2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

Article

May 23, 2022

The Russian invasion of Ukraine[note 9]​ is an ongoing large-scale war episode that began on February 24, 2022 and is part of the Russian-Ukrainian war that began in 2014. It is the largest conventional military attack on European soil since the Yugoslav wars. [note 10] It is generating thousands of fatalities, as well as the largest refugee crisis on the continent since World War II,[24] with more than six million Ukrainians leaving the country and eight million internally displaced persons.[24] Despite the dimensions of the conflict, the Russian government has called it a "special military operation" from the beginning, avoiding the terms "war" or "invasion".[39] From the point From the opposite point of view, numerous media outlets and individuals call the war "Putin's war", personalizing the responsibility for its unleashing on Russian President Vladimir Putin.[42][43] The invasion was preceded by a Russian military buildup on Ukraine's borders that began in late 2021.[44] During this period of diplomatic tension, Putin criticized NATO's post-1997 enlargement and Russian officials repeatedly denied, from mid-November 2021 to February 20, 2022, that Russia had plans to invade Ukraine.[45][46] However, on the following February 21, Russia recognized the Donetsk People's Republic and the Donetsk People's Republic People's Republic of Lugansk, two self-proclaimed states in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, and sent troops to those territories. The next day, the Russian Federation Council unanimously authorized Putin to use military force outside Russia's borders.[47] Around 06:00 MSK (UTC+3) on February 24, Putin announced a "special military operation"[39] in the territory of Donetsk and Lugansk; the missiles began hitting various locations in Ukraine, including the capital kyiv—the Ukrainian border service said that its border posts with Russia and Belarus were hit.[48] Two hours later, Russian ground forces entered the country giving rise to different offensives that as of April began to be concentrated in the East of the country. Thus, between April 18 and 19 —after the Russian withdrawal in the central Ukraine offensive— both parties confirmed that the “second phase” of the war episode had begun, which they referred to as the “battle for Donbas”. [49] Russia claimed that the operation was aimed at the "complete liberation" of Donetsk and Lugansk.[49] The invasion has received widespread international condemnation in the West (mainly the United States, Canada, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Japan), which has imposed severe economic sanctions on Russia. Other countries, such as China, India and Brazil, have avoided condemning the invasion. Both before and during the invasion, several of NATO's thirty member states have provided military support to Ukraine—the organization has made no specific involvement in this regard—[50] as has the European Union, whose measures in response to Russia have gradually increased.[51] Meanwhile, there have been demonstrations in several cities around the world against Russian attacks on Ukraine, where they called for an end to the war and the search for diplomatic alternatives.[52] anti-war protests in Russia since the outbreak of the conflict resulted in thousands of arrests.[53] Peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine began on February 28, but at the end of April they stalled.[54]

Background

Post-Soviet context

The process of the fall of the Berlin Wall, German reunification and the collapse of the communist governments (1989-1991) brought enormous changes in the Eastern Bloc countries, until then members or allies