The Big War: How Ukrainians are Winning the Fight Against Putin
As Putin prepares for a fresh onslaught against Ukraine, Zarina Zabrisky reports on how Ukraine's forces are managing to defy Russia's advances
Zarina Zabrisky is an award-winning author and journalist based in Ukraine. In this report she reveals how Putin’s forces have been beaten back over the past year, despite their brutal attacks on the Ukrainian people.
The war against Ukraine first started when the Russian Federation annexed Crimea and its regular troops and proxies occupied parts of Donbas back in 2014. During nine years of armed conflict, more than 14,000 people were killed in hostilities.
However, it was not until 24 February 2022, when the Russian “Special Military Operation”, sometimes referred to as, “the Big War” in Ukraine, began. It was meant to be a blitzkrieg. Yet one year later, it is still ongoing.
Despite a turf war façade, the war started by the Kremlin is not really about the land. It is a conflict of ideas: authoritarian state vs. democracy, imperial rule vs. independence, and serfdom vs. liberty. Ukraine, driven by its historical values of liberty and pluralism, dared to stand up to Vladimir Putin’s worldview. It is fighting an existential war for survival as a nation. In his articles and speeches, Putin claims that Ukraine has no statehood or national identity. Yet in one year, Ukraine has demonstrated otherwise.
So how did it go so wrong for Putin and his forces?