On Monday, Russian forces took aim at the city of Kharkiv, pounding the enclave with rockets on the fifth day of the Ukrainian invasion. Scheduled peace talks between Ukraine and Russia did nothing to stop the fighting; Belarus has entered the fray in support of Russia; Russian President Vladimir Putin has placed his nation on nuclear alert. Images of ferocious resistance by Ukrainian troops and civilians have captured the attention of Western governments which continue to pledge aid in the form of money, weapons and humanitarian assistance. Even Switzerland, a nation with a history of neutrality, has come out against Russian aggression. Meanwhile, the toll of war has been monumental. The UN reports that more than 500,000 Ukrainians, many of them families with children, have fled to western border nations as refugees, and aid agencies warn that the humanitarian crisis shows no sign of abating. As the siege continues, we’ll talk about the hardships Ukrainians are facing, and we’ll also look at the history of Russia’s relationship with Ukraine and what Putin’s endgame might be.
Russian Attacks on Ukraine Escalate, 5 Days into Full-Scale Invasion
People crowd at the Uzhhorod-Vysne Nemecke checkpoint on the Ukraine-Slovakia border, Zakarpattia Region, western Ukraine on February 27, 2022. (erhiiHudak/ Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
Alexander Motyl, professor of political science, Rutgers University-Newark
Timothy Frye, Marshall D. Shulman Professor of Post-Soviet Foreign Policy, Columbia University
Oleh Kuzo, trustee, Ukrainian Heritage Club of Northern California