Update: War in Ukraine


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Jacob Bundrick, Sports Editor



Russia remains relentless. 


The horrors against Ukrainian civilians continue as Russia launched multiple missile strikes on the city of Lviv last night, killing seven and injuring eleven. In addition to civilian casualties, businesses, houses, and communities have been destroyed. 


As each day passes, more inhumane acts by Russian forces are being discovered. In the city of Bucha, mass graves full of dead Ukrainian citizens were found. Many of these civilians had been executed by Russian forces. In the eastern regions of Ukraine, occupying Russian forces have been accused of torturing civilians and starving the people of the towns that they control. 


Despite the terror and casualties, the country of Ukraine remains strong in spirit and in combat. Ukrainian forces continue to hold off Russians in many parts of the country, and the capital of Kyiv remains protected. 


Additionally, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky continues to lead his country with pride and strength, refusing to back down. Zelensky has rejected the idea of surrendering sections of Ukraine to the Russians in order to end the war, stating that “no parts of Ukraine should be on the negotiating table.” 


Allegations of Russian war crimes continue to rise, presenting another issue for the Russian government once this conflict ends. 



Russian lies continue. After claiming they would scale back their forces, the Russians launched a massive attack on the city of Chernihiv. Russia claimed that they would ease up around the cities of Kyiv and Chernihiv, but yesterday’s attack proves otherwise. 


Additionally, negotiations between Russian and Ukrainian representatives have not made any major strides. The two sides have been meeting in-person in Turkey to discuss negotiations, but it seems there is lots of work to be done to reach a true negotiation. 



After a month of fighting, the smaller Ukrainian military has proven fierce. Ukrainian forces have successfully fought against the Russians in some parts of the country. Most importantly, they have protected the capital city of Kyiv. 


According to CNN, Russian deaths have reached 10,000 and somewhere around 16,000 have been wounded. 


As of this morning, the number of Ukrainian refugees who have left the country is 3,532,756 (UN Refugee Agency). 



Carnage continues in Ukraine. Russians continue to shell cities all over the country, killing innocent Ukrainian civilians. Yesterday morning, residential areas of Kyiv were hit by Russian shells, killing two people. Late yesterday, Ukrainian journalist Oleksandra Kurshynova and FOX News cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski were killed when their truck was attacked by Russian forces. This morning, 10 citizens waiting in a line for bread in the city of Chernihiv were struck and killed by Russian artillery. 


The city of Mariupol is completely overrun by Russian forces, leaving 350,000 Ukrainians trapped in the city. Additionally, 2,500 civilians have been killed in Mariupol since the start of the month. 


Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky will virtually address the US Congress this morning to urge the United States to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine in order to protect citizens and reduce the number of Russian airstrikes on Ukraine. This decision has the potential to be a major turning point in the conflict, as an American no-fly zone protected by fighter jets could bring us into the war against Russia. President Biden will continue to provide financial aid to Ukraine, but a no-fly zone is improbable. 



Russia is continuing their horrific attacks on Ukrainian civilians. The World Health Organization has stated that Russia has attacked 24 healthcare facilities in Ukraine. Due to these attacks, at least 12 Ukrainians are dead, and close to 20 injured. The latest of these attacks came earlier today when a maternity and children’s hospital in Mariupol was hit. These unnecessary acts of violence, especially against children, can be considered war crimes, and the United Nations will investigate the atrocities. 


Due to the violence, Ukrainian citizens not fit to fight are doing their best to evacuate the dangerous areas of the country. According to CNN, more than 1.5 million refugees have reached Poland, 7,000 are in France, 96,000 in Germany, 165,000 in Slovakia, and 214,000 have escaped into Hungary. 259,000 Ukrainians have left for other European countries, and in total, 2.3 million refugees have left Ukraine. 


Fighting has slowed down relative to last week. But civilians are still dying, and homes and cities are being torn apart and destroyed. The 40-mile long Russian convoy remains outside of Kyiv as Ukrainians fight to keep the Russians out of the heart of the country. 



The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been going on for eight days. Russian forces occupy multiple Ukrainian cities along the eastern and southern borders such as Luhansk, Donets, and Kherson. The cities of Mariupol, Sumi, and Kharkiv are currently being fought for between the invading Russians and the Ukrainian resistance. 


Last week, Russian forces gained control of the Chernobyl Power Plant, and have used a route from the abandoned plant to Kyiv to move troops closer to the capital city. As of this morning, the 40 mile long convoy of soldiers, tanks, and weaponry has stopped 19 miles outside of Kyiv, and only made two miles of progress in one day. 


Ukrainian forces remain on edge and prepare to defend the capital city from the threatening convoy. 



Fighting continues in Ukraine. Russian forces, compiled in a 40 mile long convoy, are right outside of the capital city of Kyiv, and Ukrainian fighters are expecting an invasion at any moment. 


On Tuesday, a Russian missile strike on the city of Kharkiv left 10 Ukrainians dead, and 35 injured. Emergency services are still searching through the destruction. 


Despite the current war and tragedy, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has emerged as a powerful leader and a beacon of hope for his people. Zelensky has signed an official request to join the European Union. Furthermore, he has joined the fight himself. Zelensky has been recorded on video and photo, wielding weapons and wearing body armor as he fights against the invading Russians. 


Zelensky, along with the Ukrainian military and civilians, prepare to defend Kyiv. Zelensky has stated that the capital city “is the heart of our country, and it must keep beating.”



A full scale invasion is underway. Russia has gained control of an eastern section of Ukraine, encompassing the cities of Luhansk and Donetsk. Russian forces have reached the capital city of Kyiv, with tanks, weapons, and thousands of soldiers. Ukrainian forces are fighting back. Countless explosions have been reported both within Kyiv and in the surrounding areas. The death count among Ukrainian soldiers and civilians has surpassed 150. Ukraine now seeks help from NATO countries, including the United States, as Ukraine is now involved in a war with one of the world’s strongest militaries. 



Over the past week, tension in Ukraine has risen more and more. A Ukrainian kindergarten has been struck by artillery shells during a ceasefire, and Russia has added 7,000 troops to the Ukrainian border. In addition, President Biden has approved a $6 billion sale of tanks to Poland, and is considering sanctions against Russia. As of today, February 22, Vladimir Putin has recognized two Eastern Ukrainian territories as independent, and is moving Russian troops closer to Kyiv. 


This conflict originated back in 2014 after Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych turned down a deal to join the European Union. Since then, protests ran Yanukovych out of the country, and Russia set its eyes on annexing Ukraine after losing it when the Soviet Union collapsed. 


There has been a stalemate between Ukraine and Russia up until late 2021, when satellites discovered that Russia had been moving troops, tanks, and other military equipment to the Ukrainian border since October. By mid December, over 100,000 Russian troops were stationed at the border, and an invasion of Ukraine became even more probable. Since then, tension, controversy, and fear of war have been on the rise.  


World leaders are hopeful that this conflict will not come to war, and LCHS teachers agree. 


Irina Fontaine, an ESL teacher born in Russia, stated that she doesn’t “believe it will come to war, but there is always a chance. The Russian government is unpredictable; there is no freedom of speech or press [in Russia], and frequently people have no idea what is really going on.” 


Certainly, a war would have both negative effects in Europe, in the United States, and all over the world. 


“The reality of it is that this has the potential of seriously changing things due to the European Union,” said government teacher Mark Harris. “As a standalone economy, it’s almost as large as the United States’. Anything that disrupts that economy will disrupt the American economy as well. A war will for sure throw Europe into a recession, with the potential to put the United States into a recession as well.”  


War affects more than the countries involved. It has lasting, personal impacts on everyone fighting and those who are close to anyone involved. Countless people throughout the world and Louisa County would experience the terrible side effects of war, even if that war is 5,000 miles away. 


“Many people will die, and it’s never a good thing. For me personally, it could mean that I will never see my family again, I won’t be able to take my family there to meet them, and they won’t be able to come visit,” said Fontaine, whose parents live in Russia. 


There has been a resurgence of the fear of nuclear war that was prominent during the Cold War. 


“It would be disastrous if we had to put American troops in a ground war in Europe. We would win, but Russia wouldn’t go out without a [nuclear] bang,” Harris said.