Ukraine War Continues as Peace Talks Begin
Russia’s attack of Ukraine is still going on, but could new talks end the violence?
By: GenZ Staff | February 28, 2022 | 794 Words
On February 24, Russia invaded its smaller neighbor, Ukraine. The conflict has continued for several days. Peace talks between the two countries have begun – will an end to the war be achieved?
David and Goliath
Some onlookers have compared this war to the story of David and Goliath, in which the young shepherd David faced the giant Goliath in battle. Many see Russia as the “bully in the playground” compared to the smaller underdog, Ukraine. Russia spends $61.7 billion on its military each year, while Ukraine only spends $5.4 billion. As for active soldiers, Ukrainian forces number 255,000 against Russia’s 1.154 million. While Russia seems the more powerful country, Ukraine has put up a surprisingly good fight and done better than many people expected.
“The Russians are in shock at the fierce resistance they encountered,” tweeted Riho Terras, a member of the European Parliament. “[Russian President Vladimir] Putin is furious, he thought the whole war would be easy and everything would be done in 1-4 days.”
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky is still in the capital city of Kiev (Kyiv), working to fight off the Russian military. He posted a video online encouraging his people. He said: “I am here. We are not putting down arms. We will be defending our country because our weapon is truth, and our truth is that this is our land, our country, our children, and we will defend all of this.”
One tactic Ukraine has used is arming civilians – ordinary people who are not in the military. According to the United Nations, over 300,000 Ukrainians have fled to neighboring countries to escape the conflict. However, the nation banned males aged 18-60 from leaving in case they are needed to fight. Many Ukrainian men and women have also volunteered to fight the Russian forces in the streets.
One woman in Kiev, Galina, agreed to speak to Liberty Nation on the invasion and citizen fighting. She said: “Our army is worthily repelling the enemy around the perimeter of the attack. Many Ukrainians are actively involved in territorial self-defense of cities. We are united. But now there is a war, so the danger is all around.”
The Ukrainian government has also posted instructions online on other ways citizens can fight the Russians. A reporter tweeted this translated message from the Ukrainian government:
“WE DISORIENT THE ENEMY TOGETHER! In order to confuse and disorient the enemy who is illegally moving on the roads of Ukraine, we call on citizens to take the following initiative: remove signs with numbers and names of streets/towns/villages in their regions … Please spread as much as possible!”
It’s hard to get a clear picture of what’s happening on the ground, but it seems the Russians have not been able to capture and keep any Ukrainian cities. According to a U.S. official, the Russian forces have been slowed down due to Ukrainian resistance, as well as supply and fuel shortages. However, they have captured Chernobyl – the site of a ruined nuclear power plant that had a meltdown in 1986. Russia has also been bombing larger cities, including Kiev and Kharkiv.
So far, over 350 Ukrainians have been killed in the attack, and the Russian side has also admitted to casualties.
Aid From Around the World
The U.S. and most European countries support the Ukrainian side of the war. Although nobody has sent soldiers to actively fight in the country, Western countries have imposed sanctions on Russia – financial punishments that block it from doing business overseas.
In addition, Western countries are sending military equipment for Ukraine to use. President Joe Biden ordered that $350 million worth of U.S. military supplies should be sent.
Citizens across Europe have also been holding anti-war demonstrations to protest the invasion. Even in Russia, more than 5,000 people have reportedly been arrested for protesting their country’s actions.
Not all countries have condemned Russia’s actions, though. Nations that have close relationships with Russia, such as China, Brazil, and India, have stayed neutral.
On Sunday, February 27, Russia’s President Putin caused alarm by putting his nuclear forces on alert. This has caused worry as the conflict could get a lot more serious if nuclear weapons are used.
However, the next day, Ukraine and Russia started to hold peace talks in Belarus, a country that shares a border with both nations. In the first meeting, Ukraine asked for a ceasefire. It’s not clear if the talks will end the violence, but both countries agreed to keep negotiating for now.