The Russian invasion of Ukraine is raising serious international concerns

Brave Ukrainian citizens stand up to the Russian threats prior to the invasion.

Aljazeera

Brave Ukrainian citizens stand up to the Russian threats prior to the invasion.

Throughout the history of the United States, there have always been strenuous tensions between Russia and countries that are a part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). These tensions aren’t limited to NATO, though; Russia and its neighbor, Ukraine, have had disputes throughout history, as well. However, within the past few weeks, the issues have come to a head. Russia, which wished to destroy the democracy in Ukraine, officially invaded the country on Feb. 24. 

With 190,000 Russian troops on the border of Ukraine awaiting the order to invade, for many, it was only a matter of time before Putin gave the command. Ukraine is surrounded on all sides by Russian forces, including on the border of Belarus to the northwest. The first missiles were launched into the capital city Kyiv and a city near the Russian border, Kharkiv. These two cities are currently under attack, with dozens of civilians and soldiers killed and many more injured.

Predictably, the citizens of Ukraine are begging for the unprovoked attack to stop, yet will bravely stand their ground in order to maintain their full independence and democracy. Surprisingly, on the other hand, many Russian citizens are also against the invasion. While there are certainly both supporters and opponents of Putin’s decision, those in favor of peace believe that the war is only to distract the public from more local problems, which should be the top priority in their eyes.

I spoke last night to President [Volodymyr] Zelenskyy of Ukraine, and I assured him that the United States, together with our allies and partners in Europe, will support the Ukrainian people as they defend their country.”

— Joe Biden

Not all of the Russian troops have come in with violent intentions, though. There are certain peacekeeping troops that have been sent into the disputed area known as Donbas because it contains two Russian breakaway nations, Donetsk and Luhansk. Thus far, they have remained peaceful, but it is unknown whether they will remain in such areas. 

The United States has not joined the war considering that Ukraine is not a member of NATO, though the country has helped out with NATO-related issues. U.S. President Joe Biden has stated that the United States will be ready to defend any NATO country if it is invaded, but will not be lending direct military assistance to Ukraine. Despite this fact, Biden has stated that he is in support of Ukraine and acknowledges that they were attacked unprovoked. In contrast, Biden has addressed the fact that they will be imposing severe sanctions on the Putin-led country of Russia.

Biden’s hesitancy to join in on the conflict is not unfounded; Putin has made an implied threat that he will resort to nuclear options if Western countries become a part of the fray. Alongside this cause for concern, cybersecurity experts are preparing for the worst as cyberattacks are a significant part of the Russian arsenal. Assaults on the U.S. power grid could have detrimental results, and avoiding such disasters is crucial.

Although the terror on the faces of the innocent civilians is a poignant sight, the troubles that could befall the rest of the European continent if the war expands out of Ukraine is another unsettling consideration. It is still up in the air of which direction this most recent newspaper-dominating headline will go; some believe that many are overreacting and blowing the situation out of proportion, while others are bracing for their personal lives to be impacted.