What’s Happening in Ukraine?

Around 5 a.m. Ukrainian time, explosions could be heard near major Ukrainian cities including the capital, Kyiv.

Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war.

These words opened President Biden’s address to the American public today after Ukraine was invaded by Russia in the early morning of Feb. 24.

Putin’s actions are reminiscent of the tactics of Adolf Hitler who invaded neighboring countries in an effort to expand–actions that led to World War II.

Putin is territorial and wants to take back Ukraine as part of Russia. He even called the eastern part of the Ukraine “ancient Russian lands,” and said that Ukraine has no right to exist.

Within Ukraine, there are two regions that are aligned with Putin and are considered “pro-Moscow.” These regions are the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR). Putin said that he sent “peacekeepers” to help the people in these two breakaway regions.

In response, President Biden stated that he is authorizing strong sanctions (financial penalties) against Russian banks as well as new limitations on what can be exported to Russia.

“This is going to impose severe costs on the Russian economy, both immediately and over time,” he said.

Biden held a virtual meeting with other G7 leaders on Feb. 24 to discuss the invasion. Established in 1975, the 2022 G7 leaders are leaders from the United States, the UK, Canada, France, Japan, Italy, and Germany.

Cutting Russia off from the International Financial System will strongly affect the country’s economy as well as the funding of its military.

“We will limit Russia’s ability to do business in dollars, euros, pounds, and yen to be part of the global economy,” President Biden said.

Biden has said that he will not send U.S. troops to Ukraine to fight; however, troops will be defending NATO. U.S. troops that are already stationed in Europe are being deployed to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania.

Some in the U.S. are critical of Biden’s actions, including former president Donald Trump, who said that he supported Putin’s attack.

At a Mar-a-Lago fundraiser on Feb. 23, he called Putin “pretty smart” in “taking over a country for $2 worth of sanctions.”

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that he thinks President Biden isn’t doing enough.

Biden’s address to the country today outlined his plans, and tried to assure Americans that he intends to keep the U.S. safe while also standing up to Putin.

“I know this is hard and Americans are already hurting. I will do everything in my power to limit the pain the American people are feeling at the gas pump. This is critical to me,” he said. “But this aggression cannot go unanswered. If it did the consequences for America would be much worse. America stands up to bullies. We stand up for freedom.”

Russia has taken control of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the site of the 1986 nuclear disaster. Ukraine’s nuclear agency has recorded an increase in Chernobyl’s radiation levels following Russia’s takeover. The agency said the increase was caused by Russian military artillery.

Anonymous, well-known international hacker-activist group, has declared cyber-war on Russia. In a tweet on Feb. 24, @YourAnonOne tweeted that the group was “officially in cyber war wit Russia.”

During a televised address on Feb. 25, Russian President  Vladmir urged Ukrainian military forces to overthrow their current leaders, calling them a “gang of drug addicts and neo-Nazis.” 

Poland has sent military aid to Ukraine, the first publicly acknowledged aid since the Russian invasion.


Editor’s Note: This story will be updated as events continue.

Last Updated: 2:11 PM 02/25/2022