· January, 2023

Image courtesy of Canva.

February 24, 2023, marks the first anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine — a military campaign that actually began in 2014 with the annexation of Crimea. After failing at its attempt “to strengthen its sway over the new government in Kyiv” in 2014, many across the world failed to see that the “unexpected invasion of the Crimean Peninsula” at the time was, in fact, the first sign of the campaign that unfolded on February 24, 2022. This time, however, it was going to be a different story. Ukrainians, have demonstrated incredible resilience. On the military front, they have maintained full control of most of their territory, and pushed back against the frontline at times. Civilians have shown equally remarkable resilience, whether choosing to stay home, relocate within Ukraine, or seek temporary refuge outside the country. 

Yet the price Ukrainians have paid has been heavy: an estimated 110,000 Ukrainians — military forces and civilians — are believed to have lost their lives over the last year due to Russia’s invasion. About 8 million remain outside of their country. Energy, water, communication, transportation, and housing infrastructures have been repeatedly bombed and destroyed, affecting the lives of the 35 million people still in Ukraine. 

Despite losses in life and the targeted destruction of its economy, Ukraine is holding strong. It is also winning the political, economic, and military support of countries in Europe and North America, as well as Asia, Africa, and Latin America. It has managed to portray its fight against Russia’s aggression as a global resistance to colonialism, autocracy, and the heritage of the Cold War. At the same time, it serves as a mirror for Russians in overturning the fatalist narrative that authoritarianism and isolation are inevitable in former-Soviet societies.

The war in Ukraine is also a global one, for several reasons: it directly involves Ukraine and Russia, but also Belarus, which is being used by Moscow as a proxy. It shifts diplomatic, economic and military alliances linked to Moscow across the world. It has created an unprecedented wave of migration out of Russia, numbering millions by some accounts, that is creating positive and negative impacts in countries as diverse as Kazakhstan, Moldova, Georgia, Turkey, Indonesia, and Argentina. It has also reshaped global finance and trade flows due to the sanctions imposed on Russia

Perhaps even more importantly, it brings yet another layer of uncertainty to global diplomacy, security, and the economy, as there is no clear sign of when and how this war might end. 

Global Voices is continuing to cover the war and its many consequences, with stories from within Ukraine as well as Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas, showing how this war is perceived globally and continues to affect countries and communities in different ways. 

Stories about Russia invades Ukraine: One year later from January, 2023

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