When the Russian invasion began on 24 February 2022, the world eagerly watched on. Numerous international media outlets predicted that Ukraine would fall.
“Ukraine probably cannot hold off Russia forever,” read a headline from Foreign Policy Magazine. “If Kharkiv falls, Ukraine falls,” claimed the BBC.
Despite these doom and gloom approaches, the Ukrainians persevered. In February and March 2022, the Ukrainians withstood the Russian incursion. Then, in April 2022, the Ukrainians launched a massive counteroffensive. They successfully forced the Russians out of the northern part of the country. Then, over the course of the year, the Ukrainians reclaimed thousands of square miles of territory in eastern and southern Ukraine.
Throughout the war, the Ukrainians have shown that they are determined to win this war. Their grit and resilience have demonstrated that they will do anything to defend their country, and they will not stop halfway. This has had a profound impact on the international community.
As the war has progressed, numerous nonprofit organizations, companies, and individuals have assisted Ukraine. This has ranged from defense equipment and medical materials to financial and humanitarian aid. Ukraine has received hundreds of billions of dollars in assistance, and every contribution has made a difference.
Ukraine’s fight has also unified the international community. When the war began, Russian President Vladimir Putin hoped the world would be fragmented in its aid efforts. He had anticipated that the Ukrainians would quickly give in to the Russian invasion, and that the international community would not provide its aid.
This did not occur. Throughout the course of the war, the United States, European Union, NATO, Japan, Australia, and other countries, notably Poland, the Baltic countries and Romania, and organizations have come together to determine how they will provide aid to Ukraine. As the Ukrainians have continued to win back their territory, this has led the international community to provide more weapons to Ukraine. Defense assistance has included HIMARs, Bayraktars, Humvees, patriot missile systems, tanks, Stingers and Javelins, Humvees, and other forms of equipment. This hardware, in addition to Ukrainian morale, has helped Ukraine fight off the Russians and recover some of the ground initially lost.
The war has also strengthened foreign diplomacy and how countries interact with one another. For example, international leaders meet weekly to discuss how they can counter Russian aggression. They have continued to implement stiff sanctions on the Russian Federation to punish it for its behavior.
The international community has also condemned Russia for the invasion on a global scale. Russia was excluded from the Parliamentary Assembly for the Council of Europe, and it was suspended from the UN Human Rights Council.
International public opinion about the war has remained consistent. On 3 March 2022, the United Nations General Assembly voted on a resolution calling for Russia to immediately end its military operation in Ukraine. 141 countries voted in favor of the resolution. 35 countries abstained and only five countries voted against the resolution – Russia, Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea, and Syria.
One year later, that massive support is still there. On 23 Feb. 2023, the United Nations General Assembly voted on a resolution demanding that the Russians withdraw their troops from Ukraine, and that the Russians end the war. The resolution had overwhelming support. 141 UN member nations voted in favor, while 32 countries abstained. In comparison, only six countries voted against the resolution with Russia.
The voting on this recent resolution suggests that the international community shows no signs of easing its aid for Ukraine, nor will it begin to appease Russia for its behavior. Instead, the international community will continue to support Ukraine. It will supply Ukraine with the assistance it needs to win the war.
No one knows when the war will end, but something is certain. The international community is ready, willing, and able to provide aid to Ukraine, and it will not stop until the war ends. The international community is in this for the long haul, and it is only a matter of time before Ukraine wins this war.
Putin’s goal was to fragment relationships throughout the international community. Instead, he has united most the world behind Ukraine and the cause of freedom and justice.
Mark Temnycky is an accredited freelance journalist covering Eastern Europe and a nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center. He can be found on Twitter @MTemnycky
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