Russia has started a deadly air, land, and sea war on Ukraine, a 44-million-strong European democracy. Its soldiers are bombarding city centers and closing in on Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, causing a massive refugee flight.
For months, President Vladimir Putin denied that he would invade Ukraine, but then he ripped up a peace pact and launched “Putin’s war,” sending troops into the country’s north, east, and south.
As the death toll rises, Russia’s president is accused of having shattered European peace. What happens next might put the continent’s whole security system in jeopardy.
President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is one of his most forceful initiatives to rewrite the borders of the former Soviet Union since the Cold War ended more than 30 years ago. His most recent move was to order the activation of his country’s nuclear deterrent, a startling indicator of how swiftly ties with the West are deteriorating.
Mr. Putin is taking an unprecedented risk by launching a war against Ukraine, as he faces a slew of fresh sanctions from the US and Europe aimed at crippling his country’s economy. The United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union slapped personal penalties against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his foreign minister on Friday, despite criticism that the West was acting too slowly.