Ukraine update: Zelenskyy, allies commemorate one-year milestone of Russia’s invasion

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News


Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy vowed today to keep fighting for victory as he and other Ukrainians marked the grim first anniversary of the Russian invasion.

Zelenskyy struck a somber but defiant tone in a speech he gave early on Friday commemorating the resilience of Ukrainians and those who have lost their lives since the Russian invasion began one year ago. Russia’s short-term “special military operation” has become a drawn-out war of shocking brutality and bloodshed that has disrupted global economies and raised the specter of a world war involving nuclear weapons.

Zelenskyy referred to February 24, 2022, as “the longest day of our lives” and commended the soldiers and citizens of Ukraine for their mettle in the face of Europe’s deadliest conflict since World War II, The Associated Press reported

“We survived the first day of the full-scale war. We didn’t know what tomorrow would bring, but we clearly understood that for each tomorrow, you need to fight. And we fought,” he said in an early morning video address. 

“It was the longest day of our lives. The hardest day of our modern history. We woke up early and haven’t fallen asleep since,” he said.

Ukrainians will mark the day with vigils and memorials dedicated to the tens of thousands of their fellow countrymen who have been killed in the war. 


President Joe Biden will attend a virtual meeting with Group of Seven (G7) leaders and President Zelenskyy today, where he will announce new sanctions on Russian banks and the technology and defense sectors, according to the White House.

The Epoch Times reported that the sanctions will also target Chinese companies that have violated export bans, citing a State Department report.

“There will be in the sanctions packages that we will be announcing tomorrow on the one-year anniversary of the war,” U.S. Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland said Thursday during a live Washington Post event. “We will also be putting other constraints on entities, Chinese-based or Chinese subs of entities in Europe.”

The Pentagon announced an additional $2 billion long-term security assistance package for Ukraine under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI). The U.S. has now committed more than $32 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion.

The package includes high-tech Switchblade 600 Kamikaze drones, electronic warfare detection equipment, additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and artillery rounds and munitions for laser-guided rocket systems, and “Funding for training, maintenance, and sustainment.” 

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued a statement commemorating the war’s milestone, decrying Russia’s invasion as “a cruel war of choice that has killed thousands of innocent Ukrainians.” 

“Today’s solemn anniversary is an opportunity for all who believe in freedom, rules, and sovereignty to recommit ourselves to supporting Ukraine’s brave defenders for the long haul—and to recall that the stakes of Russia’s war stretch far beyond Ukraine,” he said.


The United States Ambassador to the United Nations declared that Thursday’s vote on a resolution on achieving peace in Ukraine will “go down in history.” The resolution calls for Russia to withdraw its troops “immediately,” without condition.

“Colleagues, today we are gathered to discuss an important, historic resolution – one that will promote diplomacy, dialogue, and a lasting peace in Ukraine. The timing of this moment is, of course, intentional,” Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said. “Colleagues, this vote will go down in history.”

The Ambassador asserted that Russia’s “illegal and unprovoked attack on Ukraine…was also an assault on the United Nations. It struck at the very heart of the U.N. Charter” and urged members to reaffirm their commitment to promoting “diplomacy and dialogue.”

The U.N. voted overwhelmingly to adopt the resolution, with 141 countries approving, 32 abstaining, and seven voting against it. Russia was joined by Belarus, Eritrea, Mali, Nicaragua, North Korea, and Syria in opposition.


China marked the war’s anniversary with a call for a ceasefire and peace talks between Ukraine and Russia. Beijing’s Foreign Ministry released a 12-point “vaguely worded” proposal to end the war on Friday, per The Associated Press

It calls for the “sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries” to be respected and for an end to “unilateral” sanctions on Russia. The proposal also criticizes NATO’’s expansion and condemns any potential use of nuclear weapons.

The relationship between Washington and Beijing – already strained over China’s aggressive stance on Taiwan – has deteriorated significantly over the past year, beginning with the “no limits partnership” entered into between Chinese President Xi and Putin more than a year ago. Tensions ratcheted up further in recent weeks in the wake of the shooting down of a Chinese spy balloon in U.S. airspace and new intel suggesting that China is poised to provide lethal aid to Russia – something Beijing has denied.