Russian Invasion of Ukraine: What Would Happen?


A Ukrainian soldier sets up a wooden trench in the snow.

Christian Buonopane, Editor

It is no secret that in the coming days or weeks, Russia may invade the sovereign nation of Ukraine. Russia previously (illegally) annexed the Crimean Peninsula in 2014. Crimea was previously part of Ukraine. Now, Russia hopes to invade Ukraine as a whole, beginning with easternmost Ukraine, which borders Russia. 


Why invade Ukraine?

First, it is important to start with why. Why does Russia want Ukraine? Put simply, Russia detests Ukraine for its desires to “westernize” itself. Ukraine has become close with many Western European countries including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and even the United States across the Atlantic. More specifically, Russia does not want Ukraine to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, commonly known as NATO. NATO was established after World War 2, and ensures protection for all its member countries. Many powerful countries are members, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Portugal, Norway, Finland, and many, many other countries.


The consequences?


According to official White House estimates, the invasion of Kyiv – Ukraine’s Capital – alone would result in at least 50,000 civilian deaths. Of course, this depends on the scale of the invasion, which, at this moment, is unknown. Again, this is still a hypothetical. We are unsure if it will happen, but it likely will. Ukraine has over 44 million people, with the Easternmost and Westernmost (Russia facing) side having the most people. It is plausible that this 50,000 casualty estimate will be quickly surpassed. Additionally, economic consequences are also at play. Crude oil prices soared to $91 dollars, an all time high not reached since 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea. As the price has continued to rise, it seems that Russia and Vladimir Putin grow more emboldened. Last week, according to NPR and Fox Business, Russia had 70% of troops needed for invasion amassed on the border. They now have 75%.


Clearly, a Russian invasion of Ukraine would not be good for anyone. Civilians will no doubt die, as will troops on both sides. There will also be dire economic oil consequences. This may even bring in western countries like the United States and United Kingdom into a war that does not need to be started. We can only hope that world leaders will come to a diplomatic solution.