Ukraine Holds its Ground While Russia Promises More Offensive Measures


Alexandra Saffman

Within the past month, Ukraine has recovered more than 3,000 square miles in its northeast sphere as well as in the southern Kherson region, while Russia has begun larger conscription measures, and has posed threats of nuclear warfare, further isolating it in global political and economic spheres. 

After the recapture of cities in the Kharkiv oblast, including Izium–formerly key to Russian holds, Ukraine now stands poised to push through in the eastern Donbas region, and potentially recapture Lysychansk, which was taken by Russian forces a little over three months ago. In the recaptured areas, evidence of Russian terror and destruction has been revealed, including torture sites and mass graves. President Biden recently unveiled a $625 million weapon support package, and international support has continued to support the new advances. 

After a shutdown of Zaporizhya’s Nuclear Plant (one of the largest in Europe) in mid-September amid concerns of warfare-inflicted damage–which could cause a nuclear catastrophe similar to that of Chernobyl–and an inspection from a United Nations nuclear power team, the plant was reopened in early October. However, fighting in the area has still continued, and it remains a risk. A UN committee continues to attempt to establish a demilitarized zone around the plant. 

On September 21st, President Putin announced the conscription of 300,000 men, and protests have since erupted. Many have been arrested, while others have attempted to flee the country altogether. Putin also warned that any attack on Russia would spur nuclear retaliation, although the truth of his claim remains unclear.