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Russia invades Ukraine


Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, was the target of airstrikes Thursday by Russian forces.

In the early hours of Ukraine Thursday morning, the tense silence that has cloaked the country broke with the sounds of an anticipated Russian invasion. Explosions have been reported in the Ukrainian cities of Odesa and Kharkiv along with the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, as Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, announced the launch of military action.
Over the past few months, the United States and its allies, including the countries that comprise the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, have been sending troops to Russia’s doorstep. The goal was to deter a Russian invasion after Putin had accumulated roughly 190,000 troops along the Ukrainian border.
In an address to the Russian people, President Putin gave a chilling warning to the rest of the world, “Whoever tries to impede us, let alone create threats for our country and its people, must know that the Russian response will be immediate and lead to the consequences you have never seen in history,” said Putin.
“The world will hold Russia accountable”
President Biden released a statement addressing the most recent advances of the Russian attack. 
“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,” said Biden.
Biden believes that Russia’s advancements against Ukraine not only pose a threat to its citizens and sovereignty but has the ability to endanger “global peace and security” in its entirety. 
In the past weeks, Biden has encouraged Americans to leave Ukraine, saying that the U.S. military would not be able to assist them once the Russians enter Ukraine.
A full-scale Russian offense could result in devastating consequences, according to military experts. 
Such aggression by the Russian military could cause an immense amount of bloodshed and casualties for all actors involved and demolish Ukraine’s relatively new democratic government, in comparison to other European nations. A world-scale conflict could lead to disastrous implications on various global entities such as energy, stability, and financial markets. 
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has jeopardized a post-Cold War balance that has kept Europe relatively peaceful for decades, and has sparked the largest conflict on the European continent since World War II.
Just as the United States is preparing for this conflict to escalate, the elected Ukrainian president does not plan on going down without a fight.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed Russia’s government and its citizens, warning if his country and his people become victim to a Russian siege, they will fight back. “If we [Ukrainians] face an attempt to take away our country, our freedom, our lives and lives of our children, we will defend ourselves. When you attack us, you will see our faces, not our backs,” said Zelenskyy.
According to former Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), “President Biden could end this crisis and prevent a war with Russia by doing something very simple: guaranteeing that Ukraine will not become a member of NATO. If Ukraine became a part of NATO, that would put US and NATO troops directly on the doorstep of Russia, which would undermine their national security interests.” . 
To become a part of the NATO alliance, the country in question must “uphold democracy, including tolerating diversity, be making progress toward a market economy, and their military forces must be under firm civilian control.”
The Economic Intelligence Unit’s recently released 2021 Democracy Index categorized Ukraine as a “‘hybrid regime’ bucket, tied for 86th place with Mexico in the democracy rankings.” This classification even excludes Ukraine from being considered a flawed democracy, let alone a healthy, stabilized democracy.  
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) gave a statement from his Pendleton office in which he stated, “I can tell you from history any time we sat silent and watched the rights of one group be eviscerated, it’s just a matter of time that it comes back to haunt us,” Graham said. “This is the 1930s all over again. What Putin did yesterday was tear up an agreement made 25 years ago. That’s exactly what Hitler did in the [1930s].” 
Graham went on to share the impact this conflict will have on South Carolina. The cost of oil will likely increase, leading to higher prices at the pump. To offset the cost, Senator Graham has insisted on reopening the Keystone Pipeline.
This is a developing story. The Tiger will provide updates with additional information as it becomes available.

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