By Oliver Angert (Reporter ‘24)
The invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces has been at the forefront of the minds of people all around the world. The news coverage of this war has been incessant, and all eyes are on Presidents Zelensky and Putin. The biggest concern currently is the fire in the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe.
The fire was caused when Russian troops fired upon the facility on March 4, in addition to launching missiles. The alert was first sent out by Dmytro Orlov, the mayor of the nearby town of Enerhodar, when he said, over Facebook, “A threat to world security!!! As a result of relentless shelling by the enemy of the buildings and blocks of the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is on fire!!!” The fire in question was put out the next day at 6:20 am. All of this is just the latest in the news of the invasion, but let’s go back to the early days before Russian troops entered the country.
On November 10, the Russian government began amassing troops on the border, and Joe Biden warned Putin a month later of "strong economic and other measures" if Russia attacks Ukraine. On December 17, Putin proposed that Ukraine never be able to join NATO, which was rejected. A month later, Putin officially declared the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine independent and three days afterwards announced that Russia would carry out “special military operations” to “denazify Ukraine.” Bombings of many Ukrainian cities followed almost immediately, as well as the takeover of Chernobyl at 6:20 pm, the nuclear power plant that was the site of the worst nuclear disaster in history. President Zelensky accused Russia of attacking civilian targets the next day, which was quickly confirmed to be true. This all led to the aforementioned attack on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
The fighting continues today in the streets of Ukraine, as the citizens fight back with homemade, government-ordered Molotov cocktails (gasoline bombs), improvised hedgehog tank traps, and barbed wire. The bravery of the people of Ukraine cannot be overstated—let’s hope they can endure this crisis!