Update 2/28/2022 Russia Invades Ukraine

Since the beginning of the invasion, the Russian advance has been largely stalled in Northern Ukraine. Russian troops have surrounded the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, but initial assaults on the Northern capital city of more than 2 million people have been met with resistance. Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine, has said that he will remain in Kyiv and only leave the city victorious or in a body bag.

In Southern Ukraine, Russian troops have seen more success, taking several small townships. However, Russian troops have still been unable to take major cities in the South like Odessa, Kharkiv, and Zaporizhzhya. Ukrainian civilians in the South have also been resisting the Russian advance, standing in front of Russian tanks and in some cases using farm equipment to steal Russian tanks that have run out of fuel.

The European Union (EU) and the United States have now fully enacted a wide range of sanctions, or penalties, against the Russian government and Russian oligarchs, with many of these sanctions focusing on Russia’s banking system. The EU decided over the weekend to remove select Russian banks from SWIFT, an international commercial and banking communication system. These moves have caused many Russian citizens to rush the banks, taking money from their accounts. The Russian Ruble has also fallen to an all-time low exchange rate, likely a result of the economic sanctions. EU airspace has also been closed to Russian aircraft, with many Western companies selling stock in Russian oli and airline companies. Preliminary talks have begun between the Russian and Ukrainian governments relating to a possible ceasefire, but the Ukrainian government has said that they will never be willing to surrender.