Let’s Learn About Ukraine, Russia and NATO

sunde white illustrates her essay about what to know about ukraine, russia and NATO

So Putin, the psychopathic weirdo that is the leader of Russia, decided that he just absolutely cannot LIVE without Ukraine.  Like, he’ll just absolutely die of heartbreak if he cannot be reunited with his Soviet hostage and have his beautiful boundary-less Russia ooze all over independent Ukraine until it is completely reabsorbed back into the Soviet Republic of yesteryear.

As if its fight for independence, free and fair elections and its history of kicking out shitty tyrants never even happened.  “It’ll be like magic!”  I can hear Putin whispering into his poisoned tea.  “They will just disappear and we will be one again!”I really hate sociopathic narcissists like him.  It’s sad those types looooove to take over countries and be cruel, endless dictators.

I am grateful to the brave Russian people that have risked arrests and probably worse to go protest this war out on the streets.  I think constantly about the amazing Ukrainians that are not having it with Putin and are fighting the good fight.  And oh my gosh, the families and elderly and the pets, I haven’t even let myself process the horror yet, it’s too horrible to think about.

I thought that at least I could draw a dumb picture with a bear protecting rabbits and write up a fact sheet and draw a messy map so we all know a little bit more about the situation there.  It’s a quick read, read it, or don’t if it’s just over load right now.

I’m wishing peace for Ukraine, rebelliousness for Russian soldiers and self care and kindness for the rest of us.  Here ya go!


What is Ukraine?

Ukraine is a European nation the size of Texas with a population of 44 million people.  It gained its independence from the Soviet Union (now called Russia) in 1991 with 90% of the population voting to break from the Soviet Union.  The capitol is Kyiv (pronounced Keev) and the president is named Volodymyr Zelenskyy.  It borders Russia on the East, Poland to its North, Hungary, Moldova and Romania to its West and to its South is the Black Sea.  In 2014 Russia invaded and annexed a part of Ukraine called Cremia.

What is the Soviet Union?

In 1917 the leaders of Russia, known as Czars, were overthrown during the Russian Revolution leading Russia to become a Communist state called the Soviet Union lead by Vladimir Lenin from 1922-1924  then Stalin took over until 1953.   Under Stalin,  the Soviet Union annexed many countries including East Germany, Ukraine, Romania, Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Czechoslovakia among others. In the 80’s Mikhail Gorbachev took over the Soviet Union and attempted to reform it into a more democratic and open society.  This was called Perestroika or “reconstruction”.  In 1989, East Germany, that had a wall separating it from the free and democratic west Germany, was reunited with West Germany when the people of Germany tore down the wall and rejected further Soviet rule.  By 1991, the fall of the Soviet Union was complete when all its annexed countries declared themselves countries independent and free from Soviet rule.  The Soviet Union was renamed Russia.  Vladimir Putin has ruled Russia for 22 years.

What is NATO?

It stands for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.  It’s a military defense alliance among USA, Canada and 28 European nations.  It was established in 1949, after World War II, to prevent rogue countries in the future from invading or attacking any country belonging to NATO.  Article 5 of the NATO treaty declares that if any NATO country is attacked then all member countries must come to the military aid of that country.  Basically that means if a country attacks one member they are attacking all 30 members.  This has held the peace in Europe since WWII.

Russia Invades Ukraine

Ukraine is not a member of NATO although it is written into their constitution as a future goal.  Last week Russia, under the orders of Putin, invaded Ukraine, trying to absorb it back into Russia.  Although all members of NATO are working to help Ukraine by sending humanitarian aid and weapons, NATO feels that they cannot send soldiers in to help the Ukranian people or create a “no fly zone” over Ukraine because any shots fired by a NATO nation towards a Russian soldier, plane or vehicle would be an okay for Russia to shoot back and defend itself, thus all 30 countries of NATO would be in a active or “hot” war with Russia.  Since Russia has nuclear weapons, there is always a great fear of triggering a nuclear war with these actions.