Ukraine Update

by JJ Grant

It has been over six months since Russia first invaded Ukraine. Being two of Europe's largest nations, the death toll has increased on a mass scale since the start of the war in February 2022. According to NPR, approximately 20,000 Ukrainian civilians have lost their lives in the crossfire between the two nations.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has not only seen increased death rates but now holds the title of Europe’s largest refugee crisis since World War II. According to NPR, approximately 7.4 million Ukrainians have fled the country and a third of that population have been reported as displaced.

In support, the Ukranian government implemented the Refugee Response Plan of Ukraine to encourage other Eastern European countries help take in refugees from Ukraine. For example, Poland has allowed approximately 6.1 million Ukrainian refugees to enter their nation's borders.

The Refugee Response Plan in Ukraine has given governments in neighboring countries the option to keep their borders open and local communities to welcome refugees, other people of concern, and third-country nationals.

Russia has been the dominant force in its attack on Ukraine for a large percentage of this conflict, but Ukraine is finally beginning to strike back. Throughout September Ukraine began a counteroffensive from the northeast and south to put pressure on Russian forces. This counterattack is specifically called the ‘Ukrainian Kharkiv Oblast’ counteroffensive because Kharkiv is the northeast city that Ukraine seems to be using as a point of attack.

Threats of nuclear attack from Russian President Vladimir Putin have been spreading due to the threat of Ukraine taking back their own land in Kyiv and Kharkiv. Even though Russia was prepared for this counteroffensive, Ukraine has caught Russia off-guard.

When Russia initially launched this attack in February 2022, Vladimir Putin expected a swift and easy victory. However, almost immediately after the initial invasion, the Ukrainian people refused to back down and have held out against the global superpower in what has become a costly and reputation-damaging war for Russia.