War drags on in Ukraine

February 5, 2023

The war in Ukraine has been gradually deteriorating into a frozen conflict

War drags on in Ukraine


n February 24 last year, Russia began the deployment of 200,000 soldiers to invade Ukraine. Their objective, as stated by President Vladimir Putin, was to dismantle the Ukrainian government and “de-Nazify and dematerialise Ukraine.” This was not surprising as the conflict in eastern Ukraine had been escalating for eight years.

The war in Ukraine has been deteriorating into a frozen conflict. This war serves as a reminder to the world that conflict and violence can still be resorted to in pursuit of certain objectives.

Putin’s New Year’s address had conveyed the message that history may be repeating itself. He surrounded himself with soldiers, showcasing Russia’s military power and highlighting the fact that it holds the advantage.

The involvement of one of the world’s leading and most influential economies in this conflict serves as a stark reminder that international disputes can still be resolved through violence. This is a worrying message for countries around the world. When a country as powerful as Russia chooses to wage war, it sets a dangerous precedent.

The citizens of both Russia and Ukraine had hoped and prayed for a quick end to the war. However, a year later, they continue to live in fear and uncertainty.

The consequences of war have not changed over the years. However, the dangers have increased with the involvement of more countries, some of which possess nuclear weapons. Although the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has remained limited to these two for the past year, it would be a mistake to consider a reduction in hostilities a sign of peace. While it reduces the ongoing harm to citizens, it also lays the groundwork for strained relationships between the nations. Alliances become crucial in times of war. Many in the international community have condemned Russia’s actions. This might leave lasting impressions.

Nine central European countries and Canada have expressed support for Ukraine’s membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Many others have demonstrated their support for Ukraine in other ways. However, most of them are not willing to engage in a conflict with Russia. The devastating consequences of war are well-known, and taking on a country like Russia can prove suicidal for many countries. The desire to end the conflict quickly stems from the fear of it escalating and extending to other nations. If the war continues, investments in both countries will be channelled towards military operations rather than human capital. Even if a frozen conflict is achieved, both nations will require several years to recover.

The current situation is a significant event in history, but wars have always been going on. It is essential to condemn acts of violence, but it is also important to acknowledge that the conflict in Palestine has persisted for way longer. There was an assumption that the West had learned from its history and the implications of war. This recent conflict raises concerns that 20th-Century tactics are still being employed.

After declaring independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, the Ukrainian government had gradually distanced itself from Russia. In 2014, a proxy war broke out in eastern Ukraine. Despite the signing of a peace treaty in 2015, the death toll reported by Ukraine was 14,000. This highlights that even ‘normal’ tensions between nations can escalate into war. The mere mention of the word “war” is enough to cause shudders in many parts of the world.

President Zelensky told reporters in Odesa that “every day they bring in more of their regular troops.” Despite the absence of large-scale attacks, the ongoing and consistent violence shows that the war has not yet come to an end. Although the dangers may diminish over time with decreasing tensions across the border, the impact on the citizens of Russia and Ukraine remains. For a whole year, the people of both countries have been experiencing psychological trauma. The Ukraine Situation Report released on December 19, indicated that millions of citizens had been displaced and were living without basic necessities such as heating and water, as temperatures plummeted below zero in most parts of the country.

The consequences of the conflict have not been limited to Ukraine. Russia, too, has suffered political and economic repercussions. In September 2022, a call for a ‘partial mobilisation’ indicated that their goals, including gaining control over Kyiv, had not been achieved.

All wars have far-reaching consequences that extend beyond the borders of the countries involved. Irrespective of who fired the first shot at least two nations are affected by the fear and the chaos that war brings. History shows that wars rarely end well. Mostly, they leave behind a trail of destruction and devastation. The international community must learn from this tragedy never to resort to violent means to resolve differences.

The writer is a freelance journalist  

War drags on in Ukraine