By: Edmund Shryock
For the last 3 weeks, the world has looked upon Russia and Ukraine as their conflict appears to escalate on a daily basis. At the same time, the world looks upon the United States and NATO for a response to the largest conflict Europe has seen since WWII.
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine stems back to 2014 after Russia invaded the peninsula of Crimea (which was a part of Ukraine). Tensions between the two countries escalated to a boiling point in February 2022, as Russian troops were sent from the Russian-Ukrainian border into Ukraine as part of a “Special Military Operation.”
On February 24, explosions were heard throughout Ukraine as the Russian invasion was launched, shocking NATO as countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States warned of serious economic sanctions on Russia if an invasion were to commence.
The Russian invaders met fierce resistance from the Ukrainian military, crushing the idea of a swift victory of Ukraine. This provided hope for NATO as they realized that Ukraine could possibly defeat the Russians. This resulted in numerous NATO countries sending weapons and supplies to the Ukrainians to effectively combat the Russians.
A hero that has emerged through this conflict is the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who has demonstrated bravery and loyalty to Ukraine in its darkest time. He vowed to not leave the capital city of Kyiv despite being advised to. He continues to address his people and the world, even though his city is being shelled constantly and he has been marked as “enemy number one” by the Russians. Zelenskyy’s determination for justice and victory over tyranny offers a hope for the survival of Ukraine.
On Wednesday, March 16, President Zelenskyy addressed Congress asking for the United States’ support by establishing a no-fly zone over Ukraine. This plea came after Russian missile strikes on civilian areas and military facilities. However, the United States is against setting up a no fly zone over Ukraine as it could lead to American fighters being engaged in direct combat with the Russians. This could potentially lead to a full scale global war, with the high possibility of going nuclear.
As the war approaches its first month, the world holds its breath as tensions rise and sanctions continue to be put out against Russia’s economy. Support and aid continue to pour into Ukraine and those affected, as a diplomatic resolution to this war does not appear imminent.