Why has Russia invaded Ukraine? - An explanation of the crisis - The Evesham Observer

Why has Russia invaded Ukraine? - An explanation of the crisis

Evesham Editorial 24th Feb, 2022   0

RUSSIA’s invasion of the Ukraine has begun after President Putin announced he would launch military operations in the country.

Explosions have been heard in Kyiv, Dnipro, Kharkiv and other cities following the invasion which has seen Ukraine cut all diplomatic ties with its neighbour.

The Kremlin has claimed the operation is targeting military sites and Putin warned the West any interference would lead to ‘consequences they have never seen.’

Here’s everything you need to know about the relationship between the two countries and what might happen now.

Why are there tensions between Russia and Ukraine? 

Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union until its break-up at the end of the Cold War, when it, along with a number of other states, became an independent nation.

In 2014, the former Ukrainian government of Viktor Yanukovych – a supporter of President Putin – was overthrown. This in turn sparked concerns in the Kremlin that Ukraine was looking to the West for its future relationships.

The departure of Mr Yanukovych was somewhat unpopular in the east of Ukraine as many people in the region are Russian speakers.

Putin sent in troops to annex Crimea while Russian-backed separatist rebels seized territory in eastern Ukraine, retaining autonomy from the country’s Government.

What does President Putin want?

The desire of President Putin is unclear. While he has issued demands to curb the influence of the West in Eastern Europe such as ensuring Nato doesn’t admit any new members including Ukraine, there are many who claim the Russian leader wishes to restore the former Soviet Union by reclaiming what it views as its land.

Unlike Moscow-friendly neighbouring Belarus, President Putin does not recognise Ukraine as an independent nation despite both countries being former Soviet republics.

What has Nato said? 

Nato has dismissed President Putin’s demand as ‘nonstarters’ – the alliance refuses to accept any limitation on nations who wish to move from allies to full membership.

However, the alliance has indicated it would accept discussions on such issues as missile deployments, a greater transparency of military drills and other confidence-building measures.

What is the UK Government doing? 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced the Government is sanctioning three billionaire allies of Mr Putin and five Russian banks.

Today’s invasion will spark demands to go further and the Prime Minister is due to speak to the nation around midday and make a further statement to the House of Commons this afternoon (Thursday).

The UK has made clear that there are no plans to send combat troops to Ukraine – but they are offering support in other ways.

What about British nationals in Ukraine? 

British nationals in Ukraine are being urged to leave the country right away, according to the Foreign Office.

Foreign secretary Liz Truss has said that support for Brits needing to depart Ukraine is being increased.


Receive a weekly update to your inbox by signing up to our weekly newsletter.


Advertise with the Evesham Observer to reach your audience


Find a career you'll love with our free career finder website.

Reader Travel

Check out all of the latest reader travel offers to get your hands on some free gifts.