Beginning of the Invasion
The russian invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, 2022, when russian president vladimir putin announced a “special military operation” with the stated goal to “demilitarize and denazify” Ukraine. Within minutes, multiple fronts across Ukraine—including the capital, Kyiv—were attacked by missiles, airstrikes, and ground troops. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy responded by declaring martial law and mobilizing male citizens between 18 and 60.
Multiple Fronts, Shifts in Strategy
The russian military launched initial attacks from Belarus towards Kyiv, from the northeast towards Kharkiv, from Crimea in the south, and Luhansk and Donetsk in the southeast. Under stiff resistance in March, russia stopped the offensive in the north and retreated by April, suffering heavy losses. They then shifted the focus to the Donbas region. Another wave of attacks was launched on April 19, stretching from Kharkiv to Donetsk and Luhansk.
Ukrainian Counteroffensives and Territorial Changes
Ukrainian forces conducted counteroffensives, reclaiming territories near Kharkiv by May 13 and the city of Kherson in November. However, Mariupol fell to russian troops after a protracted siege. russia also annexed four oblasts in Ukraine, although this move was widely condemned and not recognized internationally.
The conflict triggered the largest refugee crisis within Europe since the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s. The UN described it as the fastest-growing crisis since World War II, reporting over 7.4 million refugees fleeing Ukraine as of September 24, 2023.
International Condemnation and Repercussions
The invasion was globally denounced as a war of aggression. The United Nations General Assembly, the International Court of Justice, and the Council of Europe took steps against russia, including russia’s expulsion from the Council of Europe and the imposition of new economic sanctions. A law signed by Putin in September 2022, imposing a 10-year prison sentence for resisting conscription, led to an international push to provide asylum for russians fleeing conscription.
As of February 2023, The New York Times estimates that nearly 200,000 russian troops have been killed or wounded in the conflict.
War crimes in the russian invasion of Ukraine
Since the beginning of russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, multiple international bodies have been increasingly alarmed by reports of severe human rights violations allegedly committed by the russian military and authorities. These reports point to a grim picture, citing deliberate attacks on civilian targets, massacres, and the torture and rape of women and children. In addition, there are allegations of torture and mutilation of Ukrainian prisoners of war and indiscriminate attacks in densely populated areas.
On March 2, 2023, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) launched a full-scale investigation into allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide committed in Ukraine dating back to November 21, 2013. The ICC is not alone; other bodies like the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, established by the United Nations Human Rights Council, and the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine are also deeply involved in examining human rights violations in the area.
russia’s Expulsion from the UN Human Rights Council
The severity of these allegations led to significant international repercussions for russia. On April 7, 2022, the United Nations took the unprecedented step of suspending russia from the UN Human Rights Council, pointing to the gravity of the reported human rights abuses.
Ukrainian Prosecutor’s Office Active
As of late October, the Ukrainian Prosecutor’s office had documented an alarming 39,347 alleged russian war crimes, identifying more than 600 suspects and initiating legal proceedings against approximately 80 of them.
ICC Arrest Warrants
Perhaps one of the most startling developments in this ongoing investigation is issuing of arrest warrants against russian President Vladimir Putin and Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova on March 17, 2023, for being involved in the war crime of child abductions during the invasion.
Support Ukraine as we do:
“Come Back Alive” is a Foundation providing competent assistance to the military. Since 2014, our key goal has been to make the Defense Forces more efficient, save the lives of the military and systematically counter the enemy. Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion in February 2022, we have multiplied our military assistance and supported the defenders of Ukraine, who have changed their everyday lives and joined the line of defence.
Serhiy Prytula Charity Foundation is focused on strengthening the Defense Forces of Ukraine and assisting the civilians affected by russian aggression. Over 200 volunteers and employees of the foundation work every day to ensure that every donation we receive becomes valuable assistance to Ukraine. Each of us has our own story of joining the team.
TO UNITE THE WORLD AROUND SUPPORTING UKRAINE; TO PROTECT, SAVE AND REBUILD
The platform allows one-click donations to Ukraine from anywhere. Why is this so important? Because Ukraine itself knows best what is needed and can deliver aid directly.
No one was ready for a full-scale war in the heart of Europe. Charitable foundations, no matter how well-organized, cannot meet the needs of a country as large as Ukraine. We can, however, do it together.
UNITED24 is designed for collaboration with charities, partners, donors, and public figures worldwide.
We aim to establish an efficient work process that brings Ukraine’s victory closer.
To know more
Follow the war.ukraine.ua media to read the latest news about the war and its impact!