How The Russia And Ukraine Crisis Evolved

Understanding how the attack happened, when it happened, and how it is going right now


Mason Tillott

Moscow, Russia and Kiev, Ukraine side by side.

Mason Tillott, Reporter

When it happened? 

On Feb 24, LHS students were all at home on a snow day. Many students saw the war break out between Russia and Ukraine while watching Tik Tok and other social media, while some of those who watched TV might have had a second to see the massive crisis unfolding that night.

After recognizing the breakaway states of Luhansk and Donetsk, Russia quickly moved troops into the country of Ukraine, officially beginning the war. After the forces of the Russian army were in place, they started their attack.  

How they attacked?

The Russian Army wanted to knock out the ammo dumps, communications, headquarters, and air-to-air missile units of Ukraine. They launched missile attacks on Kiev and other major cities, resulting in few civilian casualties and Ukrainian military casualties in the hundreds. After the initial missile and artillery strikes, the Russian Army proceeded south from Belarus, East from the breakaway regions, and north of the recently annexed Russian Crimea. It was in these initial hours one of the most famous incidents of the war occured. The Ukrainian state border guard garrison of Snake Island, was asked by Russian Naval vessels to surrender. Their response, the Ukrainian equivalent of FU in American. The Ukrainian garrison of Snake Island was then bombarded by Russian naval vessels. This garnered support for Ukraine from other nations who saw the Snake Island troops as brave martyrs. As Russian forces advance into Ukraine, many columns are being hit by the recently imported javelin missile. 

Why they attacked?

The question America, the people of Ukraine, and all of Europe is asking is similar. Why did they invade? The simple answer and the one Russia admits to is, the expansion of NATO. NATO, or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, was formed in 1949 to protect Europe from the USSR, which during the Cold War was a major threat. In 1991, the USSR was dissolved, and the former Russia SFSR became the Russian Federation. After years of widespread corruption under then Russian President Boris Yeltsin who resigned in 1999, Putin took over as acting President in 1999 until 2000 when he became the actual president.

Putin has been president since 2000 only taking a break for four years in 2008-2012 due to presidential term limits, but in 2012, Putin once again became the leader of Russia. He lately has taken the enlargement of NATO as a problem and is threatening any nation that borders Russia that considers joining NATO. Ukraine was one of those nations. Putin used to have control of Ukraine, in 2014 the Iron Maiden protest and coup ousted the then Pro-Russian president, and the same year Russia invaded and annexed Ukrainian peninsula Crimea.

Ever since 2014, Ukraine has feared a invasion from Russia, so they asked to join NATO. Russia saw this as a threat to their country and invaded Ukraine to stop this. But all they have done is inspire other countries to do the same. Two nordic countries that have been arguing about joining NATO are Finland and Sweden. They themselves have also been threatened by Russia and are on the road to NATO membership. As of this moment, the two nordic countries are still non NATO members as well as Ukraine; But there is no telling what will happen in the coming weeks, months, and year.

What’s happening now?

As of this moment, the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky is still in the capital, and reports are saying there are more than 100 casualties having been inflicted to both armies. More than one million Ukrainian refugees have left the country to other countries such as Poland, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia. 

The Russian and Ukrainian government are still at war as of Friday, March 3. We believe that we speak for all of Liberty when we say we hope the war comes to a swift peaceful resolution soon.