Ukraine and Russia Update


Alyssa DeLuco, Contributor

Things are heating up in Europe as NATO members move to support Ukraine in preparation for a Russian attack. Although Ukraine isn’t an official NATO member, its partnership status has driven members to send additional warships and fighter jets to allied countries in the surrounding area.


Russia’s Next Move

As of late, world leaders have made guesses as to Russia’s next move. British intelligence has reported the stationing of sixty Russian battle groups along Ukraine’s borders. Russia’s current position has been described by the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, as a “plan for a lightning war that could take out Kyiv.” These sentiments are shared by many, as the present standing Russia could easily overpower Ukrainian forces. Further, speculation for some has come to a halt as worries for a self-fulfilling prophecy have been raised by European Officials.


Russia’s Perspective

Throughout this ordeal Russia has stated that they are not rallying troops of their own volition, but rather as a response to the west. They say that our deployment of forces and fake claims is to blame for the heightened tensions. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov explained, “Unfortunately, we all live in these aggressive surroundings… This is the reality in which we live.” Peskov theorized that NATO’s “demonization” of Russia, more specifically Moscow, was just to justify their “pointless” deployments. It seems like neither side can cite a motive for mobilizing troops.  


A New Player

While many countries have stated their support for Ukraine in this ongoing conflict, Belarus has been the first to back Russia. Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarusian president, has said that in response to NATO’s deployment of force in the Baltics he will deploy a large part of his army to the Ukraine border. This move is not explicitly in support of Russia as Belarus voiced their intent as protecting their southern border. Later, Russia disproved this reasoning by sending forces to Belarus, solidifying Belarus’ position in this dispute. The US was quick to warn Belarus that any involvement in an invasion would result in a swift response from the US, even threatening the entry of nuclear weapons. If Russia were to proceed with an invasion of Ukraine from Belarusian territory they would face the same threats that Russia is from both the US and NATO. 


How are Countries Preparing?

As the current situation stands, most Ukrainians are already preparing for the worst. Many have plans for their families to escape or to stay and fight. Shelters are being built in places like kindergartens, the same as they did in 2015 in their fight against the Russians. The countries surrounding Ukraine in NATO are prepping not only to help Ukraine fight but also to hold back any aggression that may turn towards them. The US has sided with NATO in that they will support Ukraine in the event of an invasion but will not engage militarily. The only actions that have been taken are the hurling of threats and the evacuation of the diplomats. For the time being, it would appear to be a stalemate. 


Talks of war will always be difficult. Ukraine’s President Zelinsky reminds everyone, especially the western powers that, “There are no minor incursions. Just as there are no minor casualties and little grief from the loss of loved ones.” Hopefully, thoughts of the European leaders, that they can talk it out, will be the way this ends.