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Two Years Since the Full-Scale russian Invasion: How It Began


Two Years Since the Full-Scale russian Invasion: How It Began

On February 24, 2022, around 4 a.m., russian president putin announced the start of a “special military operation”. Within minutes, russian missiles attacked Ukrainian airfields and military facilities across Ukraine, marking the start of an open armed invasion.

Under the false pretext of protecting the Russian-speaking population in our country from imaginary oppressions and restrictions, the Kremlin actually aimed to destroy the Ukrainian state and identity by military means.

Putin planned a blitzkrieg: to land troops at the Hostomel airport and capture Kyiv with the support of heavy armored vehicles and artillery that entered through the Chernobyl zone. The capture of Kyiv was expected to take no more than 3-5 days.

Key episodes of the Battle for Kyiv included the fights for Irpin, Vorzel, Bucha, and Hostomel. The enemy’s use of rocket, barrel artillery, tanks, and firearms resulted in heavy civilian casualties. Simultaneously, the russians conducted so-called “clearance operations” among the locals. The bodies of numerous victims were buried in mass graves.

The battles for the Antonov airport in Hostomel were of significant importance in repelling the enemy. The legendary An-225 “Mriya,” a flagship and symbol of Ukrainian aviation, was undergoing maintenance at this airfield. Massive bombardments by russian occupiers destroyed the “Mriya.”

The battles for Mariupol in 2022 were significant. On February 28, 2022, the enemy began the siege of the city. Forced to retreat into the city, the Defense Forces of Ukraine had to conduct a circular defense despite the significant numerical and firepower superiority of the enemy. From April 21, the only stronghold of the Defense Forces of Ukraine in Mariupol remained the Azovstal steel plant. Holding the defense until May 20, our heroes diverted the enemy’s most capable units from other directions.

In the second phase, which lasted from May to August 2022, the enemy regrouped its forces and continued the offensive in several directions. Among the most notable episodes of this stage were the battles for Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk. On May 8, 2022, the enemy captured Popasna, and on May 12, Rubizhne. To avoid encirclement, the Defense Forces of Ukraine had to retreat from Sievierodonetsk on June 22, and from Lysychansk at the beginning of July.

At the same time, combat operations continued on the Lyman, Avdiivka, and Novopavlivsk directions.

From September to December 2022, the enemy lost the initiative and had to take radical measures to maintain its position in the occupied territories. During this phase, the Defense Forces of Ukraine conducted a series of offensive operations. The first of these was the Kharkiv offensive operation, which began on September 5. The enemy units in the Kharkiv region were taken by surprise, defeated, and disoriented. Ukrainians liberated up to 500 settlements, including the cities of Izium, Balakliia, and Kupiansk.

The Kherson offensive operation was also successfully conducted in the fall of 2022, during which the Defense Forces of Ukraine liberated Kherson and over 200 other settlements from the occupier.

From the first days of the full-scale invasion, the occupiers demonstrated in full: russism is genocide. From the very beginning of the war, the primary victims of russian air strikes were peaceful Ukrainian cities and villages. The geography of the strikes covered all regions of the country.

Russian forces destroyed not only airfields, military units, oil depots, but also residential buildings, maternity hospitals, hospitals, kindergartens, schools, etc.

Over the last 30 years, the russian federation has deliberately nourished imperial ambitions that suffered a blow due to the collapse of the Soviet Union, and perfected methods for reviving the imperial project. It conducted military special operations under various names – “international assistance,” “compelling to peace,” “internal civil conflict,” “operation for returning to Russia,” “liberation,” “special military operation.”

In reality, on the temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories, russians repeat the worst practices of Nazism – mass shootings, deportations, tormenting the civilian population, deliberate plundering, and looting of private property and values. The massacre in Bucha, Izium, and the mass destruction of people in Mariupol became a vivid manifestation of Moscow’s genocidal policy. The atrocities, war crimes, and rapes committed by russian invaders in Ukraine shocked the entire world.

Today, Ukraine effectively restrains the russian armed aggression thanks to efforts on the military, diplomatic, and information fronts, as well as strong international support. Therefore, our society must remain consolidated for victory over the aggressor and the construction of a democratic legal state within the family of European nations.

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