The Russo-Ukrainian War: What Happened?

Aakanksh Gurnani

August 12, 2022

Conflicts between Russia and Ukraine have been going on for more than eight years, but on February 24th, 2022, Ukraine underwent a full-scale invasion from Russia. Causes and reasons for these fights had been building up for years, but just how bloody the situation in Ukraine has been for the past eight years makes it no surprise a war erupted between Russia and Ukraine.

In February 2014, anti-government and pro-Russian groups commenced multiple riots and protests in major cities, such as Kyiv, where a riot killed 108 protestors and 13 riot police officers. This riot in Kyiv, called the Revolution of Dignity, resulted in Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych, the fourth president of Ukraine ousted from office. Russian soldiers without insignia took many strategic positions, seizing the Crimean parliament, and leading to the annexation of Crimea. Now it is Russian-occupied, but the internationally unrecognized Republic of Crimea. Russia denied involvement at first but now admits these were Russian troops.

Ukraine continued to have undeclared war with separatists, supported by Russian troops. Russia continued to hide its involvement by sending unmarked tanks to the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic.

In 2019, seven percent of Ukraine had been classified as temporarily occupied territories. These territories were occupied by either Russian state bodies or self-proclaimed bodies under the control of the Russian Federation.

From 2021 to early 2022, a build-up of Russian troops at Ukraine’s border. Russia experienced a lot of lash for this, and Vladimir Putin responded by criticizing NATO, and later, on the twenty-first of February 2022, officially recognized the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic, and sent troops to these territories. Three days later, on the twenty-fourth of February, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

By May twenty-fourth, Russia had occupied almost twenty-one percent of Ukraine.

This invasion received widespread condemnation, by both NATO ( North Atlantic Treaty Organization ), The European Union, and the UN ( United Nations ), as well as many countries, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, and Japan. And, of course, Ukraine. Heavy sanctions have also been placed on Russia due to the conflict. These same sanctions were placed on Belarus for supporting Russia in the Russo-Ukrainian War.

These sanctions and damages from the war have heavily affected Russia. Called the 2022 Russian Financial Crisis, Projections show that Russia’s economic setback is thirty years. The Russian stock market fell by up to thirty-nine percent due to the sanctions. Eni, Shell, Maersk, and the Medditarean Shipping company all pulled their investments from Russia. As for Ukraine, “Ukrainian economic growth for 2022 is likely to suffer a sharp decline estimated at a 45% decrease in annual performance due to the Russian invasion.” according to World Bank. Both Russia and Ukraine have suffered heavy losses due to the Russo-Ukrainian War.