The war in Ukraine began unexpectedly on February 24, 2022, and took most of the world by surprise. There is much to review on the first anniversary of the initiation of war. It looks like a war without end.
Most experts gave Ukraine a week at most when the tanks first arrived on this day one year ago. But, with Western aid, Ukraine has weathered the Syrian war for a year, and this has converted the regional conflict into a worldwide issue. Far from becoming a pariah, China and several other nations support Russia. Russia has not yet been negatively impacted by sanctions intended to punish it, but economies around the world—from the wealthy west to the underdeveloped African nations—are feeling the effects of rising food and energy prices as well as slowing economic development. To make matters worse, the battle is far from done because neither side is eager to negotiate. The cost of Russia’s conflict in Ukraine has been borne by the entire world. We have been counting our losses for a year, with no winner and no vanquished.
According to the UN, between February 24, 2022, and January 20, 2023, 9k civilians died in Ukraine. 17,994 people were hurt within the same tiperiodIn January, a senior Norwegian official estimated that 30,000 civilian deaths had occurred. According to estimates from the west, 2.8 lakh soldiers were killed or wounded. This consists of 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers and around 1.8 lakh Russian soldiers. In Europe, there are 6.3 million Ukrainian refugees. 6.6 million Ukrainians are internally displaced. According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHSCR), the Ukraine war was the second-largest cause of global displacement. The countries that have taken in the most refugees are Poland (1.56 million) and Germany (1.05 million). Currently, 40% of Ukrainians depend on humanitarian aid. Ukraine’s infrastructure was damaged, costing $139 billion. 60% of Ukrainians are considered poor. And even those figures don’t do justice to the human and economic costs.
On Thursday, several activists painted a huge Ukrainian flag on the street in front of the Russian Embassy in London to express their support for the war-torn nation. Almost 300 litres of paint were used by the campaign organisation “Led By Donkeys” to paint a 5382 square foot Ukrainian flag across the street. The large flag was painted by the campaigners’ using brushes and wheelbarrows. The group declared in a statement that “Ukraine is an autonomous state and a people with every right to self-determination.” That will be emphasised by the presence of a sizable Ukrainian flag outside (Russian President Vladimir Putin’s) embassy in London.
It appears from history the expression “lions led by donkeys,” which was used during the First World War to describe the idea that British soldiers were being led to their deaths by inept leaders, served as the inspiration for the name Leading by Donkeys.
In addition to leaving vibrant markings along the road that borders Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, numerous vehicles’ tyres were coated in the paint as they drove over it. According to the organisation, the edible paint was made for road art and is non-toxic, solvent-free, and quick to dry. The London Police Department reported that four people had been detained for “criminal damage and impeding the highway.”
On February 24, 2022, Russia started to invade Ukraine. In the days leading up to the invasion, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appealed to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to abstain from going to war, warning that an invasion would only bring “an abundance of misery dirt, blood, and death” to their doorsteps.
Those words are still applicable a year into the conflict.
All that can be said with clarity about the body count—undoubtedly the most significant figure, but kept secret by both sides—is that it is horrible. Officials from the West estimate it to be in the tens of thousands and constantly expanding.
Nonetheless, Ukraine is still in existence, which is a crushing setback for the Russian government.