Decades of peace in Europe came to an abrupt end on February 24 this year when Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine. The war, which has devastat
Decades of peace in Europe came to an abrupt end on February 24 this year when Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine. The war, which has devastated countless lives and forced millions to flee their homes, is still raging in certain parts of the country. What has happened in Ukraine so far, and what could come next?
Why did Russia invade Ukraine?
Vladimir Putin justified his “special military operation” as he needed to “denazify” Ukraine, claiming Ukraine had incited tensions, Russophobia, and repressing Russian speakers in Ukraine.
His declared aim was to protect people subjected to what he called eight years of bullying and genocide by Ukraine’s government.
The claims of Nazis and genocide in Ukraine are completely unfounded but part of a narrative repeated by Russia for years.
The Kremlin leader also took issue with Ukraine’s longstanding wish to join NATO, not wishing to have a member of the western security alliance effectively on his doorstep.
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What’s happening now?
Ukrainian forces are now thought to be struggling in areas of the east, with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) warning on Friday that Russia controlled 90 percent of the Luhansk oblast in the eastern Donbas region, and looks likely to gain complete control in the next two weeks.
Sievierodonetsk has been marked as Russia’s next strategic target and its forces are battling to encircle the city.
Outside of Ukraine, the war has resulted in a significant shift in international relations and has also had big ramifications on the European public.