On February 24, 2022, Russian troops invaded Ukraine. This is the first time that a major country in European has been invaded by a neighbor since World War II. There has been much destruction and loss of life. A huge number of people are fleeing Ukraine. This conflict could displace more than seven million people.
Why did Russia invade Ukraine? Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union, a large nation controlled by what is now Russia. In 1991, as the Soviet Union broke up, Ukraine became independent. Ukraine continued to have strong ties to Russia. Many people in Ukraine speak Russian. In 2014, however, Ukraine removed a pro-Russian president from office. Ukraine has been strengthening ties with Western Europe. Russian leader Vladimir Putin views that as a threat.
The Ukrainian people are providing tough resistance to the invasion. The Ukrainian military has called upon people aged eighteen to sixty years old to fight. Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky has joined his troops on the front lines. In fact, when the U.S. offered him the opportunity to exit to safety, he chose to stay and fight, telling the U.S., “The fight is here. I need ammunition. Not a ride.”
The U.S. and its allies will not be sending combat troops to Ukraine. President Biden and other western leaders are working to avoid beginning a war with Russia. However, they have deployed troops to nations near Ukraine. They have supplied weapons and ammunition to Ukraine. Meanwhile, the U.S. and other Western nations are invoking economic sanctions [punishments], cutting off key Russian banks, shutting off airspace to Russian airlines, personally sanctioning Putin, and banning Russian media outlets.
What Can You Do Find out about an organization that is helping people in Ukraine. Ask how you can help them.
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