A Tragic Anniversary: It’s Been One Year Since Ukraine Was Invaded

Warning: This article deals with the topic of targeted violence against the people of Ukraine and may be triggering for some readers.

Russia doesn’t want you to care about Ukraine. They don’t want you to care about the people who survived. They don’t want you to care about the mass graves of slaughtered civilians. They don’t want you to care about their illegal invasion, a brutal and unjustifiable war. 

Moreover, this has been Russia’s plan for a while now. Ever since they failed to take the capital of Kyiv in less than five days, they’ve been trying to make us all numb. Through using time as a weapon, they’ve been attempting to normalise the bombs that they drop on distant lands.

A person on a swing set in Kviv.
Image: Getty Images

In June of 2022, five months into this conflict, this was one of Ukraine’s biggest fears. They feared that the media coverage would dry up, that folks would no longer care.

Lesia Vasylenko, a Ukrainian politician, even stated that she feared that the number of international articles about this conflict would decline, saying “as that number goes down further, there’s a very high risk of the support from the west going down.”

However, it’s now been 365 days since Russia’s illegal invasion began, and people still care. A Ukraine anniversary is being mourned around the planet, and people still care. 

On February 24 of 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. On February 24 of 2023, publications are posting stories about this Ukraine anniversary.

International news stories, while down, are still being written. International support, while not enough, is still being provided. 

As the US President, Joe Biden, stated in a speech in Poland, “One year into this war, Putin no longer doubts the strength of our coalition. But he still doubts our conviction. He doubts our staying power. He doubts our continued support for Ukraine. He doubts whether NATO can remain unified.

“But there should be no doubt: Our support for Ukraine will not waver, NATO will not be divided, and we will not tire.”

Additionally, Biden’s words weren’t hollow. As of February 20 of 2023, the US has promised Ukraine an additional $460 million worth of military aid. They’ll be sending them artillery rounds, anti-armour rockets, and two tactical vehicles, alongside a bunch of weaponry. 

So, since Russia has failed, and you still care about this war, let’s unpack the state of the conflict. Does the Ukraine anniversary bring with it a storm of more dreadful news? Or is hope still alive and strong?

Let’s jump into the details right now.

One Year Later: Is Ukraine Winning?

A tank in Ukraine.
Image: Getty Images

As of March, 2022, Russia was dominating Ukraine. Russia had captured 160,000 sq km of this place, that being around 25% of the total country.

Nevertheless, thanks to Ukraine’s military stubbornness, Russia’s shoddy equipment, international aid, hope, and a whack of other factors, this dynamic didn’t last. Metre by metre, Ukraine liberated its stolen land. 

As of January 2023, Ukraine has recaptured 54% of its territory. They’re also hungry to take it all back.

But this hopeful news doesn’t guarantee Ukraine a win. Ukrainian officials believe that Russia will soon begin a large-scale invasion in the Donas region. Tragically, the Ukraine anniversary doesn’t mean that there will be an end to this conflict sometime soon. 

What’s more, one of the Royal Air Force’s retired air marshals, Edward Stringer, has given the planet this warning: “Don’t be seduced by ‘plucky little Ukraine,’ because Russia is much bigger. It could just grind Ukraine out. It could force Ukraine to run out of bullets by putting one Russian in front of every bullet until Ukraine runs out of bullets before Putin runs out of Russians.”

The Ukraine Anniversary: How You Can Help

A boy waving Ukraine's Flag.
Image: Getty Images

If you want this Ukraine anniversary not to repeat itself next year, you can donate to help this country survive this war. For instance, the Red Cross is providing Ukraine with medical support and needs your support. And the Ukraine Crisis Appeal is helping this country build new shelters. 

Moreover, you can resist this invasion by continuing to care. Please, don’t let Russia’s invasion feel normal. Share articles and stories about the atrocities of this war. Make it known that this is important, so that the Federal Government remembers that this is important.  

We cannot let Ukraine, democracy, and justice just slip between our fingers. Because once these things slip, they might honestly never come back again.

If this article brings up any issues for you or anyone you know, or you have experienced targeted violence, please contact Lifeline (13 11 14), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), both of which provide trained counsellors you can talk with 24/7. If you are in immediate danger, call 000.

Related: Why Australian Troops Are Training Ukrainian Soldiers in 2023

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