Russian Attacks on Ukraine Continue
Wednesday night, Russian President Vladmir Putin authorized a military attack on Ukraine. Explosions were heard in Ukraine early Thursday morning.
Putin launched attacks on Ukraine from multiple fronts: the North, through Russian backed Belarus, the East, which borders Russia, and the South, through Crimea which was annexed by Russia in 2014. In addition to military attacks on Ukraine’s infrastructure, airports, and capital city, Putin aims to cause chaos and confusion by launching cyberattacks on Ukraine’s government websites.
Putin has attempted to justify the invasion of Ukraine by falsely accusing the Ukrainian government of supporting Neo-Nazis and genocide.
Ukrainains are fleeing the country, causing an influx of refugees in countries surrounding Ukraine, like NATO member Poland. The surge of Ukrainians leaving the country means longer wait times at borders to get out of Ukraine.
As of Friday morning, Ukrainian males aged 18 to 60 are not allowed to leave the country and are urged to pick up weapons and fight back against Russian forces. It was estimated that 18,000 guns were given out to reservists in the Kyiv area on Thursday. There is also a curfew in place in Kyiv.
Ukrainians have stepped up to fight for their country and their freedom, using personal firearms and homemade molotov cocktails.
Joe Biden gave a speech ensuring US sanctions against Russia. He explicitly said that US troops would not be deployed to Ukraine, but rather to NATO member countries, specifically Germany and Poland.
Additionally, the US is also imposing sanctions targeting Belarus defense and security industries along with Belarusian individuals for their role in Russia’s attacks on Ukraine.
Leaders of countries in Europe are also calling Putin to stop the attacks on Ukraine.
In Moscow, there are Russian citizens that have been protesting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, an action that could cause them to face fines, or even jail time. This is part of a larger issue in Russia, where people who oppose Putin, such as protestors and activist leaders, are silenced.
Putin warned that countries who interfere with Russia will face “consequences they have never seen.” This can be assumed to threaten nuclear attack on countries who interfere with Russian attacks on Ukraine.
After one day of attacks, the Ukrainian president, Volodmir Zelensky, called on NATO countries to impose harsher sanctions on Putin and Russia.
The United States and the European Union are moving to expel select Russian banks from SWIFT, a global financial system that allows large financial systems to send money to each other.
Russian forces have not yet taken Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. No countries have sent military troops to Ukraine’s aid.