Ukraine invasion — explained The roots of Russia's invasion of Ukraine go back decades and run deep. The current conflict is more than one country taking over another; it is — in the words of one U.S. official — a shift in "the world order."
Special Series

Ukraine invasion — explained

Demonstrators burn flares and smoke bombs outside the Ukrainian parliament in Kyiv on June 5, 2020, during a demonstration calling for the interior minister's resignation over corruption suspicion. Sergei Supinksy/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Sergei Supinksy/AFP via Getty Images

U.S. Abrams tanks participate in a live fire demonstration during training exercises in Poland in September 2022. President Biden announced Wednesday that the U.S. will be sending 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. Germany also said it will be sending tanks. Omar Marques/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Omar Marques/Getty Images

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stands next to a Leopard 2 main battle tank of the German armed forces while visiting an army training center in Ostenholz, Germany, on Oct. 17, 2022. David Hecker/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
David Hecker/Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pays his respects to victims of a deadly helicopter crash during a farewell ceremony in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Jan. 21. Efrem Lukatsky/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Efrem Lukatsky/AP

Oil tankers are seen at the Sheskharis complex, part of Chernomortransneft JSC, a subsidiary of Transneft PJSC, in Novorossiysk, Russia, on Oct. 11. This is one of the largest facilities for oil and petroleum products in southern Russia. AP hide caption

toggle caption
AP

Russia has amassed a shadow fleet to ship its oil around sanctions

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.janepoynter.com/player/embed/1149745629/1149745871" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin (left) and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, discuss details of a huge U.S. and NATO arms package for Ukraine at the U.S. air base in Ramstein, Germany, on Friday. ANDRE PAIN/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
ANDRE PAIN/AFP via Getty Images

Two Leopard 2 A6 heavy battle tanks and a Puma infantry fighting vehicle of the Bundeswehr's 9th Panzer Training Brigade participate in a demonstration of capabilities during a visit by then-Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht to the Bundeswehr Army training grounds in February 2022 in Munster, Germany. Sean Gallup/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

A soldier stares up at a gaping hole in an apartment building in Dnipro, Ukraine on Monday. The city was hit by Russian missiles on Saturday. Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Claire Harbage/NPR

Amid the rubble in Dnipro, Ukraine, a frantic search grows increasingly desperate

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.janepoynter.com/player/embed/1149404270/1149455755" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Emergency workers clear the rubble after a Russian rocket hit a multistory building leaving many people under debris in the southeastern city of Dnipro, Ukraine, on Jan. 14, 2023. Evgeniy Maloletka/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Evgeniy Maloletka/AP

In a move that experts say is a key shift for Russia, the Kremlin has named General Valery Gerasimov as the new overall commander of the war in Ukraine. Mikhail Kuravlev/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Mikhail Kuravlev/AP

What Putin's shake-up of top commanders could mean for the war in Ukraine

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.janepoynter.com/player/embed/1147520826/1149201495" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

People look at destroyed Russian military vehicles on display in central Kyiv on a snowy afternoon in the capital city on January 9. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Putin has only 1 option left but won't accept it, says Ukraine's foreign minister

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.janepoynter.com/player/embed/1147894588/1147969108" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

This photo shows the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) firing during exercises in the Philippines. Russia accused Ukraine of using the same weapons to carry out the attack. Jam Sta Rosa/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Jam Sta Rosa/AFP via Getty Images

People gather at the bottom of a hotel, which has been partially destroyed by a Russian strike in the center of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on Saturday. Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during an expanded meeting of the Russian Defense Ministry Board at the National Defense Control Center in Moscow on Wednesday. Vadim Savitsky/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Vadim Savitsky/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

Russia's economy is still working but sanctions are starting to have an effect

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.janepoynter.com/player/embed/1144226139/1144228544" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">