January 2023: State of Russo-Ukraine War


Ukrainian soldiers training with Maliuk and AKS-74 rifles in May 2022, Ukrainian Ministry of Defense

Daniel Zhu, Article Editor-in-Chief

The Russo-Ukrainian War has been ongoing since 2014, and for the first eight years has been limited to navel skirmishes and cyberwarfare. However, almost one year ago, Russia suddenly escalated the war via a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Since the initial invasion, Russia has captured as far west as the Ukrainian city of Donetsk under military control. Some areas further west of Russian occupation have been under Russian missile bombardment, with no attempt at ground force control. Since October, this strategy has been used partly to damage Ukraine’s power grid, causing blackouts in several major cities, including the capital of Kyiv. In the upcoming weeks, Russia may launch another full-scale attack on Ukraine.

Since the start of the war, the US under the Biden Administration has sent over $48 billion to Ukraine to support their war effort. (The US has given more foreign financial support than any other nation) A large portion ($22B) has been for the Ukrainian Military, whether those be for weaponry and equipment or grants. The other half of the Ukrainian budget has been spent on general economic support and humanitarian support.

Since the Russian invasion, the Ukrainian government has reported a civilian casualty count of between 9000 and 41000, with various sources reporting military casualties ranging between tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands from both sides. Russia’s questionable war tactic has not helped the death toll, as Russia has been reported to have been sending convicts and poorly trained soldiers straight into the front lines to weaken Ukraine before their stronger and more competent forces follow suit. As Russia suffers more casualties due to Putin’s almost inhumane strategies, he is likely to lose political followers but, whether this loss of political clout will even matter for a totalitarian authority like Russia is an even bigger question.

The outcome of the Russo-Ukrainian war is hard to predict, as both sides sometimes intentionally try to mislead each other by reporting inaccurate information to the public, so a winning side is difficult to determine. However, like any war, continuing to fight will only result in more suffering, both from military personnel killed in combat and citizens being displaced from their homes. Only time will tell how long this hard-fought conflict will last.