Here’s what’s happening in the Russo-Ukrainian war

Hialeah Bever, Editor

It has been four-hundred days since the invasion of Ukraine first began, shocking the wider world and marking Europe’s biggest war since 1945. Since then, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has fought to keep the attention of the western public while ties between Russia and China strengthen in the east. Here is an update on the current state of the Russian-Ukrainian war. 

As of April 10th, 2023, Russia holds control over the south-eastern portion of Ukraine, including the city Donetsk, according to the Institute of the Study of War. A current battle for the city of Bakhmut is ongoing, with sources claiming that both sides have made advances. 

The population of Bakhmut is small, and yet, all eyes land on which side will overtake the other, as both Ukraine and Russia suffer from hundreds of casualties in the city each day. If Bakhmut were to fall, it would be a modest tactical victory for Russia, but wouldn’t make up for the loss of life. 

In an interview with TIME magazine, Yehor Cherniev, a Ukrainian lawmaker and head of the Ukrainian delegation to the NATO parliamentary assembly, said, “We are gradually grinding down the most combat-ready units of the Russians. Regardless of the future fate of Bakhmut, we managed to win precious time. In our next counter-offensive campaign, we will return with much more.”

While the burning battlefield of Bakhmut has been likened to World War I trench warfare, life in the capital city of Kyiv has begun returning back to normal. But for President Zelenskyy, this news is not welcomed, as sympathy and support for those at the frontlines may wane. 

“From one side, it’s great that children, families, people — they love life and it’s great. It’s great that our soldiers are bringing back normal life,” he says. “But from another side, it’s very dangerous,” said Zelenskyy, in an interview with the Associated Press.

“He laments that it has become a ‘natural habit’ to ignore air raid sirens and not decamp to bomb shelters. He compares it to the way many people dropped their guard before the second wave of COVID-19 infections hopscotched around the world.”

But support for Ukraine on the global scale has remained strong, evidenced by recent Russian losses in three U.N. bodies’ votes. 

On April 7th, 2023, The U.N. Economic and Social Council approved six non-binding resolutions against Russia, calling on Moscow to end their hostilities. 

Russia was then overwhelmingly defeated by Romania for a seat on the Commission on the Status of Women and by Estonia for a seat on the executive board for U.N. children’s agency UNICEF. Additionally, it was defeated by Armenia and the Czech Republic for a membership on the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

The International Criminal Court has also issued an arrest warrant for President Vladimir Putin in March , accusing him of war crimes. 

The Children’s Rights Commissioner for Russia, Maria Lvova-Belova, also received an ICC arrest warrant. Belova is also accused of war crimes, with Ukraine claiming that nearly 20,000 children have been taken from their homes while Lvova-Belova has reported that 700,000 children have been taken in and adopted into  Russian families. Belova currently has five biological children and 18 adopted children. Her most recent addition was a 15-year-old boy from Mariupol, Ukraine. 

In a recent U.N. General Assembly, Russia defended its actions in Eastern Ukraine. But the country received plenty of criticism from other nations, hoping to end the bloodshed and stress on the global economy. In a report by the United Nations, “Ukraine’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba pointed to clear violations of Charter provisions related to acts of aggression.”

“Russia is the problem of the world,” said Kuleba, “Justice must be served.”