Millions Flee Ukraine as Russia Instigates With Warfare

The Ukrainian military is doing what they can to quickly and safely evacuate those who have chosen to flee the country.

On February 24, 2022, Russia began a long-awaited invasion of their neighboring country, Ukraine. This was the largest military attack in Europe since World War II. The invasion was ordered by the current president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, who seeks to “restore Russia to national greatness,” via CBS News. 

After several weeks of building up Russian military forces along the Ukrainian border, Putin initiated what was referred to by Ukrainian officials as a “full-scale invasion” of the country. This attack marked the emergence of a grim new chapter for the Ukrainians and an amplification of a previous invasion that has already claimed thousands of lives.

This is not the first time Russian forces have invaded Ukraine. Ukraine was formerly a country contained within the Soviet Union until its collapse in 1989 and Ukraine’s declaration of independence in 1991. In 2014, Russia invaded with the intention of claiming a portion of eastern Ukraine called the Crimean Peninsula. Since then, they have remained in control of the territory. Now, according to the New York Times, Putin’s ambition to “restore the Russian Empire” has moved beyond the annexation of the peninsula.

Immediately after the declaration from Putin in January, military outposts and airports were attacked, and tanks and troops rolled in. Cities have been bombed and millions of Ukrainians have been killed or fled.

However, Russia still prohibits the use of the words “war or “invasion,” even going as far as threatening journalists with jail if they do use them. President Putin prefers the phrase “special military operation.”

Putin originally claimed his objective was to rescue Ukrainians who were being subjected to oppression and genocide, and to demilitarize and “de-Nazify” Ukraine. However, the genocide he speaks of is non-existent. Ukraine is a flourishing democracy, led by a Jewish president according to BBC News.

More than ten million people, most of whom are women and children, have now fled their homes in Ukraine because of the Russian invasion, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. This includes about four million people who have fled to neighboring countries such as Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, and Moldova.  In addition, an estimated 6.5 million people have been displaced inside the country itself. 

However, not all citizens have fled or been removed from their homes. There are also Ukrainians who have chosen to stay and fight for their country.

These citizens are experiencing feelings of injustice and unfairness as their democracy is being unjustifiably threatened, leaving some feeling insufficiently supported by their allies. It also leaves them with a tough decision when it comes to whether to leave their home country or risk their lives by fleeing elsewhere.