The Ukraine-Russia war (for dummies)

Anti-war protests for Ukraine and Russia have taken place in cities across the world.

Mark Vletter/Wikimedia Commons

Anti-war protests for Ukraine and Russia have taken place in cities across the world.

Brooks Houwman, Staff Writer

The invasion of Ukraine is all over the news right now. There are so many different events taking place every day, no one can keep up. Along with events, there are complex sides to the story of what has happened. For some of us around the world, it can be hard to understand the past and what will happen in the future with Ukraine and Russia. To make life easier for those of us who can understand these intricate pieces of information, here is the invasion of Ukraine “dumbed down.”

After the Soviet Union collapsed in the early 90s, Ukraine voted for independence and won. A document was then signed making Ukraine independent, transferring all nuclear weapons that were held by Ukraine to Russia. Fast forward to 2008 when Ukraine applied to be in NATO, a military alliance between 30 countries made after WWII. A couple of years later, Ukraine’s president began to back up Russia on political matters. Protests broke out against the president causing him to flee to Russia and Ukraine to focus back on the European Union. 

Ukraine elects a new president in 2019, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who promises to end Ukraine’s war with Russia. The tension between Russia and Ukraine began to arise again when Zelenskyy cracked down on pro-Russian oligarchs including Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin’s good friend. As this tension increased, Putin placed more and more troops along the Russia-Ukraine border. In order for Russia to take their troops away, they demanded Ukraine never be allowed into NATO. 

Throughout this whole time period, little parts of Ukraine broke away from Ukraine and claimed to be part of Russia. Russia recognized the territories broken away from Ukraine and a few days later launched their invasion of Ukraine. President Putin later claimed he just wanted to “de-Nazify” and “de-militarize” Ukraine. This claim is completely untrue. Russia also claims that they are not at war and keep referring to what is happening as a “special operation.” President Putin continues to spread more and more unhinged lies. 

To dumb this awful situation down even more, basically because Russia had control over Ukraine in the 90s and now wants it back. With no true claim to Ukraine, Russia has very few allies in their current war. 30 to 40 thousand people have already died for nothing but an incompetent leader who refused to admit he is wrong.