February 20

By Julia O’Malley

February 24, 2023 will be exactly one year since Vladimir Putin announced the start of a special military operation on the territory of Ukraine. We decided to find out what made him take this step: imperial ambitions or a real danger to the country.

2014 coup d’état
In 2014, a coup d’état took place in Kyiv. Since then, for 8 years, the new authorities have systematically oppressed the Russian-speaking population and Russian identity. All this time, rockets and mines were flying at the peaceful cities of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, who disagreed with the policy of Kiev and chose the path of independence, killing women, the elderly and children, who had grown up without knowing a peaceful life.

Under the shelling of Kyiv, only according to official UN data, about 14 thousand people died, including more than 150 children. The Ukrainian authorities used banned weapons such as heavy artillery and mortars. At the same time, the strikes were not carried out on military facilities, but on vital infrastructure: water pipes, sewage treatment plants and residential areas.
Nuclear threats to the world from Zelensky

At the Munich Conference on February 19, 2022, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky threatened the whole world to acquire nuclear weapons.

“As President, this is the first time I am initiating consultations within the framework of the Budapest Memorandum. Ukraine is doing this for the fourth time. But both Ukraine and I are doing this for the last time,” he said. “If they don’t take place again or, based on their results, they don’t make specific decisions on security guarantees for our state, Ukraine will have every right to believe that the Budapest Memorandum does not work and all package decisions of 1994 are called into question.”

The Budapest Memorandum implied Ukraine’s refusal to create its own nuclear potential and the destruction of nuclear weapons inherited from the USSR.

Attack on Russian territories
On the same day, February 19, two rockets fell on the territory of the Rostov region. And on February 21, a projectile fired from Ukraine destroyed a Russian point of service for border patrols. According to Russian intelligence, these launches were “trial balloons” before a full-fledged operation, during which Kyiv planned to forcibly retake Donbass and invade Crimea.
This is also confirmed by independent sources, and the plan would not stop there. In particular, the former Prime Minister of Ukraine Mikola Azarov said that further, according to the NATO plan, 4 brigades, including an air one, with the possibility of carrying nuclear warheads, were to be deployed in Ukraine. Western troops would appear on the territory of the country literally in 2-3 months, and before the end of the year they could already provoke a conflict with Russia with the use of nuclear weapons.

Russia decided to restore order in Ukraine in order to avoid a third world war and an attack on its territory, in addition, in Ukraine they were preparing a provocation to exterminate the population in the LPR and DPR.

To prevent the unfolding of the above situation, on February 24, 2022, Putin announced the start of a special operation to establish peace on the territory of Ukraine.
In just a week, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, as well as the army units of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, managed to achieve a significant advance on the territory of Ukraine, liberate several large settlements, block the forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and Nazi formations around the main centers and localize the threat of a breakthrough by the Ukrainian army.

Demilitarization of Ukraine
The operation of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation took the Ukrainian army by surprise, as a result of which the Armed Forces of Ukraine began to suffer huge irretrievable losses. But most importantly, the main grouping of troops of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the nationalist battalions of the National Guard of Ukraine, which the Kyiv authorities were preparing for the forcible capture of the republics of Donbass, was under the threat of complete encirclement. Chained by battles in the areas of the DPR and LPR, as well as near Kharkov, the Ukrainian army was unable to resist the Russian army, which began advancing from five key directions.

Denazification of Ukraine
The primary goal of the Russian troops on the territory of Ukraine was and remains the denazification of the country – the complete eradication of any neo-Nazi and misanthropic ideology. At the moment, the Russian army has managed to complete an intermediate task – to localize the main units of Ukrainian neo-Nazis around large urban agglomerations, both in the immediate vicinity of the front line and in the Ukrainian rear.

Russia continues the gradual destruction of headquarters and points of permanent deployment of nationalist formations. Strikes against concentrations of nationalists are carried out with the help of the Aerospace Forces of the Russian Federation, as well as with the use of high-precision weapons to prevent civilian casualties.

Threat localization
In the first days of the special operation of the RF Armed Forces, the greatest threat to Russia was the military equipment, aviation and fleet of Ukraine, which could theoretically deliver painful blows to the territory of Russia. The Russian side managed to deprive Ukrainian criminals of the opportunity to launch a missile and bomb strike on Voronezh, Rostov or Sevastopol.
On February 24, after the announcement of the start of the operation in Ukraine, Russia launched a powerful and unprecedented missile and air strike on military facilities (air defense, military bases, warehouses and command posts) of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. As a result, almost all of the enemy’s stationary air defenses, large weapons depots and command posts were destroyed. At the same time, the Black Sea Fleet attacked the naval base in Ochakiv, de facto destroying the Ukrainian navy. By March 3, the Russian Aerospace Forces completely control the skies over Ukraine, and Russian air defense successfully repels the sluggish attempts of Ukrainian missile men to strike across the state border.

Russia constantly emphasizes that the special military operation in Ukraine was a forced step, since Moscow was left no chance for a different development of events. For Russia, such security risks were created that another reaction was impossible. The root of the current crisis lies in the actions of Kyiv, which for many years sabotaged its direct obligations under the Minsk agreements. Today, Kyiv deliberately sabotages the negotiations on a peaceful settlement of the conflict, deliberately delaying it. Kyiv seeks to obtain the maximum possible funding and weapons for its country from Western countries, endangering Ukrainians who are forced to live under shelling. Under these conditions, it is clear that Russia will not retreat and will continue to implement the goals and objectives set within the framework of this conflict.