Russia conquering Ukraine: Documentary

sad pictures of victims ,russia and ukraine war

An 8-year-long conflict in Eastern Ukraine that  started in 2014 escalated into a full-scale war  

when Vladimir Putin started his unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. More than 6 months  

have passed since the start of the Russian  invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022.  

Most expected the war to be over in several  weeks, for Russia to prevail and Ukraine to  

fall apart quickly amidst the indecisiveness of  the West. But Ukrainian resistance, unexpected  

weakness of the perceived second strongest army in the world, and a strong Western response have  

created a completely different situation. In this  video, we are going to summarize and analyze the  

Russo-Ukrainian war since its start and discuss  potential developments in the foreseeable future.  

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After months of uncertainty amidst warnings  from the United States and the United Kingdom  

about an impending Russian invasion of Ukraine,  on February 24, Russia attacked Ukraine from 4  

main axes with an estimated 150k-strong force. On  the capital Kyiv, Chernihiv and Sumy from Belarus  

in the North; on Kharkiv from the Northeast;  on the Ukraine-controlled Donetsk oblast and  

Luhansk oblast from Southeast; on Kherson  and Melitopol from Crimea in the South.  

Russia’s official pretext for this invasion,  which they called the Special Military Operation,  

was to denazify and demilitarize Ukraine.  Russia also claimed that Ukraine has Biolabs  

creating bioweapons, but failed to prove  it. Another justification was the possible  

Ukrainian acceptance into NATO, but the alliance  doesn’t allow countries with territorial disputes  

to join it. On top of that, we have recently  learned that in the first days of the invasion,  

Ukraine offered Russia to give guarantees of  its neutral status, but Putin rejected that,  

showing that NATO accession was just a pretext. The Kremlin’s strategy was based upon an  

assumption that the Ukrainian government  and the military would crumble very quickly.  

According to the Washington Post investigation,  Putin was misled by his intelligence,  

which argued that the Ukrainian government was  unpopular and that the Ukrainians were going to  

meet the Russians as liberators. Nothing could  have been further from the truth. Despite the  

decent initial advance of the Russian army, the  main prize, Kyiv stood tall. Buoyed by defiant  

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, the  Ukrainian society refused to give up on its  

country’s independence. The Ukrainian army was  also much stronger in comparison with 2014.  

Strengthened with anti-tank Javelins and NLAWs,  it managed to inflict painful losses to the  

Russian armored force, while withdrawing towards  cities in an orderly manner and harassing Russian  

supply lines. Russian airborne attacks on Kyiv and  Kharkiv failed. A 65-kilometer-long mass armored  

column of the Russian army advancing on Kyiv did  not change the tide in the battle of Kyiv either.  

The biggest success of the Russian army in the  early phase of the war was the capture of Kherson,  

the only large regional center taken by  the Russian army throughout the theater,  

in early March. The Ukrainian government has  implicitly taken responsibility for this setback. 

But why did Russia fail to defeat Ukraine within  weeks? Why did Kyiv not fall within 3-4 days,  

as the US government expected? Investigations and  analyses of the Russian invasion of Ukraine seem  

to conclude that Russia did not expect much  resistance in Ukraine. The Russian command  

believed that Kyiv would fall quickly, which  would cause a chain reaction all over Ukraine.  

The fall of the Ukrainian government would break  the spirit of the Ukrainian army to fight and  

Russia would freely advance as it did at the start  of the conflict in 2014. So, when Ukraine offered  

a spirited resistance, Russia was simply not ready  for this. Poor coordination between different  

military units and branches, inability to conduct  major offensive operations, low morale of Russian  

soldiers, inability to ensure stable supply of  the forces in the frontline, and a failure to  

establish air superiority doomed Russia into a  long, protracted and bloody campaign in Ukraine. 

Why did Russia fail to have dominance in  the air, despite its 1511 to 98 advantage in  

combat aircraft at the start? For instance, Harry  Boneham of GlobalData argued that it was linked  

with the poor training of Russian pilots, lack of  precision-guided munition, which forced Russian  

aircrafts to fly in low altitudes and expose  themselves to the Ukrainian air-defense, including  

the Western provided MANPADS, Western intelligence  support to the Ukrainian army, and unwillingness  

of the Russian command to risk its costly  aircraft against the background of these factors.  

Early lack of success and unsustainable  casualties, especially in temrs of armor,  

forced the Russian command to rethink  its strategy and withdraw from the Kyiv,  

Chernihiv and Sumy oblasts in April, 2022  and to focus on its offensive in Donbas.  

Russia simply did not have enough men  to continue fighting on all 4 axes.  

The size of their invading force was planned in  accordance with the scenario of a rapid Ukrainian  

collapse, and when this scenario failed, the  Russian command decided to narrow its objective. 

But military setbacks were not the only blow  Russia received at the beginning of the war.  

Despite initial hesitations, Western countries  have imposed painful sanctions on Russia.  

The most consequential sanctions include freezing  almost half of Russia’s financial reserves,  

disconnecting major Russian banks from the  SWIFT payment system, banning Russian ships and  

planes from entering Western ports and airspace,  restriction in the export of advanced technology  

to Russia, and import of Russian goods, including  energy imports from Russia. Along with that, more  

than 1200 foreign companies have left Russia, and  suspended or restricted their operations there,  

including Apple, Visa, Mastercard, and so on. As a result, Russian GDP had fallen by 4% in the  

second quarter of 2022 and according to the IMF  projection, Russia would lose at least 6% of its  

GDP by the end of the year. The Russian economy  is suffering from high inflation. Production in  

many sectors has dwindled, as Russia couldn’t  import most of the goods it needed to feed its  

industry. According to Al Jazeera, Russia’s  car production “plummeted by a stunning 61.8%  

during the first 6 months of this year”. But the  Russian economy has proved to be less vulnerable  

to sanctions than it was forecasted, due to  an initial rise in energy prices. However,  

as Russia basically stopped selling oil and gas  to Europe, and India and China, who managed to  

fill their stores are not buying the oil and gas  at the same rate, this process largely stopped,  

and in August Russian energy revenues  dropped to 11 billion$, lowest in 14 months. 

The Kremlin has also increased government  spending, which helped to keep the economy afloat.  

The government managed to keep the ruble  relatively stable through different monetary  

measures, along with keeping inflation under  control as its rate was at 14.9% in August,  

a 3% decrease from its peak in April. While  the Russian economy has definitely suffered and  

decreased due to Western sanctions, the reports  on its death are rather premature. Economists and  

analysts expect the impact of sanctions to be felt  gradually in Russia and in the foreseeable future.  

But for now, the Russian economy is surviving.  Sanctions have had a negative impact on the  

quality of life of ordinary Russians. It is  difficult to know the exact number at this point,  

but hundreds of thousands of Russians have  left the country following the invasion.  

In the tech sector alone, an estimated 50k to 70k  Russians have emigrated. Many Russians whose work  

is deeply connected to the global economy have  had no other choice, but to leave. Many others who  

opposed the invasion have done the same, possibly  fearing repercussions for their position. At this  

point, Russia is experiencing a brain drain,  the impact of which we will see in the future. 

How supportive are Russians of their government’s  decision to invade Ukraine? Right after the start  

of the invasion, thousands of Russians took  to the streets to protest Putin’s decision.  

But in the absence of an organized opposition  following the arrest of Aleksey Navalny and  

repressions against his Anti-Corruption Foundation  that occurred earlier, the Russian law enforcement  

managed to curb these protests rather easily.  After a while, mass protests turned into solitary  

protests and calls by prominent Russians to stop  the war, acts which often resulted in fines,  

administrative arrests and all sorts of problems  with law enforcement. Usual suspects were Russian  

intelligentsia, writers, journalists, film  directors, actors, and so on. But in a somewhat  

unexpected turn of events, several Russian  oligarchs like Oleg Deripaska, Mikhail Fridman  

and Oleg Tinkov also called to stop the invasion.  Roman Abramovich at some point even acted as a  

mediator in the failed Russo-Ukrainian peace talks  early in the war. Evidently, sanctions are heavily  

harming Russian oligarchs, particularly those with  links to the West, and some of them have voiced  

their concern. But, the general Russian public  is supportive of the war in Ukraine. According  

to polls conducted by the independent think tank  Levada operating in Russia, 76% of respondents  

stated their support for the Russian invasion,  a meager 5% drop in comparison with March.  

Even the continued shelling of civilian areas  of Ukraine and evidence of the brutality of  

the Russian troops did not do much to decrease  the support for the war. Some analysts question  

how firm that support is and if the Russians  are ready to actively support the war effort. 

Following the Russian withdrawal from Kyiv  oblast, it was revealed that hundreds of Ukrainian  

civilians had died in the town of Bucha during the  Russian occupation. Even though Russia deflected  

the blame on Ukrainians whom they accused  of organizing a spectacle and a provocation,  

all the evidence points to a Russian-organized  massacre. According to the UN report, as of August  

21, 5587 Ukrainian civilians had been killed and  7890 had been injured since the start of the war.  

The UN also stated that as of August,  7 million Ukrainians have fled the war.  

Thousands of Ukrainian children were  kidnapped to Russia for adoption. The  

human suffering caused by the Russian invasion  is difficult to measure and account for,  

but it is clear that tens of thousands have died,  millions have fled and hundreds of villages,  

towns, and cities have been destroyed or heavily damaged since the start of the war. 

Following the failure of the strategy to shock  Ukraine into submission, the Eastern region of  

Ukraine, Donbas, which has been a zone of conflict since 2014, became the main focus of the Russian  

offensive. This prompted the Russian government and propaganda to reinvent their justification  

of war. Denazification and demilitarization of  Ukraine remained somewhere in the background in  

their messages, while the so-called “Liberation of  DPR and LPR” became the emphasis. It seems like at  

this point, reaching the administrative borders of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts became the minimum  

program for the Russian command. In mid-April,  Russia restarted its offensive in Donbas.  

The Russian strategy was the usual one: massing  an excessive number of artillery in a relatively  

small area and embarking on a massive artillery  shelling campaign turning target cities and  

villages into rubble. At this point, the main  advantage of the Russian army over the Ukrainian  

army was the numerical advantage it had in terms  of artillery. This allowed Russia to have its most  

successful period of the war between April and  early July. Russia made steady progress in Donetsk  

and Luhansk oblasts throughout this period. While  Ukraine managed to stabilize the situation on all  

other fronts, it was suffering in Donbas. The  Russian Donbas offensive culminated with the  

capture of Sieverodonetsk and Lysychansk by early  July. Luhansk oblast was under complete control of  

the Russian army, while it continued its progress  in Donetsk oblast. Ukraine’s losses in this period  

were heavy, as in June Zelensky stated that  Ukraine was losing up to 200 soldiers every day.  

The Ukrainian government regularly requested  more advanced military equipment to stop the  

Russian advance, including High Mobility Artillery  Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and in June, the United  

States finally started supplying Ukraine with this  system. HIMARS precision fire by 6 rockets has a  

range of up to 80 kilometers and this gradually  changed the situation on the battlefield.  

Armed with HIMARS, Ukraine started regularly  targeting ammunition and oil depots as well as  

command centers of Russia in the rear, destroying  the supplies necessary to continue the Donbas  

Offensive. Very soon, Russia’s advance came to  a halt. Throughout July and August, the Russian  

Army tried to advance on Sloviansk, Kramatorsk,  Bakhmut, and Avdiivka, but their gains have been  

minuscule. Since July 16, Russia had managed to  capture only 450 square kilometers of territory.  

HIMARS did not only enable Ukraine to  stabilize the situation in Donbas. It has  

also allowed them to plan counter-offensive  operations with the use of HIMARS in mind. 

After months of the destruction of the Russian  ammunition and oil depots on the Southern front,  

and key supply points like the Antonivskyi  Bridge in Kherson, Ukraine finally launched  

its long-awaited counter-offensive. Ukraine has  made decent progress in the counter-offensive,  

which is going on as we speak, advancing towards  Kherson from three different directions. The  

problem in this for Russia is exacerbated by  the difficulty to supply its troops fighting  

on the western bank of Dnipro in the Kherson  oblast due to the destruction of key bridges.  

But the most successful Ukrainian  counter-offensive was launched in early September  

in a completely different direction. Russia has  been redeploying its units from the area West  

of Izium to other directions perceived as more  important, which Ukraine has been able to exploit.  

After sending more troops and military equipment  to this area, which the Russian command somehow  

missed or ignored, Ukraine has conducted its  most successful operation of the war yet.  

Ukraine has liberated Balakliya, most of  Kupiansk and Izium, while advancing on Liman.  

Kupiansk is of a particular strategic importance  due to being a key supply hub for the Russian  

war effort in Donbas, which fell to the  occupiers in the first days of the invasion.  

Russian military bloggers have claimed that  their front in Izium has collapsed and the  

situation of Russian troops fighting there  is dire. Ukrainian counter-offensives show  

that after months of defending and reacting  to the Russian movement, Ukraine has managed  

to capture initiative and momentum on the  battlefield for the first time in this war. 

We should not forget that Ukraine has been the  biggest victim of this invasion, as its people  

continue dying in defense of their country,  while their cities, infrastructure and economy  

continue being destroyed. But this war has been  consequential to so many other countries that we  

can say that it has already had a global impact.  With natural gas prices being over 3000 dollars  

per cubic meters, a major increase since the start  of the war, inflation has become a common problem  

for Western countries and inflation has become  a cause of significant discontent in the West.  

For now, European governments are bracing for a  difficult winter by enacting austerity measures  

and in some cases, unfortunately, going back  to environmentally harmful practices like  

using coal-fired power plants. But experts  note that gas storages of most European  

countries are over 80% full, which should  be enough to pass the year without a crisis. 

The war has also caused a major disruption  of international grain trade. Ukraine is  

one of the biggest grain exporters in the  world and the Russian control of the Black  

Sea caused risks for shipping of grain to  international markets. Russia is one of the  

biggest fertilizer exporters in the world  and in response to sanctions it restricted  

their fertilizer exports. This led  to fears of global grain shortage,  

which could have led to starvation in the  poorest countries of the world. Thankfully,  

on July 22 Ukraine and Russia agreed to a grain  deal, which was brokered by the UN and Türkiye.  

Russia agreed to deblockade Ukrainian ports and  allow grain shipments to go to international  

markets, while also concurring to restart  fertilizer exports. Recently, Putin accused  

Ukraine of shipping most of the grain to Western  countries and threatening to restrain the deal. 

Another process with potentially disastrous global  consequences is related to the Zaporizhian Nuclear  

Power Plant. In March, Russia captured the power  plant. In August, sides started blaming each other  

of shelling the power plant. After weeks of  negotiations, the visit of the IAEA delegation  

to the power plant was agreed upon. In early  September this study visit was concluded and the  

IAEA made quite a neutral statement describing  potential risks and calling sides to agree to  

cessation of all hostilities in the area. We  will continue following the situation around the  

Zaporizhian Nuclear Power Plant and hoping that  a prudent solution will be found to this issue. 

What is next for Ukraine and Russia? For the  first time since the start of the war, Ukraine  

has momentum and initiative on the battlefield.  Russia is suffering from a shortage of troops  

on the ground, as the invasion was planned as  a short and victorious campaign. This shortage  

of troops has reached such levels that even the  best Russian unit – the Wagner has been trying to  

recruit Russian prisoners to join their mercenary  unit. HIMARS is decimating Russian military  

infrastructure and supplies and has already  inflicted significant harm on Russian firepower.  

Russia has tried to respond to these issues by  energizing its campaign to hire more contract and  

volunteer soldiers throughout its vast territory  as part of its crypto-mobilization efforts.  

The Russian new Third Army Corps has already  been deployed in most problematic areas of  

the battlefield such as Northern Donbas to  stop the Ukrainian advance. Furthermore,  

the Kremlin has adopted measures of economic  mobilization, as now the government has a right  

to order workers of state institutions to work  overtime without payment and order enterprises  

to start producing military equipment. But low  morale, poor military command, ever-present  

supply problem and unclear end-game of the Russian  military strategy in Ukraine cause serious doubts  

about the future of the Russian military invasion  of Ukraine. On the contrary, Ukraine’s military  

situation has never been better since the start  of the war. Continued western support, effective  

use of new western supplies like HIMARS and the  willingness of the Ukrainian government, army  

and the society to fight the war until victory has  allowed Ukraine to capture initiative in this war. 

The full impact of this Ukrainian advance  on the war overall is not yet clear. But  

one thing is becoming more and more clear. The  Ukrainian army is getting stronger due to more  

and better military equipment being given to it.  The United States is considering giving fighter  

jets to Ukraine. Discussions around supplying  Ukraine with ATACMS precision missiles with a 300  

kilometer range are ongoing. Getting these weapons  would give Ukraine a further advantage over the  

Russian army. But for now, the United States has  acted carefully in terms of providing Ukraine  

with long-range missiles, since Washington fears  that this could lead to an escalation by Russia.

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