“Russia has embarked on a path of evil, but Ukraine is defending itself & won’t give up its freedom no matter what Moscow thinks.” This was what Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on his Twitter account hours after Russia treacherously attacked their country.

The entire world has been jolted and taken aback. The world is once again living on a day of war. Russian troops and armored vehicles have begun their advance towards major Ukrainian cities as Russia’s invasion entered its fifth day on February 28th, raising the prospect of Europe’s largest conflict since WWII. As of today, 352 civilians have been killed, including 14 children, and 1,684 have been injured. 

On February 24, cackles of explosions rang out across Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, while gunfire rang out from nearby airports as Russia launched not only missiles but also landed troops across Ukraine just minutes after Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke on live TV.

“I have decided to conduct a special military operation,” stated Russian President Vladimir Putin. “It aims to protect people who have been bullied and subjected to genocide by the Kyiv regime for eight years. For that, we will strive for demilitarization and deNazification of Ukraine.”

However, the United States was swift to make its statement as well.

“President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering,” was what US President Joe Biden said, “We are united in our support for Ukraine. We are united in our opposition to Russia’s aggression. We are united in our resolve to defend our alliance.”

Even UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pleaded to Putin in hopes of ceasing the impending war, “In the name of humanity, bring your troops back to Russia.”

Nonetheless, the United States, a non-NATO member, is unwilling to send troops to Ukraine as such an act could trigger aggression between the United States and Russia—two of the world’s advanced military superpowers.

After Russian soldiers successfully infiltrated parts of the Donbas region, Ukraine President Zelenskyy decided to increase the country’s state of emergency while implementing martial law on all its territories as a defensive measure, all the while exposing Putin’s attempts to manipulate the concept of genocide in order to justify its perpetration, with the latter’s words dangling on the line of both an unprovoked military invasion and an act of genocide, and a plea to halt NATO’s eastward expansion based on his belief that Ukraine and Russia were once part of a single nation that was “unfairly” divided after the Soviet Union’s demise in 1991.

But it is clear that the conflict is not between Russia and Ukraine, but between Russia and numerous other nations, as Russia has already become a pariah state. Russia is now at odds with itself.

As US President Joe Biden stated, “Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way. The world will hold Russia accountable.”

President Zelenskyy has already begun the process of forming an anti-Putin coalition, requesting concrete assistance against Russia’s invasion. The president has also stated publicly that this will be an attempt to avoid a repeat of the 1986 tragedy known as the Chernobyl Disaster. Indeed, multiple countries have already offered assistance for sanctions and defensive aid against the aggressors, with weaponry and other equipment on their way to Ukraine.

On the 26th of February, there were already over a hundred thousand invaders firing on Ukrainian homes. The next day, Germany announced the delivery of stinger missiles and anti-tank grenade launchers to Ukraine, in addition to the 3,000 machine guns delivered by Belgium. Fortunately, if there were already about 250,000 standing soldiers securing the perimeters a few days ago, it is not unlikely that the number has increased dramatically with Poland’s daily support and concrete assistance.

But everything is never without its consequences.

As Russia is a major oil producer, prices for gasoline and other similar materials are expected to rise. Indeed, oil prices have already risen across international markets. However, according to US officials, this is not the most likely or genuine reason why Putin, the ostensibly rational and calculated leader, carried out his actions. They suspect that President Vladimir Putin is seeking a place in history.

Filipinos, particularly OFWs, have already begun packing their belongings and luggage. They are currently on their way back to our country, hoping that the war will end soon. Prolonged violent conflict will be detrimental to our fellow Filipinos’ financial capabilities and may endanger them in poverty.

Not only that, but the Sports World is pleading for peace, as Poland and Sweden have refused to play Russia in the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup playoffs while armed aggression between the countries continues.

Pope Francis was ‘heartbroken,’ pleading for help to arrive in Ukraine. “Like me, many people all over the world are anguished and worried. Once again, everyone’s peace is threatened by one side’s interests.” He pleaded with Russian President Vladimir Putin to reconsider his actions and put an end to the ongoing war.

Thankfully, the possibility of reduced warfare has increased, as the venue for Ukraine-Russia talks in Belarus is now ready. People around the world are pleading for peace.

With Russia’s invasion fighting to stay in Ukraine for another day, all that the world can do now is to hope for a peaceful resolution. James Maninang // Image from Bloomberg

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