All you need to know about the Ukraine war


The Ukraine war has entered its second year and the past 12 months have shown there are a variety of aspects toward this conflict.

In 2014, following the revolution in Ukraine, armed clashes broke out between ethnic Russians (opposed to the new government in Kyiv) and the Ukrainian military in the country’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions which make up the Donbas.

Despite European attempts to ease the fighting, such as the Minsk agreements which granted self-government to the Donbas but failed and the fighting continued, leaving around 15,000 people dead.

Officials in Donetsk and Luhansk claim that Kyiv aimed to wipe them out. This caused deep concern in Russia.

Meanwhile over the past decade, despite repeated warnings by Moscow, NATO has been expanding eastwards towards the Russian border.

Further expansion by the U.S.-led military alliance triggered alarm in Moscow which warned NATO to avoid dangerous steps that pose a threat to Russia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Amid the massive NATO buildup of forces coupled with advanced and sophisticated weapons that can strike the heart of Russia, the Kremlin sought security guarantees from the U.S. and NATO itself.

These were effectively ignored by both the U.S. and NATO.

On 24 February 2022, Russia launched attack on Ukraine, calling it a “special military operation”.  It cited several reasons for the attack, including the stance of the government in Kyiv, attacks on ethnic Russians in the Donbas region, and NATO expansion to the borders of Ukraine.

Ukraine and its Western backers argue that the conflict waged by Russia was unprovoked.


As things stand, the fighting in flashpoint regions of eastern and southern Ukraine show no signs of ending.

Moscow has annexed four regions in Ukraine where mostly ethnic Russians reside, following a referendum by the people in Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhia and Kherson.
Ukraine and its Western backers have dismissed the votes as a sham.

The war has seen suffering on both sides, but mostly in Ukraine which has witnessed a high death toll and millions displaced, although a significant proportion of those have returned home.


The U.S. and its Western allies have imposed unprecedented sanctions on Russia.

From the freezing of 330 billion dollars of Russian assets to the silencing of all Russian media outlets, the Western sanctions regime continues to this day and has targeted almost all sectors of Russian society, even to the extent of banning Russian athletes from international sports tournaments.

The sanctions have failed to end the war.

On the other hand, they have backfired mostly on the people of Europe.

According to IMF forecasts in 2023, the UK economy will be worse off than sanction-hit Russia.


If anything, Western sanctions on Russian energy and wheat have backfired on Europe and beyond.

Europe has faced an energy crisis this winter. It was dependent on cheap Russian gas for 40% of the continent’s consumption.

Europe is now filling the gap by purchasing U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) at “astronomical” prices.

This has spearheaded record inflation levels in European households, which has in turn seen waves of protests and strikes in many European countries paralyzing the public sectors.

But it’s a major income boost for U.S. energy firms.


The United States is widely believed to have instigated the war in its efforts to contain Russia.

Washington has by far been the largest supplier of weapons to Ukraine.

The Pentagon has been shipping weapons to the tune of tens of billions of dollars. The White House has repeatedly announced fresh military packages for Kyiv.

Yet that doesn’t mean NATO members have not chipped in.

The U.S. and other Western arms manufacturers have made very lucrative profits from the war, which is why many experts argue that they want the conflict to continue as long as possible.

By the same token, Russia and other countries say pouring weapons into the warzone has not and will not end the conflict. Moscow says the arms deliveries will only increase the suffering of Ukrainians and prolong the war.

Kyiv argues it needs more advanced weapons, such as battle tanks, to repel Russian forces in the country’s east. There are major question marks as to whether these weapons will change anything on the battlefield.

Some European Parliament lawmakers have said the war serves the interests of the U.S. and not the interests of Europeans.


After the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban in August 2021 and the embarrassing scenes of U.S.-led forces fleeing the country, repetitious statements were made by the European Union about the need to distance itself from the military affairs of the U.S. in different parts of the world.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Europe needs to develop its own military capacity independent of the United States.

The 27-member bloc revived debates about Europe developing the means to act independently from the U.S.

The EU reiterated it needed to develop diplomatic and military muscle and what France’s President Emmanuel Macron termed as “strategic autonomy”

“Some countries are going to have to ask themselves questions about an American ally which, as Joe Biden said, doesn’t want to fight other people’s wars for them.

“The Europeans don’t have a choice. We must organize ourselves to deal with the world as it is and not the world that we dream of,” Borrel said.

“We have to analyze how the EU can further deploy capabilities and positively influence international relations to defend its interests. Our EU strategic autonomy remains at the top of our agenda.”

As Europe tried to be sovereign instead of taking directions from Washington, it failed to do so, as witnessed five months later with the eruption of war in Ukraine.

The Europeans understood perfectly that they are still defenseless, both militarily and diplomatically.

They don’t have the means to significantly contribute in ending a conflict on their doorsteps.

All the European ducks have lined up and have taken their marching orders from Washington again, with a very few exceptions.

The Europeans are unable to take themselves out of this fatal subservience to the Americans.


The U.S. and NATO have accused Tehran and Beijing of providing arms to Russia to use in the Ukraine war. Both countries have dismissed the allegations as ludicrous, saying they have been working with both parties to find a political solution to the conflict.

Russia has also rejected reports that it has received weapons from any third party.


While the West claims the international community stands in solidarity against Russia, the facts on the ground suggest otherwise.

However, a considerable number of countries have taken a neutral stance toward the war.

NATO does not represent the international community, despite statements by its Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg.

The international community is calling for a peaceful resolution, something the U.S. has stood firmly against.


The winner of this war has been the United States.

It has been successful in triggering a conflict in Europe to try and contain Russia’s growing power.

gas to the continent by “bombing” Nord Stream pipelines that delivered Russia’s cheap gas to European consumers.

Many experts also say the U.S. has pitted and provoked Russia and Ukraine against each other, in a similar fashion to other conflicts instigated by the Pentagon.

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