Russia Invades Ukraine
In the small hours of the morning on Wednesday, Feb. 23, Russian president Vladimir Putin announced a “military operation” in the Donbas region of Eastern Ukraine. However, after explosions were heard in the capital Kyiv and several other Ukrainian cities it became clear that the Russian military was conducting a full-scale military invasion of the country. Immediately world leaders rushed to condemn Putin’s actions. President Joe Biden stated “Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way.” UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron both echoed President Biden in their respective statements on the conflict.
On Thursday, Feb. 24, Biden announced new sanctions against Russia including export blocks on technology, sanctions on Russian banks, and cutting off the fundraising of 13 Russian state-owned corporations. The UK also announced on Thursday the sanctioning of 100 Russian individuals and entities, as well as freezing the assets of a number of Russian banks. Aeroflot, the flagship Russian airline, was banned from landing in the UK and as of Feb. 27 was forced to cancel all flights to European destinations.
On the ground in Ukraine, the situation continues to deteriorate. On Feb. 24, the Associated Press reported that Ukrainian forces had lost control of the Chernobyl nuclear site.