War in Europe: Eleven Months Later


On February 24th, 2022, the world was stunned when Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation for the denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine”. This announcement marked the beginning of a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine, escalating the conflict that started in 2014. That conflict started when Russia illegally annexed the Crimean Peninsula and sparked a civil war in the Eastern areas of Luhansk and Donbas Oblasts. Within the first month of the invasion, Russia occupied a quarter of the country, and it seemed Ukraine was doomed. However, foreign aid from NATO as well as the U.S. has given Ukraine a fighting chance. As the war progressed, the world saw what atrocities the Russian troops had been committing throughout the countryside. Entire towns and villages slain with the victims dumped in mass graves, drawing comparisons to when the German army did the same thing in WWII.

Now, the bravery of the soldiers fighting for their home shows, having almost expelled the Russians from their country. Russian forces are experiencing more losses than ever, demoralizing them severely. U.S. intelligence suggests most, if not all, of Russia’s main attack helicopters, the KA-52 “Alligator”, have been shot down. This is thanks to modern anti-aircraft weaponry and training from the United States. Things are looking slightly better in their armor, as most of their tanks, mainly the T-90, are destroyed. This leaves the older, less optimal models in use, as well as their newest main battle tank, the T-14 “Armata”. The T-14 is still highly secretive and was supposed to enter service in 2020, but hasn’t even made it off of the assembly line. Adding on to this humiliation, Russia has lost control of Kiev, Odessa, Kherson, and several other major cities. Even worse, after the incident at the now famous Snake Island, Ukraine has set out to sink the ship responsible, The Moskva. The Moskva was Russia’s flagship of the Black Sea. Ukrainians, armed with R-360 “Neptune” anti-ship missiles, sank the ship, avenging their fallen comrades. With the Moskva sunk, the Russian Navy has been largely absent from the war, as Putin doesn’t see the Navy as an asset, but a distraction from true glory.

Putin has called every military-aged male to active service, causing thousands of civilians to flee. Europe has closed their borders to these refugees, who then have to flee to Alaska illegally. Currently, the city of Bakhmut, in the occupied Donbas Oblast region, is under Russian assault; Ukrainian armor battalions have been deployed to face the threat. Russians are losing more ground than ever before.

Due to this conflict, Sweden and Finland seek to break neutrality and join NATO, being a historic move for both countries. Earlier in the war, the world was left in awe as Switzerland declared sanctions against Russia, breaking their 207 year neutrality as well. On the other side, for the last 10 months, Belarusian military bases allowed Russian personnel to station, alarming the free world. This could be the sign of an imminent invasion, like the gathering of troops leading up to the primary invasion of the 24th of February.

In the future, there lies two possibilities: a total Ukrainian victory or a sudden new aggressor. With the progression of the war, it’s looking exceedingly likely that Ukraine will push Russia out of their land all together, finally freeing the annexed regions of Donbas and Luhansk Oblasts and the Crimean Peninsula. However, if this does happen, there’s a very slim chance that a Russian ally, Belarus, will officially declare war, reigniting tensions. If this were to happen there is an even slimmer chance that NATO will intervene, and that might just cause another world war to break out. This, however, is simply speculation, and we do not know what secrets the future holds. If Ukraine were to win the war, it would likely see the collapse of Russia, as the nation is barely holding on with an decreasing economy and an increase of protesters day by day.