Ukraine’s President heads to the trenches as Russia masses its troops
Ukraine’s president joined its military force recently to observe the years-long conflict between Ukraine and Russia in action. More than 20 Ukrainian soldiers have died already this year as part of the conflict. Russian troops have been amassing on their side of the border, prompting the US and its NATO allies to declare political and military backing for Ukraine. The brutal conflict in eastern Ukraine between government forces and Russian-backed separatists has been locked in a tense standoff for years.
The conflict has cost billions of dollars and thousands of lives since 2015, following the annexation of Crimea by Russia in the same year. The neighboring Donbas region, a Russian-speaking area of Ukraine, is also riddled with conflict as rebels demand independence from Kiev. Growing tensions between the United States and Russian forces have caused concerns that the stalemate might end and the border war may be reignited. There have been build-ups reported in Crimea, and cell phone video shows Russian forces driving armored columns towards the Ukrainian frontier, consisting of tanks and artillery guns as well.