War Continues to Rage in Ukraine

War Continues to Rage in Ukraine

The seemingly weaker Ukrainian army has been able to hold off Russia, once considered a great military power, for over a month, but the war shows no signs up letting up.

The conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation started in the early morning on February 24. President Vladmir Putin had been amassing troops on the border for months in what he called a “training exercise.” To the surprise of many western leaders, Putin followed through with his threats and invaded Ukraine from the north. Since then, the two nations have been locked in a brutal war.

Ukraine was seen to many as the inferior military of the two nations leading up to the war.

Ralph Destin, 18, a native of Stoughton, Mass., originally believed Ukraine would get crushed swiftly.

“When I heard that Russia was attacking Ukraine, I thought it was wraps,” he said. “I said no way they last more than three days. Guess I was wrong.”

To the surprise of many, Ukraine has held back advancing Russian forces on several fronts.

Russia’s invasion in some areas has floundered, and some estimates of Russian losses are staggering. It has been estimated that more than 7,000 Russian troops have been killed in combat. Ukraine has also managed to kill three Russian generals, according to the New York Times.

After the seizure of Crimea in 2014, Ukraine began fighting insurgents in the east of the country. This ongoing war has helped the Ukranian army toughen and train. Ukraine has cycled its army though this region to make sure all troops are battle trained, according to the New York Times. The same cannot be said of Ukraine’s Russian counterparts.

According to NBC News, Russia “rushed to failure” in their offensive, underestimating the ability and willingness of the Ukranian peoples to fight and resist the Russian aggressors.

Another reason for Russia’s setbacks is the considerable number of conscripts in the Russian offensive. About one quarter of the Russian army is made up of conscripts aged 18-27. One third of the offensive force in Ukraine is made up of these soldiers.

Conscripts are usually less qualified soldiers with lower morale. They are are disproportionately from poorer backgrounds, unable to obtain doctors’ letters or other means of dodging conscription, according to ABC News.

Russia has experienced massive setbacks since launching its invasion. Pictures have been posted online of abandoned Russian tanks on the side of the road captured by Ukranian forces and civilians.

Although Ukraine may be holding back the Russian bear for the moment, every day that passes more civilians bear the brutal toll of war. The humanitarian crisis that has started because of the war has only begun to be measured and understood.

This war is ongoing, and reports will continue to be published as the Willistonian continues to report on the war.