The conflict in Ukraine has been a source of tension between Russia and the West for some time now. Unfortunately, this tension has only grown in recent years with Russian troops being seen as invaders rather than liberators. In this blog post we will look at why many Ukrainians view Russian soldiers as invaders and not liberators.
False Expectations of the Russian Forces
Ukraine has proven that it can counter Russian military tactics and strategy and the Russian forces were significantly overconfident in the success of their invasion. Rather than preparing for a major war, they genuinely believed a large proportion of the Ukrainian population would greet them as liberators. However, instead of being welcomed with open arms and flowers, the Russian soldiers were met with resistance. According to Ukraine’s defense ministry, Russia has not been able to take Kyiv or occupy a major portion of the country. This has proven to be a harsh reality for the Russian forces and has led many experts to question their capabilities.
No Flowers or Welcoming Arms
Despite being promised that Ukrainians would welcome them as liberators, the Russian forces received no flowers or welcoming arms. In fact, Ukrainian forces have inflicted catastrophic losses on Putin’s invaders and have liberated more than 2,300 square miles of the country. Estimates of Russian losses range from 10,000 to 30,000 killed or wounded. The Russian army relies heavily on massive artillery strikes and they have been unable to take Kyiv or occupy a major portion of the country, indicating their inability to achieve their goal. Furthermore, some Russian troops are refusing to return to fight in Ukraine because of their experiences on the front line at the start of the invasion. It is clear that Ukrainians are not seeing the Russian army as liberators, and instead view them as invaders.
The Ukrainian Army’s Resistance
Despite the Kremlin’s expectations of a quick victory, the Ukrainian army did not disperse. On the contrary, they fought back fiercely and managed to stave off Russian forces from capturing Kyiv during the first weeks of the invasion. They also managed to push back Russian forces and liberate more than 2,300 square miles of Ukrainian territory. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the newly liberated city of Kherson on Monday, praising Ukrainian service members for their courage and valor in defending the country’s sovereignty. This proves that the Russian forces were not welcomed as liberators, but rather seen as invaders by the Ukrainian people.
Misconceptions by the Russian Soldiers
Unfortunately, the Russian soldiers have many misconceptions about the situation in Ukraine. Some believe that they will be welcomed as liberators, some expect the Ukrainian people to be grateful for the intervention and some are under the impression that the Ukrainian army will surrender without a fight. Unfortunately, none of these expectations have been met and the Russian soldiers have found themselves in a difficult situation. The Ukrainian army has shown that it is more than capable of fighting back and providing stiff resistance to the Russian forces. As a result, the Russian soldiers are no longer seen as liberators, but as invaders.
Russia’s Claim of Being the Liberator
Despite Russia’s claims that they are the liberators of Ukraine, they have been met with nothing but opposition from the Ukrainian army. The false expectations of the Russian forces and their misconceptions of how the people of Ukraine would react has led to an ongoing battle and a lack of trust from the Ukrainian civilians. This has only further solidified the view of the Russian soldiers being seen as invaders and not liberators.