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 March, 2023
Police in Kyrgyzstan pressures exiled anti-war Russians to keep quiet
The war in Ukraine presented Bishkek a challenging task of navigating Russia’s demands for explicit support of its invasion and the risks of falling under Western sanctions.
Lost Ukrainian children: War and abductions by Russia overshadow another big issue
The forced transfer of Ukrainian children to Russia from residential institutions is a war crime. And there is also a broad problem with Ukrainian residential institutions.
The story of a Ukrainian woman who delivered a baby under the Russian occupation
"I realized that if I gave in, it would be easy, because it’s not hard to leave your body. But how would the baby manage without me?"
Central Asians fighting in Ukraine are both defending and attacking it
The authorities in Central Asia have issued stern warnings to their citizens not to fight in Ukraine, threatening lengthy prison sentences for participating in armed conflicts abroad as mercenaries.
‘I am fighting Russians not because I hate Russia.’ The story of a Ukrainian volunteer infantryman
This is an illustration of how a former civilian and civic activist with very liberal, humanistic, and pacifistic views starts to think like a soldier.
‘Glory to Ukraine’: Outrage, pride, and mystery around the apparent execution of a prisoner of war
The executed POW was identified as a Ukrainian territorial defense unit soldier Olexandr Matsievsky. Ukrainian President Zelensky awarded him Hero of Ukraine, the highest national award.
Crimean Tatars are among the most politically persecuted groups in Russia
This oppressive campaign is a part of a broader effort by the authorities to repress the Crimean Tatar community, whom they consider political opponents
For Ukrainians defending their country, words are important
Russia is trying to destroy Ukraine not only by weapons, forced deportations, and “re-education” of children in the occupied territories, but also by words.
How the war in Ukraine twisted my tongue
After Russia invaded for a second time on February 24, 2022, I found myself wondering what to do with the part of my brain that still speaks Russian every day.
From Turkey, thoughts on the Ukraine war, one year later
"My heart goes to all the brave friends and colleagues who have kept doing their jobs despite the chaos. And heartfelt condolences to all the families of those who are no longer with us."
Science for Ukraine? Some research residencies are failing to support researchers at risk
'If Ukrainian researchers are invited to a pre-planned program, albeit a short-term one, it makes sense. If the program [has been] cook[ed] up out of the blue, then no.'
‘Good Night Imperial Pride': How activists in Berlin fundraise for the Ukrainian army
Activism is a pressing need for members of the group Good Night Imperial Pride, which is acting in hopes of contributing to the end of Russia's war in Ukraine.
People fleeing from Russia: ‘We were deprived of “home” too’
Valeria considers her story banal: “I left Russia because I can’t and don’t want to be silent, and I don’t want to go to jail for this either.”