Update: War in Ukraine

Update: War in Ukraine

No matter where they are from, everyone has been affected by the war in some way–most of all, the citizens of Ukraine, whose lives and country are being threatened daily. One year ago, the news flashed across everyone’s television screens that Russia had invaded Ukraine. 

This map shows the warpath of the Russians throughout their attempted invasion of Ukraine

The two countries have been in conflict since 2014. Beginning the Russo-Ukrainian War, troops invaded the Ukrainian-controlled island of Crimea. They have held it ever since. On February 24, 2022, Russian forces stormed the border. This was a direct violation of the Charter of the United Nations, an international law to protect large-scale invasions. 

Due to Russia’s drastic actions, other countries in Eastern Europe and other parts of the world were prompted to take sides. Poland, Germany, Lithuania, Estonia, and the United States have sided with Ukraine. Many of Russia’s closest allies have called for diplomatic solutions to maintain peace and have not yet shown their support. According to CNN, Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly plans to meet with China’s President Xi Jinping. 

The European Union adopted Ukraine on June 23, 2022. It was a crucial move in sealing trade deals between nations. Ukraine is also a founding member of the United Nations, a worldwide pact that has repeatedly condemned Russia for its invasion. Despite requests, NATO has not yet offered protection to Ukraine due to threats made by Vladimir Putin. The organization comprises thirty member countries that could be a key asset to Ukraine’s winning.

The opposition attempted to overthrow the Ukrainian government shortly after the war broke out. Throughout five months, significant cities continuously fell to Russian forces. Lysychansk, the final Ukrainian-controlled town, was taken in July 2022. Over 8,000 civilians have perished in a year alone. Including military personnel, the United Nations has estimated a death count of up to 15,000 people.

A tank proudly displays a Ukrainian flag during the conflict as a show of strength.

Around 40,000 square miles are illegally occupied by Russia. However, the amount is significantly less due to Ukraine’s continued counterattacks. The heavy defense began in August in the Kherson region and has pressed on. Amid major conflict, President Volodymyr Zelensky has been a beacon of hope for the Ukrainian people. He has shared words of inspiration and courage with the troops bravely fighting to defend their homeland. 

The war has had a significant impact on the Benjamin School community. Head of the Middle School, Mr. Charles Hagy, comments, “With the conflict dragging on this long, many have put the situation of Ukrainians in the back of their minds. We must keep the Ukranians in our thoughts and prayers ourselves ” Advisories across campus have participated in relief efforts such as collecting toys for refugee children and sending food to the active militias. As the world awaits an end to the conflict, a brutal war in Ukraine rages on.