Why Did Russia Attack Ukraine? On the 24th February 2022, the Russian invaded Ukraine.
Ukraine was a cornerstone of the Soviet Union during the Cold War. It was the second’most populous and powerful of the fifteen Soviet republics, hub of the union’s agricultural production, defense industries, and military, including the Black Sea Fleet and some of the nuclear arsenal. Nearly three decades since the disintegration of the Union, and iits ndependence, Ukraine has sought to forge its own path as a sovereign state. But as a former Soviet republic Ukraine had deep social and cultural ties with Russia, until 2014.
Russia and Ukraine have been locked in a bitter conflict since 2014 when Ukraine’s Kremlin-friendly leader was driven from office by a popular uprising. Moscow responded by annexing the Crimean Peninsula and then backing a separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine, where fighting has killed over 14,000 people.
A 2015 peace deal brokered by France and Germany helped halt large-scale battles, however, regular skirmishes have continued, and efforts to reach a political settlement have stalled. The situation began getting out of control in early 2021. Russia, which had long resisted Ukraine’s move towards European institutions, was miffed with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urging US President Joe Biden to let the country join NATO.
Why did Russia attack Ukraine?
As a result, Russia started sending troops near the border it shares with Ukraine for training exercises in spring last year and increased it during autumn. By February, Russia has massed well over 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border, as per the US estimates, which warned of an invasion any time.
Thereafter, on February 21, Putin ordered troops into two breakaway regions-Luhansk the People’s Republic and Donetsk People’s Republic- in eastern Ukraine, after recognizing them as independent states. Russia said the troops have not yet been deployed but will be “peacekeeping” in the regions, which it has backed since 2014.
In response, on February 22, the US imposed sanctions on Russian-controlled companies, two Russian banks and prevented Russia from accessing Western financial institutions. Other Western allies, including the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and Japan, have also imposed sanctions on Moscow and Germany has stalled its Russia-to-Germany Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project.
Not even two days after the imposition of sanctions, on February 24, Russia ordered military operations in Eastern Ukraine’s Donbass. Announcing a special military operation in Ukraine earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin had said that the motive behind it was not to ‘capture ‘the Eastern European country but just to ‘demilitarize’. Urging the Ukrainian troops in Donbass to give up their weapons and ‘go home’, Putin had said that the fight between Russian and Ukrainian soldiers was ‘inevitable’.