Ukraine’s been under attack for most of 2022 so far. It’s the biggest attack on a
European state since 1945, and everyone in the world is disgusted about it (except
This article was prepared at the start of May 2022. You’ll be reading it in Winter and, sadly, even if Russia withdraws from Ukraine during the middle of this year, the bloodshed will inevitably continue, overtly or covertly, as outside forces are afraid to intervene. From 24 February 2022, when the Russian Federation’s armed attack
against Ukraine started, to 18 April 2022, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) recorded 2,104 civilians killed.
Add to that another 6-7000 Ukrainian soldiers and 8000 Russian soldiers killed.
Misinformation is spreading across the web though, so it’s time for a quick education while you read this on your phone, on the toilet, or on your lap in Calendar Girls.
Here’s a guide to where the war in Ukraine came from and where it’s going:
11th century: Slavic Border people called Ukrainians(Borderlanders) endure
centuries of oppression by Russia and Poland.
1917 – Ukraine briefly independent as the Ukrainian People’s Republic
1922 – the Ukraine becomes one of the founding members of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR – Soviet Union)
1991 – Ukraine joins the growing list of nations which have left the USSR and declared
1991-2014 – Russia supplies natural gas and oil to a lot of Europe, and many of the
pipelines run through Ukraine. As Russia marginalises itself under the corrupt presidency of Vladimir Putin, Russia gets bitchy and frequently threatens
to shut off the fossil fuel supply to Europe. Russia threatens Ukraine frequently.
2014 – Following the Ukrainian Revolution in 2014, Russia begins meddling and invades the Crimean Peninsula (which was part of Ukraine, but populated
by many Russia-supporters). Separatists, pro-Russian militia and ethnic Russians work with Russia to pave the way for Russia to invade and ‘annex’ (attach)
Crimea as a new part of Russia.
September 2020 – Volodymyr Zelenskyy – who once starred in a movie playing a character who becomes president of Ukraine after his video about corruption
in the country goes viral — is now president. Zelenskyy approves Ukraine’s new National Security Strategy, which includes partnership with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). This irritates Russia, because NATO is a cooperative of countries which pledge to support each other if one of them is attacked… meaning Ukraine seems to position itself as being friendly to the West and an enemy of Russia.
November 2021 – 92,000 Russian troops build up on the border of Ukraine.
December 2021 – Russian president Vladimir Putin proposes limits on NATO’s
activities in eastern Europe, such as a prohibition on Ukraine ever joining NATO. Ukraine tells Putin to go fuck himself.
January 2022 – Russian troops begin arriving in Belarus (which is led by a pro-Russian dictator)
25 January 2022 – Russian exercises involving 6,000 troops and 60 jets take place in Russia near Ukraine and Crimea. Military “exercises” take place for ten days.
17 February 2022 – Ukrainian separatist fighting escalates in Ukraine’s eastern parts
(Remember, these parts have already been partially invaded and occupied, and they’re full of people who are inviting Russia to invade)
21 February 2022 – Russian President Putin announces that Russia recognises the independence of two pro-Russian breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine (the Donetsk
People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic), leading to economic anctions
from NATO countries the following day. Putin says to himself, “Fuck this – it’s on like Donkey Kong”
24 February 2022 – Putin announces he has made the decision to launch a “special military operation” in eastern Ukraine. In his announcement, Putin claims there are no plans to occupy Ukrainian territory and that he supports the right of the peoples of Ukraine to self-determination… Yeah, right — within minutes of Putin’s
speech, explosions are reported in the capital Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odessa, and the Donbas.
Russian troops land in Mariupol and Odessa and launch cruise and ballistic missiles at airfields, military headquarters, and military depots in Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Dnipro. The biggest war on a European state since 1945 begins.
March 7: Ukrainian refugees amount to 1.7 million.
March 11: Putin brings up an extra 16,000 irregular fighters from Syria.
March 15: In an effort to get Putin to calm the fuck down about NATO, Zelenskyy tells European officials he doesn’t believe NATO membership is a prospect for Ukraine, signalling possible grounds for a compromise in negotiations with Moscow.
April 27: Russia moves from attacking key eastern Ukrainian cities to attacking Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv – which is in the west, and supposed to be safe.
May 2022: In the month since the invasion began, more than 10 million people have been displaced, numerous Ukrainian towns and cities have been besieged and bombarded beyond recognition, and thousands of civilians have been killed.