Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine is Far From Over


Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, many crucial developments have taken place. After years of deadly conflict in the region, including increasing military operations in 2014 that left over 14,000 civilians dead, peace doesn’t seem to be arriving any time soon. BBC News reports that missile strikes have been reported recently in several Ukrainian cities including Kiev, Lviv, Dnipro and Zaporizhzhia.

Most recently, one of the most symbolic yet crucial events we look at is the explosion of the Crimean Bridge on October 8th. The Crimean Bridge connects the rest of Russia with the Crimean Peninsula. In order to fully understand the significance of this event, it’s important to understand the history and significance of Crimea. The region is located in Eastern Ukraine, close to the Russian border. Crimea and its civilians have been subjected to decades of violence as a result of the conflict over territory between Russia and Ukraine. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Crimean Peninsula was reorganized as the Republic of Crimea, later renamed as the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. During this time, Crimea was officially recognized as Ukrainian territory. However, in 2014, the Maidan Revolution against the Ukrainian government took place in Kiev. After this, Russian forces annexed Crimea. This led to the implementation of a pro-Russian government in the region and the declaration of Crimea’s independence from Ukraine on March 16, 2014. Since then, conflict has only escalated in this battleground region. With that being said, the explosion of the Crimean Bridge that left four dead is a very significant development in the Russia-Ukraine War, given the history and complexity of the Crimea region. Both Ukraine and Russia place great importance on Crimea, and the collapse of this bridge can have great consequences. In addition to just its symbolism, the collapse of the bridge will have a material impact on Crimeans. The Crimean Bridge is crucial for the supply of fuel, food and other material products to Crimea. Since then, Russia has partially reopened the bridge to Crimea.

In addition to this, in late September, Russian officials in Ukraine carried out independence referendums in important battleground regions. In this referendum, citizens of regions in Russian-occupied Eastern Ukraine voted ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on whether or not they wanted to gain official independence from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. The referendum was carried out in the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Luhansk People’s Republic, the Zaporizhzhya region and the Kherson region. All four regions overwhelmingly voted ‘yes’ to join the Russian Federation. The results of this referendum were followed by the annexation by Russia in all four regions, only further escalating the war.

Recently, tensions have also increased in the Kherson region of Southern Ukraine. CNN reports that 1,000 civilians have been ‘relocated.’ In this region, the Associated Press reports that at least four civilians have been killed by shelling from Ukrainian troops along the river crossing. The deputy head of the Kherson regional administration reports that four people were killed by a Ukrainian strike on a bridge crossing the Dnieper River, late Thursday, October 13th. It is reported that 13 others were also wounded. These strikes have further escalated Russian mobilization in the region of Southern Ukraine.

In Kiev, the death toll continues to rise as a result of Russia’s attacks on the Ukrainian capital city. At least three people died on Tuesday, October 18, according to Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office. Russia struck more infrastructure targets in Ukraine, and three cities, including Kiev, are now facing power interruptions.

As the brutal war in Ukraine continues, more civilians are being killed every day. Many civilians are displaced and without shelter. As conflict continues to escalate, Western leaders continue their calls for condemning Russia’s actions in Ukraine. Unfortunately, as we look ahead from a long eight months of conflict, peace does not seem to be on the horizon.