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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 started attempting to take over the nation by drive.
This invasion stunned 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 occurring now you need to dig into 1,300 years of historical past.
Each international locations hint their beginnings to the identical medieval kingdom, referred to 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 folks. Kyivan Rus spanned what’s now Russia and Ukraine, and its folks, the Slavs, are the ancestors of at this time’s Russians and Ukrainians. Its capital was the town of Kyiv – the identical Kyiv that’s now the capital of Ukraine. Moscow, capital of at this time’s Russia, was additionally a part of Kyivan Rus.
Kyivan Rus was conquered by Mongol armies from Asia in 1240 and break up up. Kyiv turned a part of a brand new commonwealth that spanned at this time’s Poland and Ukraine. Moscow turned a neighborhood capital of the Mongol Empire. Each Moscow and Kyiv have been on the crossroads between Europe and Asia, however with totally different cultures primarily based on their geography.
Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union
Within the 1500s, descendants of the Kyivan Rus’ princes in Moscow fashioned 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 courting again to medieval instances. However Ukrainians stated that whereas each teams practiced the identical faith and shared some historical past, Ukrainian tradition – resembling its meals, language, artwork and music – was totally different. It was formed by contact with totally different peoples and a historical past totally different from Russia’s.
A revolution in February 1917 pressured Russia’s chief, Czar Nicholas II, from the throne. One other revolution that very same 12 months created a brand new empire referred to as the Soviet Union.
Some Ukrainians didn’t wish to be a part of the brand new Soviet empire. They tried to kind their very own nation. However the Soviets defeated their motion and created the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic as an alternative – one among numerous 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, turned impartial 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 moderately than Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that regardless of these protests, most Ukrainians needed ties with Russia. He additionally apprehensive that Ukraine would be a part of a navy alliance with the U.S. and Europe that might be a menace to Russia.
In 2014, Russia took over an space in southern Ukraine referred to 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 folks have died, and 1 million folks have fled to flee the preventing.
The present battle
In February 2022, Putin once more claimed that Ukrainians and Russians are one folks. 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 informed Putin that Ukrainians need peace, however that if they should, they are going to defend their nation’s independence.
Putin invaded, and this time his plan is to take over all the nation. Ukrainians are actually preventing the Russian military, attempting to defeat what they are saying is an occupation.
In Russia, the folks had no say about whether or not to invade. Many are protesting towards it. Many households have each Russian and Ukrainians members. Due to this, lots of people on either side of the border don’t wish to combat a battle towards one another.
The USA and far of Europe are on the facet of Ukrainians. They consider Ukraine ought to be capable to determine its personal future.
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Kathryn David doesn’t work for, seek the advice of, personal shares in or obtain funding from any firm or organisation that might profit from this text, and has disclosed no related affiliations past their tutorial appointment.