Putin Russia Ukraine War: Russia destroys Ukraine's Airbases, Why did Russia attack Ukraine

Russia has declared war on Ukraine and has destroyed Ukraine's air bases and air defences. Even after months of denying any plans of attacking Ukraine, Putin announced a 'military operation' in Ukraine on February 24, 2022. But what is Russia's problem with Ukraine and why it has declared war on the neighboring country?

Russia declares war on Ukraine
Russia declares war on Ukraine

Russia-Ukraine war news: The President of Russia Vladimir Putin on February 24, 2022, announced a military operation in Ukraine with explosions heard soon after in the Capital of Ukraine as well as in other parts of the country. The move has prompted an outrage from US President Joe Biden who warned of a ‘catastrophic loss of life’.

Reportedly, within 30 minutes of Putin’s announcement, explosions were heard in Kyiv, Ukraine. Explosions were also heard in the Eastern part of Mariupol. As per Russia, the country in its continued war against Ukraine has destroyed Ukraine's air bases and air defences.

The imposition of western sanctions and the weeks of intense diplomacy have failed to deter the Russian President, who massed between 1,50,000 and 2,00,000 troops along the border of Ukraine.

Russia Ukraine War: Russia invades Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, for months, has denied its plan to attack Ukraine, however, on February 24, he announced a ‘military operation’ in the country.

Also Read: Map of Russia and Ukraine Conflict

Earlier in 2014 when Russia invaded Ukraine, rebels backed by President Putin seized a broad area of Eastern Ukraine and they have been fighting Ukraine’s army ever since. There was also an international Minsk Peace accord, however, the conflict continued and so Russia sent in troops into two rebel-held areas.

As per the West, Putin has been planning a new invasion of Ukraine, a nation of 44 million people bordering both the European Union and Russia.

Read More: Russia-Ukraine conflict: Is Russia planning to invade Ukraine?

But Why Russia is Attacking on Ukraine?

Russia has for long resisted Ukraine’s move towards the European institutions, both the European Union and NATO. Now, the Russian President has claimed that Ukraine is a puppet of the Western countries and was never a proper state anyway.

Putin demanded guarantees from the West and Ukraine that it will not join NATO which is a defensive alliance of 30 nations, and that Ukraine demilitarize and become a neutral state.

Ukraine, being the former Soviet Republic has deep cultural and social ties with Russia, and Russian is widely spoken in the region, however, ever since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014, the relations have been frayed.

Russia had attacked Ukraine when its pro-Russian President was deposed in early 2014 and the war in the east has since claimed more than 14000 lives.

Read More:  Ukraine Crisis: US President announces new sanctions against Russia for ‘beginning invasion of Ukraine’

What Russia said on its war against Ukraine?

Vladimir Putin, in a surprise television announcement, said that he has made a decision of a military operation. Putin also called on Ukrainian soldiers to lay down their arms and claimed that he wanted a demilitarization of the former Soviet State but not its occupation.

Russian President’s announcement statement came after the Kremlin said that the rebel leaders in Eastern Ukraine had asked Moscow for military help against Kyiv.

According to Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, earlier on February 23 the separatist leaders of Donetsk and Lugansk sent separate letters to Putin and asked him to help them repel Ukraine’s aggression. The two letters were also published by the Russian media.

The appeals came after the Russian President recognized their independence and also signed friendship treaties with them that included the defence deals.

Ukraine’s President made an appeal to Russians

In response to the Russian invasion, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky made an emotional appeal to Russians to not support a ‘major war in Europe’.

While speaking Russian, he said that the people of Russia are being lied to about Ukraine and that the possibility of war also depends on you.

As per the Ukrainian President, he tried to call Putin but there was ‘no answer, only silence’. He further added that Moscow now had around 2,00,000 soldiers near Ukraine’s borders.

Read More: Russian President recognizes two Ukraine separatist regions as independent

Russia faces criticism for its war on Ukraine

Russian President Putin has been openly resistant against a barrage of international criticism over the Ukraine Crisis, with some of the western leaders also saying that he was no longer rational.

Putin’s announcement of the military operation has come ahead of a last-ditch summit that involved European Union leaders in Brussels planned for February 24.

European Union has also imposed sanctions on the Defence Minister of Russia Sergei Shoigu and the high-ranking figures including the commanders of the Russian Army, Navy and the air force, another part of the wave of western punishment after Russia sought to rewrite Ukraine’s borders.

What will be the impact of Russia’s war on Ukraine?

The UN Security Council met on late February 23 for its second emergency session in three days over the crisis, with a personal plea thereby Secretary-General of UN Antonio Guterres to Putin. He asked the Russian President to stop his troops from attacking Ukraine and give peace a chance.

The US Ambassador to the UN has warned that an all-out Russian invasion could replace five-million people which will further trigger a new European refugee crisis.

Apart from the economic effect, the Russian war on Ukraine will have a deep impact on Europe which will further alter the peace of the region.

Russia Ukraine Military Strength

Arms Russia Ukraine
Troops 2900000 1100000
Attack Aircraft 1511 98
Attack Helicopter 544 34
Tanks 12240 2596
Armoured Vehicles 30122 12303
Towed Artillery 7571 2040

Source: Global Firepower, IISS Military Balance

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