On February 24, exactly 10 months ago, a new stage of Russian aggression against Ukraine began, which had been going on since 2014. Having launched a full-scale invasion, the Kremlin tried to “solve the Ukrainian issue” with a powerful blow: to destroy the statehood and commit genocide against Ukrainians. But thanks to the heroism and skill of Ukrainian defenders, the aggressor’s plans to “take Kyiv in three days” were destroyed. The defence forces of Ukraine have demonstrated the whole world the ability to beat the enemy. Diplomacy has provided strong international support for Ukraine. Volunteers, power engineers, and every Ukrainian continue to help the country stand and bring the victory closer.
The Centre for Strategic Communication and Information Security reminds of the 10 key victories of Ukrainians in the 10 months of the full-scale war.
1. Preserved statehood. The Kremlin’s plans for the rapid suppression of resistance and dismantling of Ukrainian statehood were not realized. Ukraine has demonstrated institutional capacity and a high level of manageability in extreme conditions. Effective resistance to the aggressor in the early days of the full-scale invasion gave Ukraine time and opportunities for mobilization and international support.
2. Liberation of Ukrainian territories. The defence forces of Ukraine have proven the ability not only to restrain enemy offensive, but also to conduct successful counter-offensive operations and force the enemy to commit “gestures of goodwill.”
The expulsion of the occupiers from Snake Island, the defeat of the Russians in the battle for Kyiv and their escape from Kyiv, Chernihiv and Sumy oblasts, the brilliant operation to liberate Kharkiv region, the deoccupation of Kherson. The Ukrainian army proved the possibility of clearing the territory of the state from the enemy by military means.
3. Destroying the myth of the invincibility of the “second army of the world.” For decades, military strength and energy carriers have been the pillars which Russia relied on in the international arena. The Ukrainian army knocked out one of them. The symbol of the destruction of the myth was the sinking of the cruiser “Moskva” — the flagship of the Black Sea fleet of Russia. The losses of Russians in Ukraine in 10 months exceeded 100,000 of personnel.
The destruction of the most efficient units of the Russian regular army forced the Kremlin, despite previous promises, to announce mobilization and give the green light to the development of a parallel army of criminals — Wagner PMC, thus placing a time bomb under Russian statehood.
4. Strong international support for Ukraine and isolation of Russia. NATO and EU states actively support Ukraine. Throughout the year, seven meetings were held in the Ramstein format, which brings together more than 50 countries. As a result, Ukraine receives new packages of military assistance. The Ukrainian sky is already defended by German IRIS-T, American-Norwegian NASAMS, and the first Patriot battery will later join them. Thanks to Western equipment, Ukrainian power engineers are able to restore the destroyed power grids faster and more efficiently. Ukrainian refugees are welcome in European countries.
Instead, European countries, one by one, recognize the Kremlin regime as a terrorist one. Russia is losing the remnants of international reputation and the possibility to enter the western markets. Foreign parliaments applaud President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and Putin has to make do with meeting illegitimate Lukashenka in Minsk.
5. Actualization of the issue of liberating Crimea. Although the armed aggression of Russia against Ukraine began precisely with the occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol in 2014, the issue of restoring Ukrainian sovereignty over the peninsula remained “untimely” for years. The launch of the Crimean Platform in 2021 allowed to actualize the discussion of the issue at the diplomatic level. After launching the full-scale invasion and attempting to annex four more Ukrainian regions, the Kremlin placed Crimea on a par with Kherson, Donetsk, and Luhansk. Regular explosions on the peninsula signal that even after years of militarization, it remains a “weak link” in the security system of Russia.
6. Activation of Euro-Atlantic integration. Overcoming the difficulties associated with the war, Ukraine does not stop taking steps on the path to NATO and the EU enshrined in the Constitution. On February 28, Ukraine applied for membership in the European Union and received candidate status in four months. On September 30, an application for membership in NATO was submitted, Ukraine has already been supported by 11 countries of the Alliance.
7. Effective communication. The Kremlin failed to disorient the society and undermine the unity of the West. Ukraine is building an effective multi-level communication system with governments and citizens of partner countries. Journalists, civic activists, government officials, diplomats, and the Ukrainian diaspora work in this field. Events in Ukraine are covered by the world’s leading media. Despite the Russian disinformation campaigns, three quarters of EU citizens support the provision of assistance to Ukraine. The world today is on the side of Ukraine.
8. Powerful volunteer movement. The full-scale invasion gave new impetus to the volunteer movement. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians joined it, millions began to donate. Ukrainian volunteers support civilians affected by the war and help the military. Medicines, drones, cars, weapons, armoured vehicles, and even a satellite — Ukrainian volunteers prove that nothing is impossible for them.
9. Resistance movement in the occupied territories. Ukrainians didn’t welcome the occupiers with flowers, but faced them with weapons. Regular sabotage and liquidation of Russian military and collaborators do not allow the occupiers to feel comfortable on the Ukrainian territory.
10. Unity of the Ukrainian people. Putting an end to internal disputes and uniting for the sake of Ukraine became an important factor in the organization of resistance to the enemy. People with different political views, representatives of competing political forces defend the country side by side. All of them are united by their love for Ukraine.
Centre for Strategic Communication and Information Security