March 2022Eastern Europe2022International NewsConflict and Security

Global Reactions to Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

Austin Delsontro
Staff Writer

Across the globe, the world is shunning Russia in a multitude of ways to protest President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. As The New York Times examines, from culture to commerce and sports to travel, many doors have been closed on Russia and its people, in a capacity not seen since the days of the Cold War. Such a worldwide rejection of Russia has been intended to show solidarity with the beleaguered  Ukrainians, while also attempting to force President Putin to pull back Russian forces.

Boycotts, protests, and sanctions of Russia have multiplied across the United States, Europe, and other powers following the start of the invasion. The Washington Post reports that thousands of people from around the world, from London to Paris to even Moscow, took to the streets to deliver a clear message to the Russian president: We stand with Ukraine.

The Associated Press reports that as Russian troops began to close in on the Ukrainian capital, more Russian citizens began spoking out against the invasion, even as their own government’s statements grew increasingly harsher. Protests have taken place in Moscow and St. Petersburg, among other Russian cities, with citizens taking to the streets despite mass detentions. A Russian petition to stop the invasion, launched shortly after it started, garnered over 780,000 signatures in less than five days, making it one of the most supported online petitions in Russia in recent years.

In response to the crisis in Ukraine, Facebook and YouTube have blocked Russian state-media from running ads on their platforms, while Twitter has suspended all advertising from Russia, as pressure mounts for tech platforms to respond to the crisis, NPR reports. Additionally, Google announced that they would also be pausing the ability of Russian state-funded media to accumulate revenue through YouTube and Google’s ad services as well.

Multiple media companies have also halted business dealings in Russia in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, NPR adds. Warner Brothers had been scheduled to release their newest superhero movie, The Batman, to theaters in Russia on March 3, but Warner Media announced that they would be pausing the release of any new films in Russia considering the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. Similarly, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Paramount Pictures both announced they would be delaying their newest film releases in Russia. The Walt Disney Company, in addition to no longer releasing their newest films in Russian theaters, is also working to provide humanitarian aid to Ukrainian refugees. 

Along with media protests, CNN examines how the sports world is coming to grips with the invasion. The Polish and Swedish national teams announced that neither will face the Russian club in crucial 2022 World Cup qualification playoff matches in March in protest. Poland had been scheduled to face Russia on Thursday, March 24.

Response from the world’s leaders has been swift and severe. In a White House Statement in response to the Russian invasion, U.S. President Joe Biden condemned Russia for an “unprovoked and unjustified attack” on Ukraine while promising that his country and its allies “will hold Russia accountable.” Specifically, President Biden denounced President Putin for beginning a war that will bring human suffering and a catastrophic loss of life, alleging Russia alone to be responsible. 

In a joint statement from the Group of Seven (G7), an intergovernmental assembly of major world powers, western leaders have strongly condemned the invasion, as Al Jazeera discusses. The collective leaders have promised to bring forward severe and coordinated economic and financial sanctions against Russia, believing the crisis to be a threat to international order, with potential ramifications well beyond Europe. 

Similarly, CNN details that EU President Ursula von der Leyen called Russia’s actions barbaric and has proposed massive and strategic sanctions against Russia to EU member states, designed to take a heavy toll on Russian interests and their ability to finance war. In a similar sentiment, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, implored Putin to give peace a chance.

While Russia’s invasion of Ukraine attracted sweeping condemnation from the US, the UK, European powers, and other western countries, there have been several countries which have backed Moscow over its actions, reports The Independent. Several Russian allies, including Belarus, China, North Korea, Syria, and Venezuela, have directly or indirectly pledged their support towards Russia and its invasion of Ukraine. 

For now, the entire world will continue to watch with bated breath as the largest state-on-state war in Europe since World War II unfolds, where any decisive or conclusive result will surely have devastating repercussions for years to come. 

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