It has been one year since Russia launched a full-scale offensive into Ukraine, putting 200,000 troops into Ukrainian territory on February 24th, 2022. Despite Russia’s advances, Ukraine has continued to fight for their freedom against the invading troops. In August, the Ukrainian armed forces launched a counteroffensive, and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been a steadfast leader throughout the year-long conflict.
But Ukraine is not alone in this fight. At the Munich Security Conference on February 21, 2023, western leaders pledged to support Kyiv in their ongoing struggle against Russia, with President Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor Olaf Scholz making speeches confirming this commitment.
The US has been a key ally to Ukraine and has provided over 50 billion dollars in assistance to the country, alongside other countries and allies. According to the Kiel Institute’s Ukraine Support Tracker, 30 countries have sent support to Ukraine, with Poland donating the highest percentage of its GDP to the cause. Germany has sent substantial reserves of tanks and weapons, including 88 Leopard 1 tanks, and the UK has committed to help train Ukrainian air forces in state-of-the-art combat aircraft.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has been repeatedly frustrated by Ukraine’s resiliency, as close to 200,000 Russian troops have been killed or wounded since the beginning of the war. Putin brushed over the many failures the Kremlin is facing in his recent State of the Nation address, instead choosing to again blame the west for the conflict. Rather than obtaining the swift victory he expected, Putin has seen that Ukraine and the rest of the world are a force to be reckoned with.
The conflict in Ukraine has brought together modern nations to defend democracy and uphold the principle of freedom in the face of aggression. This has been a moment of truth for many countries, and their contributions to Ukraine's defense have demonstrated a collective responsibility to intervene when freedom is put in jeopardy. On this anniversary, the war may still be raging, but the world will continue to push back in the name of democracy.