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Courtesy of 

Fabio Bucciarelli

Unity and Diversity

Highly Commended

Fabio Bucciarelli

Ukraine: Endurance & Resiliance

Kyiv, Ukraine

On February 24, 2022, Russia initiated a large-scale invasion of Ukraine, representing a distressing escalation of the eight-year conflict between the two nations and instigating the most extensive refugee crisis in Europe since World War II. Putin's primary objective was to seize Kyiv, depose the existing government, and swiftly undermine the country's defense. However, the robust Ukrainian Resistance, armed and supported by Western powers that openly condemned the invasion, thwarted Putin's plan of a blitzkrieg and the establishment of a new pro-Russian government. In the initial days of the invasion, tens of thousands of individuals fled the city. As the conflict unfolded over the first month, over ten million people were displaced from their homes. Those who remained in the city sought refuge in underground shelters or joined civilian militias to safeguard their territory. The first weeks witnessed relentless bombardment on Kyiv and its suburbs by the Russian army. Sirens blared, announcing bombings multiple times a day, while missiles and artillery targeted neighborhoods, resulting in the devastation of residential buildings and loss of lives. The major confrontations were concentrated in Irpin, a northern suburb of the capital, where indiscriminate Russian bombing of apartment blocks forced hundreds of thousands of civilians to flee across the bridge connecting to the capital. In March, groups of fleeing civilians became targets of mortar strikes, providing the initial evidence of direct shelling on civilians by Russian troops. This story serves as a powerful reminder of the direct impact of war on innocent civilians, who often bear the brunt of military actions. It sheds light on the tragic realities of conflicts, emphasizing the pressing need for global peace. The haunting events recounted underscore the importance of historical memory, urging us to learn from the past and avoid repeating similar mistakes.

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