Russia and Ukraine: Everything you need to know


Story by Leilani Mourier, Messenger Staff Writer

“We can’t even gather up the bodies because the shelling from heavy weapons doesn’t stop day or night,” stated Anatol Fedoruk, the mayor of Bucha, a Ukrainian suburb. “Dogs are pulling apart bodies on the city streets. It’s a nightmare.” This glimpse into Ukrainian lives offers a sense of realism to a somewhat non-sensical war. 

Although some believe this war to be new there have actually been rising tensions since February 4th, 2014, although the pot boiled over when Russian forces invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. The source of this tension is drawn back to 2014 where pro-Russian outbreaks plagued Ukraine, following this Russian Soldiers infiltrated essential government positions in Crimea, leading to Crimea’s annexation of Russia. Putin attempted to justify this invasion, explaining,”Everything in Crimea speaks of our shared history and pride. This is the location of ancient Khersones, where Prince Vladimir was baptized.” Towards the end of 2014, an unmarked Russian vehicle entered Ukrainian territory, this provoked the Ukrainian government invoking an implicit war. 

Accusations of invasion against Russia were denied repeatedly, and battle ceased at the dawn of 2015. A pact was then created detailing agreements for both Russia and Ukraine, which was signed by both leaders. Strained silence followed the short years where both countries maintained peace. However in 2019, the build-up began again. In Russia’s still present desire to capture and maintain Ukrainian land, troops slowly were acclimated into Ukraine and tensions began to rise. The accumulation of Russian troops at Ukraine’s borders continued throughout 2020-2021. NATO, an international military alliance, then accused Russia of threatening invasion. 

Putin then fought this accusation by criticizing the inflammation of NATO, and questioning Ukraine’s right to exist, stating that Ukraine was originally created by Soviet Russia and its culture was ridden with Russian roots, even “connected with us by blood, family ties.” On the 21st of February, Russia identified two self-proclaimed separatists states and three days later, troops were immediately sent to those areas. Putin announced that he was executing a “special military operation”. The Word Health Organizations claim that there have been at least six attacks and 406 casualties. With all the chaos invoking this war, any help is appreciated, and here’s how you can assist the people of Ukraine.

The Fight for Right foundation supports those with disabilities by providing food, shelter, and supplies. This institution ensures that the disable citizens of Ukraine aren’t left out of the philanthropic efforts. If you’re looking to provide assistance for the women of Ukraine, the Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights provides funding for female, transgender, and non-binary activists in the country. Through this financial support, they can access communication channels and medical supplies. There are many sites out there that provide fundraising links that go towards Ukraine’s cause, however support can come from many different outlets.

Attending a local protest provides a voice for those in Ukraine and sends an international message, while presenting opportunities to meet those who stand for the same belief. In addition to this, supporting a Ukrainian journalist uplifts their voice, to do this you can access a go fund me page supporting the Ukrainian media. Lastly, you can write to your congressperson, address their views on the Russia and Ukrainian war and share yours. As former president Barack Obama states, ”People of conscience around the world need to loudly and clearly condemn Russia’s actions and offer support for the Ukrainian people.”