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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

In February, Russia began invading its neighboring nation, Ukraine, primarily due to Ukraine’s desire to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Ukraine has suffered many losses in its ongoing war against Russia, but during the week of Sept. 12,  it made advancements. Ukrainian forces reclaimed Izium in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine after Russian troops retreated. This marks a great success for Ukraine as they have now reclaimed much of the northeastern Kharkiv region. However, Russia claims the retreat was a “tactical” measure as they move onto the Donbas area.

In celebration of the liberated city, President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the site and raised the Ukrainian flag. President Zelensky described the Ukrainian flag as meaning, “The enemy is gone, run away.” He addressed citizens and soldiers of Ukraine, saying, “We thank all of you for liberating our state from the enemy — from the terrorists of the Russian Federation and from the traitors who betrayed our state with the bills of artificial republics.” He continues, “The last few months have been extremely difficult for you. Therefore, I am asking you: Take care of yourself; you are the most precious we have.” In contrast to President Zelensky, who has taken numerous combat-zone trips over the past six months, the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, has not visited his troops since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.

As Russia was using Izium as a resupply route for troops in Eastern Ukraine, the loss of this city was rather substantial. Ukraine has now liberated 2,300 square miles of land taken by Russian forces earlier this year. In order to make the city of Izium safer for civilians, Ukrainian troops are searching for Russian soldiers in hiding around the area. The regaining of Izium and many cities in Kharkiv have given the nation a needed military victory and strengthened the worldwide unity of Ukrainian supporters.

Contrastingly, a Putin supporter and Chechen leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, insinuated his desire to use nuclear and chemical weapons. He stated, “If it were up to me, I would declare martial law all over the country and use all kinds of weapons because today we are at war with the entire NATO bloc and used every opportunity to finish with these evil spirits faster.”

The war has been ongoing for over six months now. The following is a chronological timeline of the events in Eastern Europe. In February of this year, Russia began by attacking Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital; however, they eventually retreated, and the capital was liberated once more. Soon after, Russia captured the province of Kherson coming from the south. Russian forces successfully took Mariupol in May but were met with Ukrainian resistance. The war is resulting in threats to Russia’s naval forces in addition to those on land. In June, Ukraine was able to claim Snake Island in the Black Sea, which is about 88 miles off the coast of Odesa. This sequence reduces the naval power that the strong Russian city, Moscow, possesses in the Black Sea. Even though Ukraine did lose control of the last city in the province of Luhansk in June, Russia did not advance on its goal of capturing Donbas. During the weeks leading up to August, the U.S., along with other Western nations, contributed to the missile stock of the Ukrainian military in order to diminish the Russian military infrastructure. Later that month, Ukraine initiated a counteroffensive in the southern region of Kherson.

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An FSU student from Ormond Beach, Florida, studying political science.