Two years since the Ukraine-Russia war began

Two years since the Ukraine-Russia war began

On the 24th of February 2022 Russia launched their invasion on Ukraine by sending armed forces into the capital, Kyiv as well as the second largest city in Ukraine, Kharkiv with the aim of overthrowing President Volodymyr Zelensky’s government.

Now, two years on this war is on-going with thousands of people killed, forced from their homes, and torn from their families.

Recent developments

The BBC offers current updates on the war.

  • Ukrainian forces have withdrawn from the eastern town of Avdiivka in Russia’s biggest victory since the fall of Bakhmut in May last year.
  • Russia has also been launching attacks around villages in the southern Zaporizhzhia region where Ukraine made some gains during its 2023 counter-offensive
  • Ukraine has continued its attacks on the Russian fleet in the Black Sea – most recently claiming to have sunk the amphibious ship, the Caesar Kunikov, off the coast of Russian-occupied Crimea
  • The death of Alexei Nevalny has sparked questions over the cause of his death as his role as a Russian opposition leader, lawyer, anti-corruption activist, and political prisoner would have made him a target. Many are placing blame with Putin however the cause of his death is still being widely debated.

Ukraine currently has very limited claimed land as the Russian forces make their way and take control over major areas with their main goal being the subjugation of Ukraine.

  • According to Western Officials, Russia is struggling to provide weapons and ammunition.
  • The officials state that Russia has been forced to turn to foreign sources for arms supplies. They have been reported to have secured drones and missiles from Iran and ammunition stock from North Korea.

Legal action against Russia

The Geneva Conventions are the set of humanitarian laws which should be followed during a war, originally created in 1864 to help preserve humanity during wartime. The International Criminal Court (ICC) accused Russia of breaching these conventions as well as the US making the same claim, both very early on in the invasion of Ukraine. Both Ukraine and Russia are not a member of the ICC however, Ukraine has accepted their jurisdiction and so cooperation with the court say the ICC.

  • In December 2023 the US charged 4 Russian-affiliated soldiers with war crimes as Reuters relays the war crimes committed were torturing a US citizen as well as staging a mock execution.
  • In February 2024 Ukraine opened a war crimes investigation after reports of unarmed, Ukrainian soldiers were assassinated by Russian troops.
  • There are multiple investigations in place with evidence building up as lawyers aground the world work to build cases against Russian troops and in some cases even charges against Putin is the aim.

  • In 2023 the ICC issued arrest warrants for Putin for multiple war crimes such as, the unlawful deportation of a population. As Russia continues to claim more territory in Ukraine and Russia not being a member of the ICC, an investigation could come to no outcome.
  • The Law society reports the launch of an advice platform for immigration lawyers to provide free help and support to Ukrainians seeking refuge in the UK supported by DLA Piper. You can contact them at if you can offer support as a trained lawyer or if you are seeking advice.
  • Project Sunflowers was set up by international Lawyers to collect information and evidence of war crimes committed in Ukraine.

Foreign aid

Ukraine have relied on the support from the west, providing ammunition and troops, however with their aid becoming less dependable they face a struggling defeat. The long-term commitment of Ukraine’s allies are beginning to be questioned.

  • The UK is has provided both lethal and non-lethal weaponry, including tanks, air defence systems and long-range precision strike missiles.
  • While the UK has committed to training Ukrainian fast jet pilots, combat fighter aircraft will not be provided.
  • The UK is also hosting a training programme, which is supported by several allies. Over 30,000 Ukrainian personnel have been trained so far, with the aim of training a further 10,000 by mid-2024.
  • Biden had recently pledged $60bn in military aid is on its way, however this is still awaiting to be approved before it can be sent. This was a part of a $95bn foreign aid package which also included support for Israel. Biden is facing critique and challenges to have this package approved as those in congress argue for more spending at home rather than supporting overseas wars. Trump has opposed the package and openly stated his belief to allow the invasion to continue and focus on the US-Mexico border where immigrants are crossing illegally. A disagreement in priorities is leading to a path of no action, detrimental to those who require aid.

Ukraine is in desperate need of further military aid and whilst the US and UK have been steadfast in their pledges there has been a recent slowdown of actions. This delay in action has already caused the Ukrainian soldiers to be left short when they needed aid the most.

The Japanese Prime Minister, Kishida Fumio pledges his “unwavering support” during a speech as the Japan-Ukraine Conference in February 2024.

The Diplomat paper reminds us that legal restrictions prevent Japan from sending lethal aid so instead it largely focuses on humanitarian, economic, and non-lethal military aid.

Japan is offering…

  • Grant based assistance with landmine clearance.
  • Opening of a JETRO trade office in Kyiv.
  • Easing of travel restrictions.
  • Beginning of negotiations on bilateral investment treaty.
  • More than 50 memoranda pledging cooperation from the Japanese private sector.
  • $10 billon of aid had already been pledged, a further $1.35 billion is being offered to encourage private sector investment in Ukraine.

The war is still not over

The world would never have imagined the war would go on for this long and yet there is no end in sight now two years later.

With both Ukraine and Russia continuing their battle and urging for more weaponry, the negotiations have reached a worrying stalemate. Without any movement and only more violence there is concern for how much more disruption the war is causing for thousands of people.

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