The Cost of War

World watches as Russia besieges Ukraine

Isabel Andjell, Staff Writer

On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a full-scale invasion of Ukraine targeting its cities and military assets. Since then, Russian troops have besieged five cities in the last days of fighting: Kherson, Mariupol, Mykolaiv, Kharkiv, and Kyiv. Over 2 million people have been forced to flee Ukraine in addition to upwards of one hundred civilian casualties.

Ukrainian citizens have gone days without electricity, food, or water, although this hasn’t stopped them from putting up a relentless fight. The Russians have more recently been advancing towards the city of Dnipro. Experts suggest this might be because if they advance from both the North and South, they could isolate Ukrainian forces or even force them to retreat. 

Ukrainian and Russian delegations tried to work out conditions to end the fighting but were unsuccessful in their attempt. President Putin made his conditions for ending war clear: Ukraine must recognize Crimea as Russian, change its constitution to formally renounce its ambitions to join political blocs like NATO and the EU, and recognize Russian-controlled separatist regions as independent. 

Russia opened humanitarian corridors to the victims of the war. The only problem with this effort is that the corridors lead directly to Belarus and Russia, which is the last place that Ukrainian citizens want to be in. They countered the offer by asking for corridors that led to the west of their country, where attacks are not as prominent. In March, Russian troops announced a cease-fire meant to allot time to citizens trying to seek refuge in neighboring regions. This seemingly cordial effort came to an end quickly, with a continuation of Russian shelling. 

Amidst this chaos, the world has had its eyes on the United States, closely watching for its next move. Nearly two weeks into this invasion, President Joe Biden banned Russian oil and natural gas imports along with a suspension of operations for brands like McDonald’s and Coca-Cola.

An overwhelming, yet necessary amount of support has been shown all over the globe for the citizens of Ukraine. The best way to show support for Ukraine is to donate to organizations asking for assistance. In this way, people can back the victims caught in the conflict.

Organizations to donate:

  • International Medical Corps
  • Direct Relief
  • Global Giving
  • Nova Ukraine
  • Doctors Without Borders
  • Voices of Children
  • CARE