Opinion: What has Putin achieved by invading Ukraine?

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow, Russia, December 23, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

On February 24th, at around 5 a.m. (GMT+2), Putin appealed to the population of Russia, announcing the commencement of ‘a special military operation’ in Ukraine that aims at its ‘demilitarisation’ and ‘denazification’. A few moments later, the peaceful sleep of the whole nation was interrupted by a series of destructive explosions caused by Russian missiles.

“Wake up, war has broken out!” — the words awfully familiar to each Ukrainian.

On February 24th Putin announced the commencement of ‘a special military operation’ in Ukraine that aims at its ‘demilitarisation’ and ‘denazification’.

However, instead of bringing chaos to our households and breaking Ukraine apart, Putin has achieved the utmost unification of the nation.

The day before a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, people donated approximately 20.5 million hryvnias to one of the most prominent Ukrainian charitable foundations ‘Come back alive’, which has been assisting the Ukrainian army and veterans since the beginning of the invasion of Donbas in 2014.

Immediately after the series of missile strikes and the entry of Russian troops on the territory of our country, Ukrainians organised themselves to voluntarily help their fellow countrymen and women. Besides separate cases of picking up random people willing to leave their hometowns, Ukrainians have created a great number of channels and groups on social media and messengers, such as Telegram, Facebook and Instagram, which collect requests to find a driver or a passenger travelling in the same direction.

In most regions of Ukraine, local centres of humanitarian aid have been founded. Volunteers have secured the supply of “everyday” goods, which are later on distributed among people who have been forced to flee. Volunteers deliver a share of supplies to places affected by war, where people are unable to leave their homes.

Ukrainian organisations contribute to providing support, too. The non-governmental organisation “Ukraine Now” has created a web page, which gathers all people in need of transfer to or being hosted in peaceful regions in the west of Ukraine. Anyone willing to give a ride or host internally displaced persons, as well as everybody who is requiring assistance, can send an application and get in contact with each other. Additionally, for people providing accommodation and for those seeking it, a similar portal “Pryhystok” (“Shelter” from Ukrainian) is available.

The Russian invasion has demonstrated the irresistible spirit of the Ukrainian nation to the whole world. Either organised or individual, within the borders of Ukraine or from abroad, Ukrainians are always there for each other to lend a hand in times of need.

Stand with Ukraine!

Article is provided by representatives of Kyiv-Mohyla University who have made their services available to provide accurate, timely, on-the-ground reporting about the war in Ukraine, including nuanced localized ongoing updates on what is happening across the country, as well as commentary and analysis.

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