Home News The First TikTok War, and the invasion of Ukraine

The First TikTok War, and the invasion of Ukraine

Black smoke rises from a military airport in Chuguyev near Kharkiv on Feb. 24, 2022. - Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military operation in Ukraine today with explosions heard soon after across the country and its foreign minister warning a "full-scale invasion" was underway. (Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

In the early hours of Feb. 24, Russia invaded Ukraine. Shortly before, President Vladimir Putin talked of a “special military operation” in the region. More than 150,000 Russian troops had surrounded the country for days. 

The Russians have invaded the capital city of Ukraine, Kyiv, along with many other areas of the country. It is likely that long-term peace in continental Europe has been irreparably jeopardized by these developments. 

To the east of the country, the separatist nations recently recognized by Russia, Donetsk and Luhansk. To the north is Belarus, (literally White Russia), a nominally independent nation that is de facto controlled by Russia as a puppet state. Both areas are filled with soldiers poised to strike. 

Poland is a notable military power in the region and if pulled into the conflict, could bring with it the aid of the U.S. in a more traditional sense. 

As the buildup occurred, various videos made it to social media platforms such as TikTok and Twitter. They depicted the loud march of tanks toward the Ukrainian border.

At 6 a.m. Moscow time, Vladimir Putin described the coming invasion as having the goal of “demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine.”

He made the announcement of the invasion just as the United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting to address the escalation of the crisis in the last few days.

The world we live in seems vaguely post-history, largely due to the amenities we enjoy and the peace that exists within our own continental borders. 

Day after day, videos on TikTok and social media suck us out of the real world as we all seek escapism in our lives.

Early this morning, as videos of the invasion flooded in on social media, the rest of the world watched together.

While the invasion and aftermath is readily available to stream on your iPhone, it won’t be bloodless.

Just before the invasion kicked off, Biden called the attack, “unprovoked and unjustified.” In addition, he vowed that “the world will hold Russia accountable.”

As for now, it seems that Biden will continue with economic sanctions and reserve any military options for future developments as the invasion unfolds. 

As the bombs went off overnight in Kyiv, we were reminded that history can still be decided in these bizarre days we live in. Russian air strikes devastated the country as well.

This new war has the potential to draw the United States’ other rival China, into a fight as well. In a situation that is remarkably similar to the Russo-Ukrainian Crisis, Taiwan is a splinter nation from China with American support as well. The times we live in have the potential for even more destructive conflict yet, especially if China takes advantage of the Ukrainian conflict. 

Adding to these complications, Putin warns of “consequences you have never seen” for any country that tries to stop Russia.

In their satellite nations of Belarus, Donetsk and Luhansk, Russia had found the perfect position to strike from. 

This morning, traffic continued in Kyiv, as citizens scrambled for groceries and decided whether or not to flee their homes. As the sun comes out, it shines upon the excessive smoke that hangs in the city’s skies.

Many nations have shown their support for Ukrainian border integrity throughout the night. Germany illuminated the Brandenburg Gate with the national colors of Ukraine.

However, this is a complicated situation, and Germany itself has economic interests in common with Russia, including the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project. Just a couple of days ago, Germany announced that it will not certify the new pipeline due to the aggression in Ukraine.

This is significant, as it hinders Germany itself, and in our globalized economic community, what is bad for one is bad for all. Additional sanctions from the West come with the same double-edged implications.

The coming days will show which European nations consider their stake in the region to be worth further violence. 

The strange world we live in may have its first TikTok war, and just as the television was to Vietnam, we will see this new war play out before our very eyes.

The name seems innocuous enough, but it is misleading. Ukrainian officials report “hundreds killed” in the early morning today

Meanwhile, the rest of the world watches on while Ukraine fights for its right to exist.

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