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Russian Invasion of Ukraine Begins

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Russian Invasion of Ukraine Begins

Russian Invasion of Ukraine Begins
Photo: Justin Yau/Sipa USA via AP

Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine today after failing to resolve its long-standing diplomatic stalemate with the United States over terminating NATO’s open-door policy toward Ukraine.

Over the past several months, Russia has gradually increased its ground forces on the border with Ukraine, totaling 150,000 troops. The collapse in negotiations comes after Putin recognized the Donetsk and Luhansk breakaway ‘republics’ as a pretext for pushing Russian troops into Ukraine. Civilian deaths have already been reported. With Russian troops close to penetrating the Kyiv region, the US has imposed punitive economic sanctions on Russia’s banking and financial transactions and increased NATO reinforcements in surrounding states.

Expect the US to coordinate NATO’s strategic response, which will likely see NATO members refrain from direct intervention in the short term. However, having received permission from the United States, Lithuania has been providing Stinger anti-aircraft systems to Ukraine to support Ukraine’s air defense systems in light of Russian air superiority.

Expect the US and EU to remain hesitant around imposing further sanctions on Russia, especially on Russian energy as it would negatively affect US-European markets as well. Nevertheless, Russia will likely limit its offensive and occupation to the eastern half of Ukraine to keep the likelihood of NATO intervention low, while further pressuring the West to accede to Russia’s security demands.

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