On Feb. 24, 2022, the Russian army invaded its neighboring country of Ukraine, and Eastern Europe has been in danger ever since. Though Russian President Vladimir Putin never officially declared war, Ukraine is suffering, and many of its citizens are being killed daily. A few days after the Russian invasion, the European Union (EU) cut Russia off from the global financial system and even provided Ukraine with a 500 million euro military support package. This is the first time in history that the EU has provided a third-world country with deadly military equipment, exemplifying the severity of the situation.
On March 4, 2022, President Putin banned media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, making it illegal to put “fake news” out into the world. Anyone convicted of this crime could be incarcerated for up to 15 years. On March 9, 2022, a Russian airstrike hit a maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, killing three innocent people and injuring 17. “A children’s hospital. A maternity hospital,” said Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. “What kind of country is this, the Russian Federation, which is afraid of hospitals, afraid of maternity hospitals, and destroys them?” Just four days later, Russia launched 30 missiles at a military training base in Yavoriv, Ukraine. According to Ukrainian officials, a minimum of 35 people were killed and 134 were wounded. Since then, Russia has launched multiple airstrikes on Ukraine, killing innocent civilians.
As of April, the deadly situation in Eastern Europe has yet to improve. On April 8, 2022, Russia launched a missile strike at a crowded train station in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, which killed at least 50 civilians and injured nearly 100 so far. Ukrainian officials blamed the Russians for targeting the train station because that is how people are fleeing the country. These officials said that there were 4,000 people present at the train station at the time of the strike. “There are so many corpses, there are children, there are just children!” screamed a woman in the video footage of the strike. The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv called this strike “another atrocity committed by Russia in Ukraine,” saying that “the world will hold Putin accountable.” According to The Wall Street Journal, the EU is now preparing a new sanctions package, with senior officials ready to meet with President Zelensky.
On April 18, 2022, President Zelensky announced in a video address that Russia has declared a battle for Donbas in eastern Ukraine, and Ukrainian forces are still going to put up a fight. Satellite images have been shown of the Russian military preparing a large-scale invasion of Donbas, which if it happens, will play a major role in results of the war. Zelensky has tried asking United States President Joe Biden to come to Ukraine, and Biden suggested that he wants to go, but the possibility is still being discussed.
It is crucial for outside countries to support Ukraine right now, and there are simple ways to do so. Donating to the International Committee of the Red Cross provides relief to Ukrainian citizens affected by the situation. Another organization supporting this cause is CARE’s Ukrainian Crisis Fund, which is helping to provide basic necessities like food, water and hygiene kits to Ukrainians in need, especially women and young girls. There are plenty of organizations to donate to, including the International Medical Corp, GlobalGiving’s Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund, People in Need, Americares, the Kyiv School of Economics, United Way Worldwide’s United for Ukraine fund, the Ukrainian Women’s Fund and Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Recovery Fund.