Why did Russia invade Ukraine?

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Why did Russia invade Ukraine? – Artie W., age 9, Astoria, New York

Ukraine and Russia are two international locations that border one another in Japanese Europe. On Feb. 24, 2022, Russia despatched its military into Ukraine and commenced attempting to take over the nation by pressure.

This invasion shocked many individuals, because it was the primary main battle in Europe for many years. However Russia and Ukraine have had a troublesome relationship for hundreds of years. To know what’s taking place now it’s important to dig into 1,300 years of historical past.

Each international locations hint their beginnings to the identical medieval kingdom, known as Kyivan Rus. It was based within the 800s by a bunch of Vikings, the Varangians, who got here from Northern Europe to rule over the native individuals. Kyivan Rus spanned what’s now Russia and Ukraine, and its individuals, the Slavs, are the ancestors of as we speak’s Russians and Ukrainians. Its capital was the town of Kyiv – the identical Kyiv that’s now the capital of Ukraine. Moscow, capital of as we speak’s Russia, was additionally a part of Kyivan Rus.

Kyivan Rus was conquered by Mongol armies from Asia in 1240 and cut up up. Kyiv grew to become a part of a brand new commonwealth that spanned as we speak’s Poland and Ukraine. Moscow grew to become an area capital of the Mongol Empire. Each Moscow and Kyiv have been on the crossroads between Europe and Asia, however with completely different cultures based mostly on their geography.

Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union

Within the 1500s, descendants of the Kyivan Rus’ princes in Moscow shaped an empire of their very own, imperial Russia. By 1654, it included Kyiv and its Ukrainian peoples together with different lands and other people from Europe and Asia.

In imperial Russia, some noticed Ukrainians as brothers to the Russians as a result of they shared a tradition relationship again to medieval occasions. However Ukrainians mentioned that whereas each teams practiced the identical faith and shared some historical past, Ukrainian tradition – equivalent to its meals, language, artwork and music – was completely different. It was formed by contact with completely different peoples and a historical past completely different from Russia’s.

A revolution in February 1917 compelled Russia’s chief, Czar Nicholas II, from the throne. One other revolution that very same 12 months created a brand new empire known as the Soviet Union.

Some Ukrainians didn’t need to be a part of the brand new Soviet empire. They tried to type their very own nation. However the Soviets defeated their motion and created the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic as a substitute – one among various republics that made up the union. At first, it allowed Ukrainians to maintain their tradition and run their native authorities. However when the Soviets started to worry that Ukrainians needed independence, they took their energy away.

A free Ukraine

In 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed. Ukraine and Russia, which each had been a part of the Soviet Union, grew to become unbiased international locations.

Quick ahead to 2013. Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yanukovych, needed Ukraine to be loyal to Russia. So he determined to not signal a commerce settlement to convey Ukraine nearer to Europe. Ukrainians protested, kicked Yanukovych out of workplace, and elected a authorities that favored Europe somewhat than Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that regardless of these protests, most Ukrainians needed ties with Russia. He additionally anxious that Ukraine would be a part of a army alliance with the U.S. and Europe that might be a risk to Russia.

In 2014, Russia took over an space in southern Ukraine known as Crimea. It additionally despatched troopers and weapons to japanese Ukraine, claiming to be serving to individuals who needed to be a part of Russia. Within the eight years since then, about 14,000 individuals have died, and 1 million individuals have fled to flee the combating.

The present battle

In February 2022, Putin once more claimed that Ukrainians and Russians are one individuals. He sees Ukrainians and Russians as brother nations and says that as a result of Russia is the older brother, it ought to get to be in cost.

Most Ukrainians disagree. They’ve been impressed by the phrases of their president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy. He advised Putin that Ukrainians need peace, however that if they should, they may defend their nation’s independence.

Putin invaded, and this time his plan is to take over your entire nation. Ukrainians at the moment are combating the Russian military, attempting to defeat what they are saying is an occupation.

In Russia, the individuals had no say about whether or not to invade. Many are protesting in opposition to it. Many households have each Russian and Ukrainians members. Due to this, lots of people on either side of the border don’t need to battle a battle in opposition to one another.

The USA and far of Europe are on the facet of Ukrainians. They imagine Ukraine ought to have the ability to determine its personal future.

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