Ukraine: News from the front

The Concordia Courier

Ukrainian soldiers sit atop a tank in the thick of the war

By John Symank | 3/18/2022

As we enter the third week of fighting in Ukraine, many stories, both tragic and hopeful, have come out of the besieged country, and from the country’s invader, Russia. Vladimir Putin’s invasion has led to the deaths of thousands, on both Ukrainian and Russian sides, and led to the displacement of over three million citizens. Below are some of the biggest stories to come out of the front. 

Stories of Ukrainian Citizens – Thousands of men and women have lined up in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, to protect their homeland, taking up arms against the invaders. Authorities have been handing out weapons, and advising Ukrainian citizens to make their own, as Russian forces move closer and closer to Ukraine. The stories of those who have remained behind to fight against the invasion have been slowly released into the public. 

A woman threw a can of tomatoes at a Russian drone to damage it, causing it to crash. The mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, has personally picked up arms against the invaders. These stories, and more, have made their way into western news media, inspiring hope for those who have found refuge in other areas. 

“The Snake Island 13” believed to be alive – In the early days of the war, the people of Ukraine mourned for the 13 border guards who refused to surrender to a Russian warship. The soldiers, who uttered the now famous words, “Russian warship, go f--- yourself,” were believed to have been killed for their defiance after the same Russian warship fired upon the island. 

However, new intelligence suggests that the guards were captured by the Russian invaders, surviving the initial bombing, which was reportedly streamed on Instagram by one or more of the soldiers, before being abruptly cut and the soldiers believed dead. The Ukrainian navy intelligence claimed that the 13 soldiers repelled two attacks by the Russian warship before surrendering due to “lack of ammunition.” The news comes as a breath of fresh air after so many lives have been lost. 

Russian Protests continue – Thousands of protesters swarmed the streets of Moscow in the early days of the invasion, in hopes that Putin’s invasion may yet be stopped. While these early protests struggled to find their voice after being met with crushing opposition from government forces, there are still those who attempt to spread knowledge of the invasion rather than the propaganda spread by state media. 

On March 14, a protester defied the government operation on one of Russia’s primary evening news channels. The woman, later identified as Marina Ovsyannikova, walked out on the set of a live broadcast holding up a sign that protested the war. Additionally, while most independent Russian media outlets have been shuttered, and many Russian journalists are actively being pursued as a result of Putin’s crackdown on free speech in the midst of the war, there are those who have been creating media hubs in the hope of spreading the truth to the Russian people. 

Russian Retaliation – A Russian lawmaker on a state-owned news program made a demand to the United States and other European countries. Oleg Matveychev made the claim that the United States would be required to return both Fort Ross, California, as well as the entire state of Alaska, to be a part of Russian territory once Kyiv’s “demilitarization is completed.” Matveychev also expected that European countries that were once part of the former Soviet Union should be returned to Russian control. 

Tags: World News

About John Symank

John Symank is the Local and Global News Editor for the Concordia Courier, Concordia University Irvine’s student-led newspaper. He is currently a junior, completing a BA in Communication Studies with an emphasis in Mass Communication, and a minor in Business Administration. 

As the Local and Global News Editor, John writes articles about world events and happenings around Irvine and the surrounding areas. He works with students and professors to get opinions on these events and express the opinions of campus, and uses these viewpoints to construct well informed and instructive stories.

John has been writing or editing for newspapers since 2017, when he began writing for his high school newspaper, The Californian. He hopes to use his experience both with The Californian and The Courier to build his skills as a writer.

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