Russia 's invasion of Ukraine in 2022

Article

May 28, 2022

Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Prior to the invasion, Russia had long moved its troops closer to the Ukrainian border and held large-scale military exercises, recognizing the independence of the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic in Ukraine and transferring its troops to them. The attack is a continuation of the conflict that began in 2014, as part of which Russia has occupied the Crimean peninsula and armedly supported the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in the war in eastern Ukraine. Early in the morning of February 24, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in his televised speech the start of a military operation. According to Putin, its goal was not to occupy Ukraine, but to “demilitarize” it. He accused Ukraine of systematic genocide of its Russian minority and its regime of Nazism. According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the allegations were false and ridiculous. In addition, in his speech, Putin stressed that any foreign power assisting Ukraine would face an immediate response. Other objectives were Ukraine's declaration of neutrality, ie the blocking of its membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the recognition of the independence of the separatist regions, and the recognition of the accession of the Federal City of Sevastopol and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea to the Russian Federation in 2014. According to British General Richard Barrons, land contact between Crimea and Russia was also a likely target for Russia. On the night of February 24-25, President Zelenskyi of Ukraine signed an order for a general mobilization. Ukraine's armed forces included about 900,000 reservists. After the attack began, it began to seem possible that Russia's goal was not to force Kiev into political concessions, but to replace the entire Ukrainian government with a pro-Russian one. However, with the start of March, a rapid military solution no longer seemed possible to Russia, as the defense of the capital, Kiev, had become fairly strong. In the ceasefire negotiations that had already begun, it did not call for a change of government in Ukraine. According to Mika Aaltola, director of the Finnish Foreign Policy Institute, this was not just a central war, but Ukraine, especially in the middle, was able to move its locally organized forces from one front to another quickly. In addition to the physical events of war and the suffering of civilians, the cyber and media influence under the collective name of the information war has received a lot of media attention, with Ukraine doing much better than Russia in the early weeks of the war. Western countries began to assist Ukraine with arms, money and humanitarian supplies. The war also triggered a refugee crisis in Ukraine, where 8.0 million Ukrainians have evacuated within the country (by May 3, 2022). About 6.7 million Ukrainians have fled abroad and 2.2 million have returned to Ukraine (by May 25, 2022).

Background

The gap between Ukraine, the West supporting it and Russia had tightened towards the end of 2021. In February 2019, NATO and EU membership had been enshrined in Ukraine's constitution, and Russia had sought to prevent Ukraine's political rapprochement with the West. In the early 2010s, Ukraine had moved away from the Russian regime and moved closer to the European Union and the West. However, in 2013, partly as a result of Russian pressure, President Viktor Yanukovych resigned