The Russian invasion of Ukraine is quickly becoming a very real threat to civilians in Ukraine. Roughly 100,000 Russian military troops are currently stationed at the Russian border, as experts fear the break out of a new war in the area is practically unavoidable. Sources say this is the largest mobilisation of troops Europe has seen in recent years. Russian sources have warned Russia is ready almost imminently, to unleash a “brief and victorious war”, conquering Ukraine. Foot soldiers, elite assassins and special forces have begun making their way to the Ukrainian border and Belarus, a neighbouring country. The Russian government however entirely denies claims of a pending invasion. Moscow argues they are well within their rights to mobilise troops to areas deemed necessary, on the grounds of defence. 

Why is Russia invading Ukraine? 

What is now known as Ukraine, Russia and Belarus used to be grouped together, as part of Kievan Rus, an old superpower in Eastern Europe. Over time, Russians and Ukrainians developed their own traditions, diverging socially, linguistically and politically. In the early 2000s, Ukraine went through two revolutions, in which both times Ukrainian people chose to reject Russian rule, favouring an alliance with the European Union. Putin has repeatedly claimed the Ukrainian and Russian people are “one and the same”, in favour of the two becoming united. 

What current talks are happening? 

The United Nations and Russia butted heads this week, as they attempted to block security meetings regarding the situation in Ukraine, claiming the issue had been overstated in the media. The US Ambassador was charged with claims of whipping up hysterics over the crisis.  Whilst Boris Johnston was supposed to have an important phone call with Putin to urge him to hold his attack, due to ‘partygate’ the critical phone call was cancelled on the 31st of January. 

How much of a threat is Russia?

Russian military forces are amongst the most lethal in the world, rivalling America in its technology and vigour. More so, Russia has launched a new missile defence system called ‘S-550’ which has now “entered combat duty”. Whilst very little is known about the weapon, it is thought to be able to destroy multiple targets at once. The weapon system has apparently been active since last November, suggesting the weapon has been prepared for use in Ukraine. 

What is Ukraine’s Role? 

Most of the population holds an anti-Russian sentiment, routinely voting out Moscow's sympathetic leaders. Ukrainian veterans who have previously fought Russian forces have said they are willing to rejoin the army to fight for Ukrainian independence. Ukraine has their own military arsenal, which has mostly been supplied by Western countries like Turkey.