The Anniversary of Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine


Brina Crellin, Co-Editor-in-Chief '25

On February 24th, 2022, Russian troops crossed the borders into Ukraine. This action kick-started Europe’s largest refugee crisis since World War II. Since then, more than 18,000 civilians in Ukraine have died and more than 8 million have been forced to evacuate.

Since 2021, Russia has been gathering troops against the Ukrainian border, all while denying that they were ever going to attack Ukraine. As we know now, this was a complete lie (which is not the first one Putin has even told). On the day of the invasion was when Putin first admitted to the world that these troops were there to invade Ukraine. He claimed that they were acting on a “special military operation” to demilitarize and denazify the Ukrainian government, also inaccurately claiming that Ukraine was being governed by neo-Nazis.

The day this article comes out will be the exact first anniversary of the day Russian troops stepped into Ukraine. Many people, including high officials, believe that Putin is planning something for this day. The Ukraine Defense Minister, Oleksii Reznikov has stated, “We think that, given that [Russia] lives in symbolism, they will try to try something around February 24th.” He thinks that Russia is planning something major to commemorate the first anniversary of this tragedy. Besides him, many civilians and others around the world believe Putin is going to launch something new on this date. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has even reported that while normally Russia has a general mobilization of 300,000, numbers on the border have been estimated to be around 500,000.

More recently, attacks on the East have been in a state of deadlock, with both sides enduring major casualties. Late on February 1st, at least 3 people (and many more injured) were killed in Kramatorsk after a Russian missile strike obliterated a residential building. President Zelenskiy commented on this: “This is not a replay of the past, it is the daily reality of our country-a country with absolute evil on its borders.” Zelenskiy makes a great fact known; this is not an act of the past that is repeating itself, this is something that is happening to hundreds upon hundreds of people on a daily. They are facing life-or-death situations and live in constant fear while we are going about our daily lives in the United States.

On Putin’s part, he has recently made his opinions on the help Ukraine is getting from Germany known, comparing this to the fight against Germany in World War II: “It’s unbelievable but true. We are again being threatened by German Leopard tanks.” Germany did send tanks over to Ukraine to help them fight against the Russians, but this is nowhere near the scale of what Nazi Germany did in the ‘40s. Completely contrasting Zelenskiy’s claim that history is not repeating itself, Putin believes that the support Ukraine is getting from other countries is to be compared to World War II. He has gone so far as to offer a reward of 5 million roubles ($69,400) to the first Russian soldier to destroy or capture a tank.

While we may not know what is going to happen in Ukraine on February 24th, we can all agree that this is a dire situation. Ukraine needs all the help it can get. Putin is a despicable man doing evil things. What Ukraine is going through is unacceptable. The rest of the world will have to hold its breath until we can take more dramatic actions to help the country defeat this wicked man.