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Russia and Ukraine 2022: Background

I Have Questions About...

What is . . .

Is it Ukraine or "the Ukraine"?

"The Ukraine" is the preferred term of Russia. It implies that Ukraine is a territory or state of Russia. Ukraine (no "the") is preferred by most Ukrainians and is recognized internationally as the official name of the country. 

Is it Kyiv or Kiev?

Kiev is the Russianized spelling and pronunciation of the capital's name. In recent years, Western news outlets began to adopt the romanized Kyiv, which most closely reflects the Ukrainian spelling and pronunciation.

Could there be a draft in the United States?

We (the librarians) are hearing this question a lot from students.

According to the U.S. Selective Service, a draft, or conscription, is "the mandatory enrollment of individuals into the armed forces." In the past, the draft was used to fill vacancies in the armed forces when there were not enough volunteers. The draft draws from the list of eligible citizens maintained by the Selective Service. All male citizens aged 18-25 are required to register for the Selective Service. Congress would have to amend the Military Selective Service Act to include women.

Congress's ability to enact a draft expired in 1973. It would take a new act of Congress to reinstate the power of the draft, allowing the president to authorize a conscription lottery. 

In short, it does not seem probable. Currently the U.S. is not sending troops to Ukraine and is instead relying on sanctions. 

What is Shield's Up?

The FBI and the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency have issued a heightened advisory on cybersecurity risks that could result from the conflict. Shields Up is a public resource that gives organizations and corporations guidance on how to best protect their network and digital assets from cyberattacks. This may result in certain websites being unavailable. 

According to the CISA website (Feb. 28, 2022), "while there are no specific or credible cyber threats to the U.S. homeland at this time, Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine, which has involved cyber-attacks on the Ukrainian government and critical infrastructure organizations, may impact organizations both within and beyond the region, particularly in the wake of sanctions imposed by the United States and our Allies. Every organization—large and small—must be prepared to respond to disruptive cyber activity."

What is SWIFT?

SWIFT stands for "Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication." It is a communication network that connects banks from around the world and enables them to receive payments. As an economic sanction, Europe and the U.S. are barring some Russian banks from using the SWIFT messaging system, crippling the ability of these banks to send and receive payments from outside the country. 

With thanks to Kate Fox, Associate Director of Library Services and the Archives at St. George's School

Dr. Olich: The Russian Invasion of Ukraine in Historical Perspective