As a result of the military action in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin asked Ukrainian soldiers to lay down their arms. Find out why Russia attacked Ukraine.
The Soviet Union benefited greatly from the presence of Ukraine during the Cold War. The country was the second-most populous and powerful of the fifteen Soviet republics and was home to the union’s agricultural production, defense industries, and military, including the Black Sea Fleet and some of the nuclear arsenal. In the nearly three decades since the dissolution of the Soviet Union and its subsequent independence, Ukraine has sought to forge its own path. Although Ukraine was a former Soviet republic, it had deep social and cultural ties to Russia until 2014.
Since Ukraine’s Kremlin-friendly leader was driven from office by a popular uprising in 2014, the two countries have been embroiled in a bitter conflict. Following the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, Moscow backed a separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine, where over 14,000 people have been killed.
Peace talks brokered by France and Germany in 2015 helped halt large-scale battles, but regular skirmishes have continued, and efforts to reach a political settlement have stalled. Beginning in early 2021, the situation got out of hand. In response to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s request for US President Joe Biden to allow Ukraine to join NATO, Russia expressed its displeasure.
What Caused Russia to Attack Ukraine?
As a result, Russia began sending troops to Ukraine’s border in spring last year for training exercises and increased them during autumn. As of February, Russia had massed more than 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border, according to US estimates, which warned of an imminent invasion.
Putin then ordered troops into the two breakaway regions-Luhansk the People’s Republic and Donetsk the People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine, after recognizing them as independent states. Russia said the troops will be stationed in the regions it has supported since 2014, but they have not yet been deployed.
On February 24, less than two days after the imposition of sanctions, Russia ordered military operations in Eastern Ukraine’s Donbas. Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the objective of the operation was not to capture the country but simply to demilitarize it. Putin urged the Ukrainian troops in Donbass to relinquish their weapons and ‘go home, saying that a fight between Russian and Ukrainian soldiers was ‘inevitable’.