Ukraine turns tide in war, goes on offensive

Despite+all+the+odds%2C+Ukraine+appears+to+be+turning+the+tide.+

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Despite all the odds, Ukraine appears to be turning the tide.

Nathan Loeffler Malatesta ’23, Food Review Editor

In April 2021, Russia sent approximately 100,000 troops to Ukraine’s borders, with the Kremlin stating that it was purely a military exercise. In the next few months, U.S. Intelligence officials monitored the situation.

In December, the U.S. officially warned Russia against invasion. In January, the U.S. withdrew from the Ukrainian Embassy. Then on the 24th of February 2022, the Kremlin ordered a devastating assault on Ukrainian territory — the largest military operation in Europe since the end of World War II.

Russia’s war, called by the Kremlin a special military operation, aimed to conquer and annex Ukraine in a few weeks, using the same blitzkrieg strategy used by Nazi Germany.

Yet that strategy was quite unsuccessful; Ukrainian forces, backed by U.S. military equipment and training, successfully resisted. Yet, the last few months have brought few emotions other than pain and suffering. For nine months, Ukrainians have fought for their families, lands, and freedom, and there have been staggering civilian casualties on the Ukrainian side, approximately 6,000, with 390 being children. 

I’m not a big fan of wars in general; they’re deadly, they’re bloody, but also at times, it’s necessary, and Ukraine doesn’t have an option because if they stop fighting, there is no more Ukraine.”

— Van Whipple, social science teacher and veteran

The country will need continuing support even with the $16.9 billion the U.S. has already given Ukraine. Yet, as new support bills worth billions of dollars make their way through Congress, the American people are starting to wonder where we draw the line, supporting a country with which there is no official alliance. It is a relationship that is affecting all people in the U.S. 

As a veteran, economist and a teacher, Van Whipple has a unique perspective and gave his thoughts on this topic, “I’m not a big fan of wars in general; they’re deadly, they’re bloody, but also at times, it’s necessary, and Ukraine doesn’t have an option because if they stop fighting, there is no more Ukraine. I think we have to support because as we learned from WW2, appeasement doesn’t work. But as an economist, we are in the middle of inflation, and the billions of dollars we send does nothing to build the economy and only raises prices.”

The war as it stands today is at a rough standstill; Ukrainian troops have launched counter-offensives, destroying crucial infrastructure on the way, making it extremely difficult for any further advances by both sides. As the war draws on, the humanitarian crisis will only worsen, and the money spent and lives taken will continue to grow with time.