond the Eighth—the war-stricken eastern region. With up to 200,000 Russian troops closing in on the Ukrainian border in the days leading up to the invasion, Putin focused his attention on the east. But by recognizing the two pro-Russian states, Luhansk and Donetsk, as independent states, he decided they were no longer part of Ukraine.

How dangerous is the invasion of Europe?

This is a difficult time for the Ukrainian people.Dozens of civilians and soldiers alike were killed in Germany in the so-called “Putin War”. For European leaders, the invasion caused the darkest hour since World War II, and for military families in both countries, the days ahead will be tough. Although the conquest of a neighboring country received a rubber stamp from the upper house of the Russian parliament, it was not a war prepared by the Russian people. The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, said the size of the Russian military portends an “apocalyptic” scenario when the fighting reaches dense urban areas.

What can the West do?

NATO has put its warplanes on alert, but the Western alliance has made it clear that it has no plans to send combat troops to Ukraine. Instead, Ukraine got advisers, weapons, and field hospitals. Meanwhile, 5,000 NATO soldiers were deployed to the Baltic states and Poland. Another 4,000 may be sent to Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia. At the same time, the West targets Russia’s economy, financial institutions and people:

The European Union and the United Kingdom imposed personal sanctions on President Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

The European Union also wants to restrict Russia’s access to financial markets and isolate its industry from the latest technology and defense, and has agreed broad sanctions, including a vote on Russia’s “illegal resolution” to recognize all 351 members of Russia’s parliament in rebel-held areas. regions.members as independent states.
Germany has suspended approval of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which is a major investment for Russian and European companies.
The United States has said it will isolate the Russian government from Western financial institutions and target high-ranking “elites”.
Britain imposed sanctions on five major Russian banks and three Russian billionaires.

The three Baltic states called on the entire international community to separate the Russian banking system from the System of Express International Payments (SWIFT). This could seriously affect the economies of the United States and Europe.

Saint Petersburg, Russia, will not be able to host this year’s Champions League final due to security reasons.

What does Putin want?

In the weeks and months before Russian forces entered Ukraine, Russia made a series of demands to the West for “security guarantees,” mostly related to NATO.

President Putin partly blamed his decision to attack NATO’s eastward expansion. He has previously complained that Russia “has no choice – do they think we’re going to stand by?” “It is absolutely necessary for us to ensure that Ukraine never becomes a member,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov. Putin’s other basic demands are that NATO refrain from deploying offensive weapons “close to Russia’s borders” and withdraw troops and military infrastructure from member states that have joined The alliance since 1997. This means Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltic states. In fact, Russia wants NATO to return to its pre-1997 borders.

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