Global Response to Russian Invasion on Ukraine

Uyen Nguyen — Correspondent

Ukrainian citizens have woken up to news of war and invasions since February 24. 

Ukraine has closed its airspace to civilian flights after Russia began military action. Some Ukrainians walked for miles through the night, while others fled by train, car, or bus, forming lines miles long at border crossings.

As Ukrainian women and children flee the country, men aged 18 to 60 are ordered to stay and fight Russia.

Many nations have reacted publically to “Putin’s war,” siding primarily with Ukraine.

Apart from Russia on the east, Ukraine also shares its border with Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova. According to the United Nations refugee agency, over 360,000 people have already fled their homes in Ukraine into the neighboring countries, and approximately more than 4.5 million more will follow.

Moldova’s President, Maia Sandu, said they are committed to providing international protection for those seeking refuge from Russian aggression in Ukraine.

Poland’s Health Ministry said Poland is preparing to accept migrants from Ukraine, including Ukrainian citizens affected by the armed conflict.

“We will do everything to ensure that every person who enters the territory of Poland has access to healthcare, including hospitalization. Beds are being prepared in hospitals for the admission of the wounded,” the Polish ministry added.

Slovakia and Hungary are accepting Ukrainian citizens. They are also sending more troops to their border with Ukraine to manage people arriving.

In addition to welcoming Ukrainian refugees, many European countries provide military aid and ban Russia from their airspaces.

“Lithuania in coordination with Latvia and Estonia closes its airspace to Russian air carriers starting from midnight, February 27,” Lithuanian Transport and Communications Minister, Marius Skuodis, said.

Finland said it would send defense equipment, weapons, and ammunition to Ukraine. The government also allotted $50 million in assistance to Ukraine.

“Grateful to Finland for allocating $50 million in aid,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Twitter. “It is an effective contribution to the anti-war coalition. We continue to work. We need to increase sanctions and support Ukraine’s defense.”

The European Union (EU) provided an emergency macro-financial assistance operation of €1.2 billion in the form of loans to foster stability in Ukraine. 

“The EU has acted swiftly and decisively to help Ukraine. Within 21 days, we completed the necessary work, which means that €1.2 billion macro-financial assistance can now reach Ukraine,” said Bruno Le Maire, French Minister for Economic Affairs, Finance, and Recovery.

The Greek health ministry sends medicines and medical supplies to Ukraine, while Scotland offers refuge and shelter for Ukrainian refugees.

Ireland is waiving visas for Ukrainian citizens, hoping the move would be helpful to Ukrainian families in Ireland who wish their loved ones to join them.

Irish businessman Brendan Murphy, who had been trying to get temporary visas for his Ukrainian wife and family, fled Kyiv as Russian forces approached the capital.

Murphy said he was “very pleased” to see visa requirements waived but said it “would have been better” if it happened earlier.

On the east side, Azerbaijan donated medical equipment to Ukraine. 

Taiwan sanctions Russia by limiting chips and hi-tech exports expected. 

On Monday (2/28), Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that they are holding Russian President Vladimir Putin to account for his “egregious unjustified war” against Ukraine.

“From midnight last night, Australian targeted financial sanctions and travel bans came into effect on the Russian President and remaining permanent members of Russia’s Security Council: Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, and Internal Affairs Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev,” Morrison said.

“Australia will continue to work with allies and like-minded countries to impose further economic sanctions on Russia,” he added.

Japan’s sanctions target Kremlin associations and major Russian banks and impose export controls on certain American technologies, such as lasers and semiconductors. 

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern also banned exports to the Russian military and Russian officials, as well as travel to New Zealand.

In the west, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly announced that Canada would send an additional $25 million in military aid to assist Ukraine in its efforts to retain sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence.

Some 90,000 U.S. troops are already stationed across Europe, mostly in NATO countries. 

“Our forces are not and will not be engaged in the conflict,” US President Joe Biden said. “Our forces are not going to Europe to fight in Ukraine but to defend our NATO allies and reassure those allies in the east.”

The Biden administration also announced additional sanctions against Russia’s central bank on Monday (2/28).

Billionaire Elon Musk is providing free satellite-based internet service in Ukraine through his company Starlink as Russian attacks disrupt the internet.

Online, the hacker collective Anonymous has taken down Russian government websites, including the Kremlin and the Ministry of Defense, and declared cyberwar on Russia.

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