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The Knight Crier

Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

Reflecting on the War in Ukraine

Ukrainians who live in Georgia and other demonstrators march with a giant Ukrainian flag in protest of Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine on the second anniversary of the war in Tbilisi, Georgia, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Shakh Aivazov)

On February 24th, 2022, the decade-long tensions between Russia and Ukraine finally escalated to a full-blown war (Or as the Russian federal government would call it “Special Military Operation) with Russian Forces invading Ukraine from occupied regions in Donbas, Crimea, and the self-proclaimed ‘separatist republics’ in Donetsk and Luhansk. The conflict that shocked the world and challenged European peace is now entering its second year.

The long and tedious conflict between Russia and Ukraine began in 2014 after the Maidan Revolution, when the Pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovich, was deposed after a ‘rigged’ election, getting replaced with Petro Poroshenko, who according to data was the election winner of that year. 

Russia, in the act of ‘vengeance,’ invaded and annexed Crimea, and two revolts began in Donbas, which ended in a stalemate and the proclamation of the Donetsk and the Luhansk People’s republics.

After sanctions and rising tensions between the two countries, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of the country on February 24th, 2022. And now, two years later, the conflict that displaced and killed thousands of people is now entering its fourth year, a conflict Russia promised to win in less than a week.


The war has changed the political and economic landscape not only in Europe but around the world as well. The war went against the Geneva Conventions and the 1975 Helsinki Accords, which were promised to be the ‘guarantees ’of national security around the world. In addition to the horrible political instability and threat the conflict has caused, it also caused the horrible loss of life from both sides of the conflict.

31,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed since February 2022.

Those were the official numbers the Ukrainian government has recently released on the topic of troop casualties in the conflict. Numbers are not certain, and different sources say different numbers, however, some sources say that around 70,000 Ukrainian troops were killed since the beginning of the conflict.

11,000 + Civilians killed since the beginning of the war.

In total disregard to the Geneva Conventions, Russian Forces still managed to kill an extremely significant number of Civilians. Among those casualties, at least 1,000 Russian civilians, and 2 Polish civilians were killed in the war.

113,000 + Russian Soldiers killed since the beginning of the conflict.

In addition to the suffering Ukraine went through, Russia went to extreme measures to try and occupy as much territory as it could. Many untrained, disabled, and underaged troops were sent to the front line to die. Due to Military incompetence as a result of a lack of funds, the number of confirmed fatalities is estimated to be well above 113,000.

Economic and Humanitarian damage

In addition to the horrible loss of life, the war has caused, the economies and overall political climates of both countries have changed significantly.


Russia getting disconnected from SWIFT and the Sanctions on the Ruble Were some of the most devastating impacts the Sanctions had both on the government and the Civilian population. 

SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) is a worldwide banking system that was used by many western banking companies, such as Master Card, Visa, and American Express, the list is too large to name. With it being disconnected from the Russian Federation, it resulted in Russian Banks and credit cards being essentially useless outside of Russia. This sanction greatly impacted both Civilians and Russians living abroad. 

Sanctions on the Russian Ruble have impacted the Russian currency severely. Many international banks stopped exchanging and accepting the Ruble. Due to these sanctions, the Ruble’s value went down significantly, with the Ruble’s exchange rate being:

75.74₽ $1.00 – February 4th, 2022

After the sanctions rose to a high of:

134.00₽ – $1.00 – March 11th, 2022

A 56.5% decrease in value almost destroyed the Russian economy, but the Ruble managed to stabilize later in 2022 to 55₽ equaling $1, a 245% increase since the beginning of the sanctions. 


Ukraine has suffered the most in this conflict. Many horrible events happened in the country, most importantly the Bucha Massacre and the Mariupol Siege.

Bucha Massacre: In March of 2022, after the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Kiev Oblast, Ukrainian forces discovered the remains of civilians and POWs in the Town of Bucha near Kiev. Numbers are not certain, but sources say they are between 160-450. This is one of the most brutal and horrible war crimes committed by Russian Mercenary companies and armed forces against the Ukrainian nation.

Mariupol Siege: Early in the war, Russia occupied most of Donbas. One city that the Ukrainian armed forces managed to keep control of in the area was Mariupol, located in the South of the Donetsk Oblast and known for its gigantic port and Soviet-era Azovstal factory, making it an industrial leader in the region of Azov. Ukrainian forces managed to keep control of the city for an extremely long time after Russian forces encircled the region. Unfortunately, due to scarce supplies, the Ukrainians were forced to flee to Azovstal, where they stood their ground until getting captured, making a guerilla-esque fortress. Some evacuated, while some were killed. Overall, due to the extreme battles and bombings in the region, Mariupol and Azovstal were almost entirely destroyed, displacing tens of thousands and killing similar numbers.

The deadly conflict that shook the world and destroyed both countries, displacing and killing thousands is still going on. It must be stopped as fast as possible, but, however, the chances of this happening remain extremely unlikely in the near future. Whether the conflict will become another ‘frozen’ war or it will result in the collapse of Russia, Ukraine, or both is uncertain, but in these dire times I ask that my fellow Russians and Ukrainians don’t lose hope, and everyone do their part in helping ease or even solve the conflict. Whether it is donating, raising awareness, or volunteering, everyone can do their part. It all depends on personal priorities.

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    Willa MaglandFeb 29, 2024 at 9:54 am

    Thank you, Constantine, for the great overview. Slava Ukraini.