March 01, 2022

Invading Ukraine, Then vs. Now

Invading Ukraine, Then vs. Now
A section of the Ukrainian-Russian border. Eduard Kryzhanivskyi

Written two weeks prior to the invasion.

In February 2014, the Russian invasion of Crimea was sudden and swift. Within days, the offices of Ukraine’s central government on the peninsula were dismantled. Within weeks, a “referendum” was held while heavily-armed, ununiformed soldiers (nicknamed “polite people” by admirers) patrolled the city centers and besieged Ukrainian army bases.

Within a month, Ukraine’s military was expelled from Crimea. Ukrainian officers waited for orders from the capital but received none; sailors left their ships and sat in local cafeterias over their solitary meals, abandoned but thankful that no bloodshed had occurred, and that war with Russia – so recently an ally in the Black Sea – had been avoided.

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