NewsUSAA year of war in Ukraine

A year of war in Ukraine

Next February 24 will be one year since the start of the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces. The war conflict began in 2014 with the annexation of Crimea and the assault on the Donbass region, but it entered a completely different phase with the large-scale aggression of February 2022. The failure of the offensive that Kiev intended to surrender in a few days it has ended up turning into a long war that not only produces hundreds of thousands of victims and enormous destruction in the attacked country, but is also transforming the current world order. An ambitious offensive planned by the Kremlin for the spring has forced Ukraine’s Western allies to go a step further in their military support. And yet kyiv continues to demand more help.

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Vladimir Putin’s brutal aggression produced an immediate response from the most developed democracies, which immediately wove multiple agreements in the face of what was still an intolerable violation of international law. With Joe Biden in the White House, the response unit between Washington and Brussels has functioned by coordinating a broad series of military and financial aid measures for Ukraine, and up to ten packages of sanctions on Russia. Within the European Union itself, the partners have not only kept ranks tight, but have responded with more agility and have expanded their perimeter of action, for example, allocating funds to support Kiev’s military response. There has also been harmony in sanctions with Asia/Pacific democracies.

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On the other hand, the invasion has clarified the terms of the alliance between Russia and China, which took shape in a declaration of friendship published just a few weeks before the Russian attack, and which announced that the bilateral relationship has no limits. The reality is that it does: China has not wanted to take any direct support measures for Russia that could trigger a backlash from the West. Keeping trade flowing smoothly with prosperous democracies matters to him far more than helping his authoritarian partner. Although at times Beijing has given the Kremlin some oxygen, the truth is that the relationship is clearly one of Russia’s subordination and dependence on China.

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Anyone in their right mind shares the desire for peace. But it is Putin, responsible for having started the conflict, who shows no intention of giving up arms and the imperialist redrawing of the borders and who is now gathering more means to start a new offensive. Diplomacy cannot be ruled out in any case, Europe must have its own voice in the way out of this crisis, but what democracies cannot do under any circumstances is abandon Ukraine to its fate. And the only way to respond effectively is to continue to maintain unity and strengthen it in the face of a disturbing panorama of destruction that shows no sign of abating.


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