Ukraine and Russia are Locked in a War of Attrition as Conflict Hits One-Year Mark

The one-year anniversary of Russia’s war in Ukraine passed on Friday as both sides remain locked in a war of attrition with no end in sight.


The one-year anniversary of Russia’s war in Ukraine passed on Friday as both sides remain locked in a war of attrition with no end in sight.

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed to secure victory in 2023 in a speech on Friday marking the war’s first anniversary. Zelensky said February 24, 2022 – the day Russia invaded – was “the longest day of our lives. The hardest day of our modern history. We woke up early and haven’t fallen asleep since.”
  • Zelensky praised the new sanctions announced by the U.S., U.K., and E.U. on the war’s anniversary, but asked them to do more. “The pressure on Russian aggressor must increase,” Zelensky tweeted.
  • As the New York Times wrote, “The war in Ukraine has transformed Europe more profoundly than any event since the Cold War’s end in 1989. A peace mentality, most acute in Germany, has given way to a dawning awareness that military power is needed in the pursuit of security and strategic objectives. A continent on autopilot, lulled into amnesia, has been galvanized into an immense effort to save liberty in Ukraine, a freedom widely seen as synonymous with its own.”
  • The leaders of Germany, France, and the United Kingdom suggested establishing a defense pact with Ukraine to get Zelensky to the negotiating table and agree to a cease-fire sometime this year. The pact would be designed to reassure Ukraine that the West will back its defense should Russia renew the conflict after any possible cease-fire.
  • Iconic global landmarks – the Empire State Building, the Eiffel Tower, Sydney Opera House among them – were lit up in Ukrainian blue and gold to mark the anniversary on Friday. A burned-out Russian tank was even displayed on a Berlin street.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • CNN outlined the “three weapons that changed the course of Ukraine’s war with Russia”: the Lockheed Martin Javelin guided anti-tank missile, the U.S.-made HIMARS mobile guided rocket system, and the Turkish-manufactured Bayraktar TB2 drone.
  • The New York Times looked back at a year of war in Ukraine with a guide to the “roots of the crisis.” Russian leadership believed the invasion of Ukraine would be a “walk in the park,” but did not predict the voracious resistance from Ukrainians determined to defend their homeland.
  • New U.S. intelligence revealed China is debating sending artillery and ammunition to Russia to support Putin’s war effort in Ukraine, NBC News reported. The news comes just days after China unveiled a peace proposal that was met with intense skepticism by western leaders.



  • Fox News reported on the growing divisions between top Russian military leadership and Yevgeny Prigozhin, the oligarch nicknamed “Putin’s chef” who founded the Wagner Group, a powerful mercenary organization that’s supported Russian forces on the front lines.
  • The Wall Street Journal argued, “Ukraine is the West’s war now.” Yaroslav Trofimov wrote, “True, no American or NATO soldiers are fighting and dying on Ukrainian soil. But the U.S., its European allies, and Canada have now sent some $120 billion in weapons and other aid to Ukraine, with new, more advanced military supplies on the way. If this monumental effort fails to thwart President Vladimir Putin’s ambitions, the setback would not only undermine American credibility on the world stage but also raise difficult questions about the future of the Western alliance.”
  • National Review’s Andrew Stuttaford predicted the war’s next phrase: “What lies ahead, therefore, is likely to be a war of attrition on two fronts. There is the battlefield, but there is also the war of attrition effectively being fought between the Russian and Western economies. The West is much, much richer, but it is democratic. Most of its voters currently favor supporting Ukraine, but for how long?”


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© Dominic Moore, 2023