In what former U.S President George W. Bush has branded “the gravest security crisis on the European continent since World War II”, Russia has launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on three major fronts.
As missile strikes and explosions strike targets in the Kyiv region, tens of thousands of Ukrainian families flee their homes in search of refuge. Thousands of those fleeing the carnage have crossed the border into neighboring countries, primarily Moldova and Romania.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky took to Twitter quickly after the invasion began, stating “Russia has embarked on a path of evil, but Ukraine is defending itself and won’t give up its freedom, no matter what Moscow thinks,“, while also mirroring Bush in comparing Moscow’s actions to those of Nazi Germany in World War II.
Feeling isolated in this conflict, Zelensky took to the messaging app Telegram, requesting that leaders of the European Union “stand side by side with Ukraine and stop the aggressor”. NATO forces were placed on high-alert and deployed en masse to neighbouring countries, but the thirty-country alliance still maintains its goal to avoid armed conflict.
“Our people are dying for the freedom of Ukraine and Europe… We have waited for a long time at an open door. We asked about NATO membership and didn’t get a response.” Zelensky continued.
Despite the hesitance to deploy armed forces into Ukraine itself, countries supporting Ukraine are stepping up the efforts to put pressure on the Kremlin to cease their invasion:
· The U.S Congress plans to provide Ukraine with $600m for “lethal defense weapons” in the fight against Russia, says Nanci Pelosi, the House of Representatives Speaker.
· A new wave of U.S sanctions on Russia, with coordination from European nations will aim to “further isolate Russia from the global economy.” (Kimberly Halkett/Al Jazeera)
· In support of it’s neighbor, Poland will be opening nine reception centers along its border with Ukraine.
“What we have heard today are not just missile blasts, fighting and the rumble of aircraft. This is the sound of a new Iron Curtain, which has come down and is closing Russia off from the civilized world,” said Volodymyr Zelensky of today’s events.