Ukraine face the Russians in 2022.  Can he oust them in 2023?

Ukraine face the Russians in 2022. Can he oust them in 2023?

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When Russia invaded Ukraine, Vadim Khlupiyanets, a 26-year-old ballet dancer at the National Operata Theater in Kyiv, joined the army. Nine months later, he was killed by a sniper on the Eastern Front.

At her funeral, the theater’s creative director Bohdan Strutniński said that the young ballet dancer deserved a very different honor: “Applause at the end of a performance, with people asking for an encore.”

Olga Kucher, director of the Zaporizhzhya Regional Children’s Shelter, also found herself in an unexpected role. In March she led 215 orphaned children in woolen hats and puffer coats on a 24-hour train ride, running for their lives.

“My heart is bursting,” she said. “And I’m so sorry for these kids. They’re so young.”

In 2022 Ukrainians surprise the world – and themselves – by withstanding an all-out military assault by a superpower that aims to crush them within days.

Millions fled for safety. Millions of people suffered the bombings in cellars and bomb shelters. Tens of thousands perished in the cities ravaged by the invaders.

And millions mobilized in the cause of a nation, taking up arms, volunteering in ambulances, delivering food to front villages, looking after each other’s children.

why it matters

Russia says it has launched its “special military operation” to defend its security from Western encroachment. Ukrainians, who heard President Vladimir Putin castigate their national identity as a fraud and land wrongfully snatched from Russia, see the war as an existential struggle – both national and personal.

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