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The War in Ukraine, What You Need to Know

Featured, National

Ukraine flag | Image by Alexey Fedorenko

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Since the initial invasion, fighting has spread throughout Ukraine, including the capital city Kyiv. In recent weeks Russia has primarily focused its attacks on the Eastern borders of Ukraine. Russian soldiers have all heavily occupied Donbas, Mariupol, and Kharkiv.

The BBC released an updated map of the areas considered to be under Russian control.

War-map

On Tuesday, Russia allegedly launched missile attacks throughout Ukraine. According to NPR, Russian artillery successfully hit more than 400 Ukrainian targets.

Among those was the city of Lviv, where rockets damaged the city’s electrical grid and water supply. Reuters noted that Andriy Sadoviy, the mayor of Lviv, stated late Tuesday that Russian airstrikes had impaired power stations and cut off electricity in some districts.

Mariupol, now occupied by Russian forces, was a primary target. Reports noted that Russia taking Mariupol could give the country control over the entire coastline along the Sea of Azov and a large portion of the Black Sea, cutting off Ukraine’s ability to control maritime trade and gain supplies.

Initially, Mariupol put up a solid defense and was able to delay Russian advances into other areas, but Russia’s forces eventually overtook the city.

In the weeks since, many Mariupol citizens and Ukrainian soldiers have sought refuge in the Azovstal metalworks factory, a local steel plant. Over the weekend, some civilians were evacuated from the plant, but Ukrainian soldiers remain inside, and it has become a primary target for Russian airstrikes.

Countries worldwide are calling for war crime charges to be brought up against Russia for reported extreme military actions in cities such as Mariupol. According to the local mayor of Mariupol, Russia is responsible for the deaths of at least 20,000 civilians. Currently, more than 100,000 people are trapped within the confines of the city.

As the conflict in Ukraine intensifies, the United States, NATO allies, and more are pledging their continued support to Ukraine.

During a visit to a Lockheed Martin plant in Troy, Alabama, that manufactures Javelin anti-tank missiles, President Joe Biden emphasized his dedication to helping Ukraine. Referencing that the U.S. had provided Europe with essential weapons during World War II, Biden said he would continue that tradition by supplying Ukraine with necessary military items. To that end, he urged Congress to pass a $33 billion Ukrainian relief package.

Alongside the U.S., Israel, which initially wished to remain neutral in the conflict, is ramping up its financial and military support to Ukraine.

Israel and Russia have a strained relationship at best. The discord between the nations began after the Syrian civil war and has since been fueled by comments made by the Russian foreign ministry. The Russian foreign ministry reportedly made inflammatory statements, saying that “Adolf Hitler had Jewish origins” and that Israel is a supporter of neo-Nazis. Israel took insult to the comments and accused Russia of attempting to minimize the horrors of the Holocaust.

As a new addition to the wartime coalition, Israel is a solid backing for Ukraine. According to The Washington Post, Israel is part of the world’s top five cyber powers. The U.S., China, Russia, and the UK are the other four. The country also boasts advanced military capabilities.

Likewise, the United Kingdom’s prime minister, Boris Johnson, announced that the UK is offering a new $300 million pounds (USD $375 million) package for Ukrainian military aid.

Johnson said to the Ukrainian people, “You are the masters of your fate, and no one can or should impose anything on Ukrainians.”

Along with its financial and military support, the EU is imposing more sanctions on Russia. The latest round will target Russia’s oil industry.

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