It was confirmed Thursday that Russian troops have illegally entered into Ukrainian territory. This comes after month of the Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk repeated assertions that Russia is violating Ukrainian sovereignty. This incursion into the Ukraine by Russia sent the underequipped Ukrainian soldiers into a full retreat, reversing all of the progress the Ukrainian army has made over the past weeks in taking back the eastern part of the country. Up to this point Russia has denied interfering in the conflict to support pro-Russian separatists in the Ukrainian east.
The United States, Canada, and other NATO allies condemned these Russian advances, but are keeping to the strategy of economic sanctions to deter Russian aggression. Now Canada is CF-18 fighter jets are patrolling airspace in Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuanian to protect other NATO allies from potential Russian invasion.
Currently there are more than 117,000 Internally displaced people in the Ukraine a majority of them forced from their homes in the eastern cities of Donetsk and Luhansk as well as from the Crimean peninsula. The people desperately need humanitarian assistance from the international community especially with the winter fast approaching. The UNHCR reports that the shelters that many displaced people are living in are not suitable for winter conditions. With Russia continuing to interfere in Ukrainian affairs, this conflict has the potential to be dragged on into the winter and as such there is worry that the humanitarian crisis could worsen. The United States, Canada, and other NATO countries who have become so entrenched in this conflict need must take this humanitarian crisis seriously and start making preparation to accommodate Ukrainian IDPs who will undoubtedly need more assistance in the coming months.