While humanity was still adapting to the pandemic, the world was reminded of why we are our worst enemies.
On February 24, 2022, Ukraine was invaded by Russia through the means of air, land, and sea. The military headquarters were the first to be attacked, followed by airports and tanks being rolled into the cities from north, west, and south.
Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the nation in the early hours of Thursday, saying, “What is happening today does not come out of a desire to infringe on the interests of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. It is related to the protection of Russia itself from those who took Ukraine hostage and are trying to use it against our country and its people.”
But where did it stem from? Was it a sudden move from Russia, or the history of the countries’ geopolitics is to be blamed? The following article will address these questions with simplified chronological events that led up to what this generation is calling “WW3.”
Timeline of the Important Events Since 1991
The recent conflict did not come out of thin air. The two countries have been in a constant discourse since the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991.
We have broken down the main events for a better understanding.
1991: Ukraine got independence from Moscow. Leonid Kravchuk, leader of the Soviet Republic of Ukraine, was elected president.
2004-2005: Viktor Yushchenko, a pro-Western former Prime Minister, is elected President. He promises to take Ukraine towards the EU and NATO. Around 57.8% of the Ukrainians supported the idea.
2008: NATO decided to work out an Annual National Programme to provide Ukraine assistance without referring to MAP.
2010: Viktor Yushchenko is elected President again. A gas pricing deal is signed between Ukraine and Russia to extend the Russian navy’s lease in a Black Seat port.
2013-2014: Trade is suspended with the EU, which triggers mass rallies in Kyiv. Hundreds of people were killed in the protests held in Maidan. Viktor Yushchenko flees after being voted out of the parliament.
The parliament in the Ukrainian region of Crimea is seized, and the Russian flag is raised.
2019: Volodymyr Zelensky is appointed as the president.
2021: Zelenskiy appeals to Biden to allow Ukraine to join NATO. Russian troops are gathered around Ukraine’s borders for training exercises. Biden warns Russia against invading Ukraine.
2022: A cyberattack is issued for Ukrainians to expect the worst attack. Russian forces arrive in Belarus for joint drills.
- Jan 28th: President Vladimir Putin is unhappy that the key security demands of Russia have not been met.
- Feb 9th: U.S. State Department advises Americans in Ukraine to leave at once along with other countries.
- Feb 19th: Putin oversees the exercises held by the nuclear forces.
- Feb 24th: Putin announces a “military operation” in Ukraine while explosions are heard in certain parts of the country. The military infrastructure at the Ukrainian army air bases is rendered out of action. Zelensky announced martial law across Ukraine.
As you can see, the attack was not out of the blue.
The latest figures of the death toll stood at 137 Ukrainian civilians and military personnel and 1000 Russian soldiers.
While the world leaders are condemning the act of bloodshed, Putin stands true to his words that he is only doing it for the protection of his own country.