Russian invasion of Ukraine has the world waiting, including student with ties to Russia

Sentinel Staff Writer Abby Fox explores some background and history of Ukraine and Russia, and interviews a student who has family in Russia.

Abby Fox, Staff Writer

War broke out in Eastern Europe Feb. 24 as Russia invaded Ukraine and the world has been watching ever since. Men between the ages of eighteen and sixty are required to stay and fight against the Russian forces in Ukraine, and women, children, and elderly citizens are fleeing the country to seek refuge in other nations, such as Poland, Romania, Moldova, Slovakia, and Germany.

Many citizens in Russia disagree with President Vladimir Putin’s actions, despite his attempts to gain their support. Although he originally claimed to be invading Ukraine to “de-Nazify” the nation, it is clear to many that this is an untrue argument and his motives lie elsewhere. He has also stated that this was neither a war nor an invasion, but a special military operation, and that his goal was to depose the Ukrainian government and not occupy the nation. Additionally, one of Putin’s stated aspirations is to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) .

For some background, Ukraine was a part of the Soviet Union before its collapse in 1991. Ukraine gained its independence that year as well and has been seeking out Western Europe and desires to join NATO and the European Union. 

Protests have occurred in Russia ever since the invasion began. Those who are protesting are facing the possibility of being arrested by the Russian government, and are showing great deals of bravery by fighting for change despite knowing the risk. For the Russian citizens, peace is worth the peril. 

Maria Bulanova, a Northgate senior, has family living in Russia. Those family members are currently protesting Putin’s invasion along with many other Russian citizens. In an interview with the Sentinel, she elaborated about her family there and the protests occurring.

The Sentinel: What family members do you have living in Russia?

Bulanova: I have my great-grandma, two aunts, and their families as well as an uncle visiting right now.

The Sentinel: What part of Russia do they live in?

Bulanova: They live in Moscow.

The Sentinel: How long have they been protesting about the invasion of Ukraine?

Bulanova: Since the beginning of the invasion, though not completely outright since they have children and are afraid for them.

The Sentinel: Are they planning to leave Russia?

Bulanova: Yes. They are currently looking for tickets to get out, especially for my great-grandma.

The Sentinel: Anything else you want to mention/add?

Bulanova: It’s scary. A lot of people center the conversation on America, which of course makes sense, but the conversation should be focused on the thousands of innocent people dying in Ukraine.

Although at the time of this writing peace negotiations are underway more than a month after the start of the conflict and Russia is repositioning its troops away from Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, the war could possibly be prolonged. 

As the world watches and awaits the outcome, one lesson is clear: humanity and life above all else.