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Points of Clarity | Unveiling Ukraine's Decade-Long Struggle

March 22, 20241:24

We often hear the events of February 2022 referred to as Russia's "full scale" invasion of neighboring Ukraine. What's the meaning behind this phrase?

Video Transcript

  • This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.

    When Ukraine looks back on the events of two years ago, they call it the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, because in many ways the invasion itself started ten years ago, shortly after the revolution of dignity, dignity in which the little green men, so-called little green men from Russia, were sent into Crimea. In other parts of eastern Ukraine, in an effort to undermine, destabilize government and essentially take it over, which led to an illegal annexation for Ukrainians.

    And those of us in the West looking at Ukraine. Those events ten years ago started the invasion. What happened two years ago was the full-scale invasion. When they went into all of Ukraine and they used missiles and they had bombs and bullets and tanks, soldiers. That's the full-scale invasion. So that's the distinction. So when you talk to Ukraine about ending the invasion and getting rid of Russian occupation, they don't just look at those areas that they invaded two years ago, half of which they've already recovered.

    But they look at what happened ten years ago and the takeover of Crimea. That's what's important to them. And that's why they keep referring to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, because the real invasion, the longer invasion really began ten years ago.


Ambassador Mark Green

Ambassador Mark A. Green

President & CEO, Wilson Center
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