In the night between 23rd and 24th February, Putin, the Russian President, announced a “special operation” on the Ukrainian territory to “demilitarize the country” and “protect the Donbass’’. Then he warned that there would be “unseen consequences if anyone interferes”.
The roots of this decision go back a long way. But the reasons that prompted the Russian leader to act are not only historical. In a pre-dawn TV address on 24th February, President Putin declared Russia could not “feel safe, develop and exist” anymore because of what he claimed was a constant threat from modern Ukraine. Immediately, airports and military headquarters were attacked; then, tanks and troops rolled in from Russia, Russian-annexed Crimea and its ally Belarus. Big cities have been shelled, neighbourhoods razed to the ground and millions of Ukrainians have fled their homes.
And yet Russia bans the terms war or even invasion, threatening journalists with jail if they do. For President Putin this is a “special military operation”.Many of his justifications for war were false or irrational.
The war has led till now to terrible consequences: numerous dead people, injured and refugees, economic consequences, destruction of houses, schools, hospitals and even the risk of a third world war. This phenomenon has mobilized people from all parts of the word.
Until today, on the eighteenth day of war, the number of victims amounts to over 15000 casualties among soldiers and civilians.
Here are some pictures of the destruction of civilian houses and of citizens trying to escape