The Russian Invasion of Ukraine


Beach vacation homes lay desolate in the wake of years of fighting.

Kailey Thom, Editor-in-Chief

The United States and most of Europe woke up on the morning of February 24th to news outlets being flooded with reports of Ukraine being invaded by a Russian military operation organized by Russian president Vladimir Putin to bring Ukraine back into the Russian Federation. 

This is not the first time that Russia has incited hostilities with Ukraine, with arguments being made that the current crisis has roots going back as far as 2014. There has been sporadic fighting between the two nations in border provinces and towns for years, with tensions between the two countries going back since Ukraine regained its independence from Russia following the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. In 2014, Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula (commonly known as Crimea) by force from Ukraine. This, as well as large scale political unrest around President Viktor Yanukovych of Ukraine being overthrown in the months before led to the War in Donbas between the two countries in April of 2014. 

All the conflict between the two countries came to a head in the early hours of the morning on February 24, 2022. Russian troops flooded over the Ukrainian border, with planes and missile launchers being launched on Ukrainian cities and airports. People were forced to sleep in crowded subway stations to avoid the explosives being dropped on their cities and towns above. The Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv has been under fire for days, and many people are doing their best to flee the city. Over 1.7 million refugees (about twice the population of Delaware) have fled Ukraine since the invasion began, and more are expected to follow. Refugees have fled to many neighboring countries, with over 1.2 million having fled to Poland, a Ukrainian ally with which Ukraine shares a 310-mile-long border with. Many other European countries, including Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Moldova, Germany, France, Ireland, and the UK have taken in anywhere from hundreds to hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees into their borders as of the 8th of March. 

The invasion is likely to have effects both in Ukraine and abroad, with the refugee crisis only being one of the many ways the rest of the world could be impacted. Russia is one of the world’s biggest oil suppliers (which is later refined into gasoline), with the average price for standard fuel across Virginia almost reaching a dollar over what it was the month prior. Gas prices increased by an average of 60 cents in the past week within Virginia. Trade sanctions have been imposed on Russia, and prices for goods that Russia is a large supplier of are set to increase as trade with the country decreases across the world. 

Russia itself is also feeling a substantial impact from the war, with the Russian ruble’s exchange value dropping to a record low. According to Carl Weinberg, chief economist at High Frequency Economics, an economics research consultancy, “The world — or most of it anyway — is laying economic siege to Russia.” Many Russians are trying to take their money out of banks, inadvertently hurting the country’s banking system. 

The European economy at large stands to suffer from losing out on Russia’s energy sources, such as natural gas and oil. Already, natural gas prices in Europe have increased by 20% since the start of the invasion and talks of sanctions on Russian energy sources. Prices hit a record high of €345 per megawatt hour in the past week, with prices now having fallen back to around €227 per megawatt hour. This will indubitably lead to substantial changes in the economic landscape that could take a while to recover from. 

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine not only has an impact on those directly affected by the warfare and the displacement and grief that will no doubt follow it, but also on the world at large. Here in the United States, while far away from the crisis at hand, Americans are still feeling the effects of the invasion. 

Learn more about the effects of the war on both Ukraine and the world at:

An Overview of the Economical Effects of the War

CNN’s Live Updates On the Ukraine-Russia Crisis

The Washington Post’s Live Updates on the Russia-Ukraine War

NBC’s Live Coverage of the Ukraine-Russia War

Global Conflict Tracker