Ukraine launches counter on Russia


Patrick Hamilton

Ukraine launches counter on Russia

Patrick Hamilton, Design Chief

Russia began their war against Ukraine eight and a half years ago. In 2014, Russian military forces invaded the Crimean peninsula, overrunning their government and taking the region under de-facto control. 

Eight months ago, Moscow escalated their war effort, attempting to take the Ukrainians by surprise and overthrow their democratically elected government in a series of failed military operations.

As Russia’s war carries on, Europe is also in the midst of the largest refugee crisis since World War II, with more than 12 million people estimated to have fled Ukraine in the past eight months. Most of those who have fled are women and children because Ukraine enacted martial law after Russia launched their military operation eight months ago. This requires men ages 18 to 60 to remain in the country. 

Fernando Morales, a junior marketing major said that “people should be more concerned about what is happening in Ukraine. After the recent attacks started happening, it seems peoples interest levels have really dwindled while the global implications of Russia’s war in Ukraine are more alarming than ever.”

In the past two weeks, Ukraine has launched an aggressive counter-offensive campaign against Russian occupiers. The campaign has people, including those on Loyola’s campus, speaking out on the importance of staying invested in Ukraine’s war efforts as the country fights back. 

At a briefing on Sept. 8, Deputy Chief of Ukraine’s General Staff Oleksii Hromov said Ukraine has recaptured 20 settlements so far “with the aim of restoring the lost territories.” All indications are that the war in Ukraine is entering a critical phase, according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Stoltenberg held a joint press conference with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken Sep. 9. 

As Russian forces evacuate, they are leaving behind an enormous amount of valuable equipment. Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, the highest ranking military-officer of the United States, said on Sep. 8 that in light of the recent counter attack, “Russian strategic objectives have been defeated” in Ukraine. 

Russian leader Vladimir Putin rejected the narrative that his military is facing widespread defeats, saying that “we have not lost anything and will not lose anything” at an event on Sep. 7. 

As the Russian military loses more equipment, they are turning to other countries for support, according to American intelligence. Russia has purchased large amounts of North Korean rockets and artillery shells. Last month, Russia received its first shipment of Iranian-made drones, according to American intelligence reports. 

The United States reiterated their support for Ukraine during Secretary of State Blinkens’ surprise visit to the Ukrainian capital of Kiev Sept. 8. Blinken said “President Biden has been clear we will support the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes. I reiterated this message to President Zelenskyy and his team today in Kyiv, which remains – and will remain – the capital of a sovereign, independent Ukraine.” Blinken also noted the United States’ intent to “make a further $2.2 billion available in long-term (military) investments.”

Farah Wells, a marketing senior who was adopted from Ukraine, gave her thoughts on the state of her birth country, saying “Everyday, I have a greater rising concern for the future Ukrainian children that are going to be born in the next couple decades. Russia’s targeting of plants that emit radiation if attacked have a severe threat to the future health of the country. I speak from personal experience as my health was questioned from the Chernobyl emissions decades before I was born. I hope peace and resolution is in the near future for such an amazing country.”

Ukrainian officials have been investigating tens of thousands of alleged war crimes committed by Russia in recent months. While Russia’s military retreats, more civilian casualties have been discovered according to Ukrainian officials. The UN has recorded nearly five thousand civilian casualties so far, but believes that the  real number is much higher. As  the war continues on without an end in sight, both Russian and Ukrainian officials have made it clear that they believe diplomacy is impossible