The Russo-Ukrainian War has been ongoing between Russia and Ukraine since February 2014. Hostilities were initiated by Russia shortly after Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity and were focused on the political status of Crimea and the Donbas, which remain internationally recognized as part of Ukraine.
- On 10 November 2021, the United States reported an unusual movement of Russian troops near the borders of Ukraine.By 28 November, Ukraine had reported a build-up of 92,000 Russian troops.
- On 7 December 2021, US President Joe Biden warned President of Russia, Vladimir Putin of “strong economic and other measures” if Russia attacked Ukraine.
- On 17 December 2021, Putin proposed a prohibition on Ukraine ever joining NATO, which Ukraine rejected.
- On 17 January 2022, Russian troops began arriving in Russia’s ally Belarus, ostensibly “for military exercises”.
- On 19 January 2022, the US gave Ukraine $200 million in security aid.
- On 19 January 2022, Biden stated in a press conference: “Russia will be held accountable if it invades. And it depends on what it does.” Many critics of the US president felt this left the door open for President of Russia Vladimir Putin to invade.
- On 24 January 2022, NATO put troops on standby.
- On 25 January 2022, Russian exercises involving 6,000 troops and 60 jets took place in Russia near Ukraine and Crimea.
- February 2022
- On 10 February 2022, Russia and Belarus began 10 days of military maneuvers.
- On 17 February 2022, fighting escalated in separatist regions of eastern Ukraine.
- 21 February
- Putin announced Russian recognition of two pro-Russian breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine (the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic). This announcement led to the first round of economic sanctions from NATO countries the following day.
In his televised “address concerning the events in Ukraine” before the announcement, Putin stated his belief that Vladimir Lenin was the “author and architect” of Ukraine and labeled Ukrainians who have taken down Lenin’s monuments “ungrateful descendants”, saying “This is what they call decommunization. Do you want decommunization? Well, that suits us just fine. But it is unnecessary, as they say, to stop halfway. We are ready to show you what real decommunization means for Ukraine.”