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SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

One year after the Ukraine invasion began.

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Photo provided by Pexels.

By Julian Volk

It’s been one year since the world stopped at the news about the beginning of the brutal Ukraine-Russia war, as of Feb 24, 2023. 

On Feb 24, 2022, Russia launched a full-scale invasion, attacking Ukraine’s east, north, and south. In response, neighboring countries and the EU opened their borders to fleeing Ukrainian refugees and imposed almost immediate sanctions on Moscow. This included freezing Russian-owned bank accounts and nearly shutting down all Russian oligarchs simultaneously. 

In the first few weeks of the invasion, around 440 Ukrainian civilians reportedly were killed in the numerous missile strikes ordered by the Russian leader, Vladimir Putin. One of the more significant bombings happened in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha. 

In late March 2022, Ukraine banned all agricultural exports, creating a worldwide food crisis. Before the invasion began, Ukraine ranked as one of the top agricultural exporters in the world. Ukraine’s already damaged economy took the most significant losses during this time, dropping nearly 37.2 percent in total as of Nov 8, 2022, according to Bloomberg’s Volodymyr Verbyany.

In April, more civilian bombings occurred around Ukraine as more and more Ukrainians fled, all ordered by Putin. The bombings became more frequent with an order for a greater Russian offensive so Russia could seize Donbas.

In May, Mariupol was taken by Russian forces as the last of the Ukrainians surrendered after a massive and fierce battle. Late in the month, Russia also gained control of a strategic railway hub in eastern Donbas. At this point in the war, many believe that Russia has already won and that the conflict will soon end.

In June, Snake Island, which has become a symbolic area for Ukrainian patriotism after Ukrainian troops stationed there refused to surrender to Russian forces, is retaken by Ukraine. More and more civilian bombings occur in eastern Ukraine. Early in the month, two Russian soldiers were convicted of war crimes in a Poltava courtroom and sentenced to 11 ½ years for “violating the values and customs of war.

In July, Russia fully controlled the last Ukrainian city, Lysychansk. Turkey and the UN announce the unblocking of seaports to resume Ukrainian and Russian grain exports. 

In August, Ukraine launched a full-scale counteroffensive in its Kherson region, retaking land quickly. Kyiv’s forces may also begin to use western-supplied arms to target Russian infrastructure, including the bombing of a Russian air base in Crimea. 

In September, Ukraine began a rapid offensive in northeastern Kharkiv. Ukrainian forces would begin to regain more and more land in Kharkiv before ultimately recapturing the city of Lyman. Nord Stream pipelines in Germany were mysteriously hit by suspicious leaks linked to possible sabotage of the project. Russia also says openly that it has the “right” to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, raising worry in the UN for the first time. The month was headlined by Putin’s call-up of nearly 300,000 troops, which caused large-scale protests across Russia. 

A controversial explosion on the Kerch Strait Bridge, which links Russia to Crimea, occurred in October. With Russia believing that Kyiv had ordered this hit, they relentlessly bombed Ukraine, targeting energy sources around the country. Russia announces annexing four Ukrainian territories, despite reports of Ukrainian forces still rampant in some areas. 

In November, fighting slowed, with winter quickly approaching. Ukraine regained the city of Kherson after Russian troops withdrew. Although he did not elaborate on said countermeasures, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced a massive “countermeasure” to Russia’s projected advances. 

The war reached a standstill in December, with little to no land exchanges. Putin refers to the conflict as “war” for the first time after referring to it as a “special military operation” previously. 

In January 2023, the month was headlined by the bombing of a Donetsk building that housed Russian troops. Ukraine called it a “small victory” in the battle to regain Donetsk.

Russia launched a new offensive in eastern Ukraine this February, gaining land close to Bakhmut. However, it is reported that Russia lost significant ground elsewhere to Ukraine during the offensive. 

It is reported that Russia has lost up to 200,000 soldiers, while Ukraine has reported a loss of 100,000. Around 30,000 Ukrainian civilians were killed during the conflict as well.

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