Tensions Between Russia and Ukraine Continue as War Erupts

A Ukrainian officer standing by a destroyed building in Kyiv, Ukraine.


Russian President, Vladimir Putin, sent armed forces to invade Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. There have been over 2,000 casualties as Ukrainian citizens evacuate, kindling diplomatic concern internationally about the fate of Ukraine.

The Russia and Ukraine crisis dates back to the USSR. While Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union back in 1922, they became an independent nation in 1991. Despite this, Ukraine maintained ties with Russia because of the cultural similarities they shared. Now, Ukraine’s new leader, Volodymyr Zelensky, declared his intention to join NATO. In response to this , Putin wants to maintain his power, and he firmly believes that Ukraine should rely on Russia. As a result, Putin decided to invade Ukraine as an attempt to restore the control that Russia once had.

The United States is doing what it can to provide aid to Ukraine while also cutting the ties they have with Russia to try to diminish the situation.

“The United States is a part of the NATO alliance so NATO’s response has been severe penalties and sanctions on Russia. We have shut down a lot of key economic connections that NATO countries have with Russia,” Christian Walter, US history teacher said. “We have frozen bank accounts of key Russian leaders, and we’ve stopped Russian airlines from flying over Europe and America. We have also sent military aid and equipment to Ukraine.”

America’s involvement in this dispute has been very limited. While America sides with Ukraine, it is important that Biden and his administration maintain neutrality because of Putin’s unpredictability. There are steps being taken to cut ties and discipline Putin’s actions, so the US is imposing economic sanctions on Russia to inhibit Putin from taking the invasion a step further.

“One of the big things we are seeing economically is that the stock market is struggling. Stocks have been depressed now because they fear the global ramifications of war in Europe and what it would look like,” Walter said. “We’re starting to see gas prices kind of creep up, again, any kind of major war will disrupt the chain of gas and oil flowing around the world.”

Since NATO has decided to impose so many sanctions on Russia, which has negatively affected America’s economy. The US is seeing a decline in stocks as well as an increase in oil and gas prices.

“The Russian people are really suffering right now because of the economic sanctions, and of course [Putin] did the invasion [near Russian land] and the invasion has been anything less than what he would’ve wanted. He thought the Ukrainians would surrender and collapse and he would gain control of the country pretty quickly, so what’s happening now is that his troops are getting bogged down, they’re running low on supplies, and the Ukrainian people are fighting back,” Walter said.

Russian soldiers struggle to remain sustained because of the economic sanctions imposed on the government. Ukrainians have shown that they don’t plan on backing down and actively fight back regardless of the risks it might bring.

“Putin’s [decisions] seem to be escalating now and targeting civilians, which is scary. If Putin escalates, the media will report the attacks on civilians and innocent people which might prompt NATO to do something more severe, which would turn into a world war,” Walter said. “However, I don’t think anyone in NATO wants an actual war with Russia, but we don’t really know what Putin’s endgame is, or what he’s going to do in the future.”

The media documents these attacks, which leads to a mass of individuals growing concerned about what could potentially come out of this war.

“[This situation] is dominating America’s news coverage. Seeing these images is hard, seeing all the devastation going on in Ukraine is hard, but I don’t think it would escalate into World War III. However, Putin right now is acting incredibly unpredictable, his actions really defy logic, like why is he doing what he’s doing because he’s hurting his country tremendously,” Walter said.

Many people around the world fear that this invasion will turn into WWIII. Platforms such as
Tiktok and Instagram have an abundance of videos surfacing that show the invasion happening in the present time. Some Ukrainians live stream what they see and experience. As of right now, it is important that people see the perspectives of Ukrainians and band together to stand with them.

“The biggest thing we could do to show support is if both republicans and democrats came together and stood by Ukraine,” Walter said. “Condemn Russia, offer moral and vocal support for Ukrainians. There’s not a whole lot we can do but just stand with Ukraine and come together and condemn Russia.”