War Like Never Before

A look into the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


   On Feb. 24, 2022, President Putin would approve and commence an invasion into Easteren Ukraine based on humanitarian efforts. Ukrainian citizens have lived with exploding bombs, burning houses and crying children for the past two months. 

History between the two countries

   The two countries have a deep history together and their relationship goes farther than just a shared border.

   “Ukraine was the original core of the Russian state, all the way through the middle ages in Kiev,” History teacher Damon Jasperson said. “Long story short, there is a Ukrainian identity but they didn’t have their own nation state until 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed. Putin thinks that Ukraine should be part of the greater Russian state.”

   Although Putin is trying to grow Russian territory, the reasons for this invasion are muddy. One of these reasons is to build a border between the Russian capital, Moscow, and NATO.

   “He (Putin) is extremely hostile to NATO and Europe in general,” Jasperson said. “He didn’t start off that way, but 20 years later, he is extremely hostile to NATO, the EU, to democracy.”

   When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 Russia lost a significant amount of territory, it had become the smallest it had been in a long time. New nations, such as Ukraine, were created out of the new territory.

   This has caused some Russians to take a nationalist stance on politics. Some, including Putin, want to reestablish a Russian Empire.

   This isn’t the first time Russia has invaded Ukraine. In 2014, Russia seized a southern portion of Ukraine called Crimea. This invasion had reasons of its own.

   “Putin’s annexation of Crimea was very much driven by undermining Ukraine’s energy and gas diversification strategy.” Dr. Frank Umbach said in an article on NATO Review. “For the strategy to work, the Crimean peninsula was of strategic importance. It has vast offshore oil and gas resources in the Black Sea, estimated between 4-13 trillion cm of natural gas.”

Russia’s money trail

   Russia is the third largest exporter of gas, and half of it goes to Europe. However, Americans see impacts in the United States.

    According to the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), The U.S. only imports 3% of its oil from Russia. So why has the U.S seen such a high spike in gas prices?

   Due to economic sanctions the oil market is much tighter. Combine this with growing inflation, and countries are seeing some of the highest gas prices in years. 

U.S. and Europe see the effects

   Although U.S citizens aren’t fighting, they are experiencing mild effects from conflicts across the globe. The invasion could inflate food and gas prices. 

   Russia is a major producer of oil and natural gas and Russia and Ukraine are responsible for 30 percent of global wheat exports. The conflict has sent prices of both higher in recent weeks. 


The fight continues

   Russia has been committing war crimes in Ukraine. The Russian military has been targeting schools, hospitals and civilians.

   “The Russian military has targeted civilian infrastructure including apartment buildings, hospitals, factories, stores, churches, schools, and cultural sites,” David Scheffer said in an article in the Council of Foreign Relations.”

   With over a month into the invasion, Russia has still not taken Ukraine’s capital, Kiev. This was a surprise to many around the world because of Russia’s superior military force.

   According to CNN, Ukraine has 21.8% of Russia’s active troops, 45% of their reserve personnel, 20.9% of their armored vehicles. 9.5% of their aircrafts and 10.3% of their spending. Ukraine is at a disadvantage in all assets. 

   Somehow, Ukraine stands strong. Part of this is because of the lack of commitment in Russian forces. Some may call it “punching with one hand.” Russia also did not send their troops with the correct intel, or supplies for a successful invasion. For instance, Russian tanks are running out of gas and soldiers are running out of food. They are taking food from locals so they can eat.

   The faulty intel provided to the Russians has a drastic effect in their current struggle. They did not expect such strong resistance from Ukraine. On the first day of the invasion, Russia attempted to seize Kyiv’s Hostomel airport. Ultimately they failed to take it. This has been a theme throughout the invasion. 

   Russian soldiers have also been told different claims about their purpose in Ukraine. Many were told they were on a training exercise, and they were not supposed to be in combat at all. Some were told that they would be welcomed as liberators with open arms. This idea has been backed up by Putin claiming that Ukranians are suffering and they are lead by a Nazi, genocide commiting regime.

  Russians have mixed feelings about the invasion themselves. Thousands are protesting and many are being jailed because of it. This suppression of citizens not only hurts the morale of Russians, but also shows the condition of life in Russia.

   Along with outrage in the streets, Russia’s economy has collapsed. The ruble, Russia’s currency, is worth significantly less and prices have inflated. Many can’t get money out of banks and ATMs.

   The Russia/Ukraine conflict is different to any conflict recently seen. The advantages Russia holds over Ukraine doesn’t seem to harm Ukraine’s morale, But the Russian morale has fallen significantly. The winner of this war is hard to predict, but all the world can do is wait. Until then, the fighting will continue.