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Why is Russia Invading Ukraine? | The Buildup To The Russia-Ukraine War

Russia and Ukraine's long history finally boiled over in February 2022, but why exactly is Russia invading Ukraine? It may seem like it just happened suddenly but believe it or not, Russia's invasion of Ukraine has been brewing for years...

This story is part of the series "Why is Russia Invading Ukraine?" 


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The First Military Buildup

Russia began to build up troops on the Russia-Ukraine border in April 2021. The European Union estimated that there were around 100,000 troops on the border. Russia had also been holding training exercises with its navy in the Black Sea and its army in Crimea.

Russia says they were preparing to counter any unfavorable development with NATO. In addition, they sought to counter the US Army’s Defender-Europe military exercise. Defender-Europe is a yearly exercise that involves many European countries partnering with the US to train their troops.

However, Russia backed down weeks later.

Putin’s Demands

According to NPR, Putin really only has three goals for Russian security…

1. It doesn’t want Ukraine to join NATO:

Russia wants to keep Ukraine within its in