Russian President Vladimir Putin has carried out his threat to strike Ukraine, triggering a wave of international sanctions against him.
Russia launched an offensive in the early hours of Thursday, February 24, 2022, not long after Putin declared war and vowed retaliation against anyone who interfered with their invasion. Following weeks of escalating tensions, air and missile strikes were launched in Ukrainian cities and military bases before tanks rolled in across the country’s border.
In the aftermath of the attacks, Putin’s Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the nation, revealing that at least 137 people had died on the first day.
There are a variety of reasons for Vladimir Putin’s aggressive behavior toward Ukraine. One of them is NATO’s (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) ties to Ukraine and its expansion eastward.
NATO has been increasing its presence in Eastern Europe by adding countries such as Lithuania and Estonia, which Putin opposes. He was looking for assurances that Ukraine would not become a member in the future.
The goal of Ukraine joining the alliance is to provide military support.
Another factor is that Putin has frequently emphasized the cultural and historical ties between Russia and Ukraine, even referring to both countries’ citizens as “one people.” This supports the West’s claim that he is attempting to seize control of the country.
Putin, on the other hand, has repeatedly denied any intention of occupying Ukraine and has stated that he only wishes to demilitarise the neighboring country.