Ukraine enters its third year of war amid fear of being forgotten. The conflict, chronic, is plagued by international fatigue in a scenario in which the war in Gaza has gained weight. Over the past year, Russian troops have increased their strength and put even more pressure on Ukraine. However, the international community continues to show its support for Zelensky.

Just this Friday the EU launched another package of sanctions against Moscow, which already marks the 13th round of sanctions, including measures against 106 individuals and 88 entities, including the Minister of Defense, Sergei Shoigu, and for the first time against four Chinese companies for helping the Kremlin to circumvent the sanctions. The 27 have thus met the deadline they gave themselves to adopt the 13th round of restrictions against Russia for the military aggression against the neighboring country two years after the attack.

In fact, the EU will once again show its support this Saturday from Kyiv. The president of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, arrived this Saturday to the Ukrainian capital to convey “financial, economic, military and moral” support on behalf of the EU. “I come to celebrate the extraordinary resistance of the brave Ukrainian people,” she declared to a group of journalists accompanying her on her trip, confident that the visit will serve to talk ‘in situ’ about “all aspects” of European support.

The G7 will also meet this Saturday to show support for Ukraine. Georgia Meloni will also chair the meeting from Kyiv. Besides, The Italian president plans to participate in a ceremony with the Ukrainian presidentVolodymyr Zelensky, at the Antonov airport in Hostomel, a symbolic place of the Ukrainian resistance in the hours immediately after the Russian attack on the capital, and then a security agreement will be signed at the Mariinsky Palace, headquarters of the Ukrainian presidency.

Precisely for this anniversary, Amnesty International has demanded that “all those responsible for crimes against international law committed in Ukraine be brought to justice”, which implies that “Russia held accountable for all crimes committed since its military intervention in 2014″, when it invaded Crimea.

The Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, has also spoken, who has warned that now “the situation on the battlefield remains extremely serious”, but has reiterated that Ukraine can continue to count on the support of its international partners. “Ukraine will join NATO. It is not a question of if it will do so, but rather when it will do so,” said Stoltenberg, who stressed that Kiev is now “closer than ever” to the Atlantic Alliance, as demonstrated economic and military aid.

The political head of the Alliance has pointed out in a speech that “President (Vladimir) Putin started this war because he wanted to close the door to NATO and deny Ukraine’s right to choose its own path“, but “he has achieved just the opposite.” Two years after the start of the offensive, “Putin’s goal of dominating Ukraine has not changed,” nor is there any indication that he is “preparing for peace.” “But no we must lose hope,” he added.

Thus, he recalled that “Ukraine did not succumb in weeks, as many feared“, and has even managed to recover some of the lost ground and inflict significant damage on Russian troops. “Above all, Ukraine maintains its freedom and independence,” he stressed.

In this sense, the head of the Ukrainian Army, Oleksandr Sirski, has appealed to “unity” of all Ukrainians to achieve “victory” about Russia, in a message published on his Telegram channel on the occasion of the second anniversary of the start of the war in which he recalls that few at first believed in Ukraine’s possibilities of resistance.

“Today, more than ever, we need unity. I am convinced that unity is our victory,” Sirski said in the text, which recalls the first days of the invasion in which many predicted a Ukrainian defeat in just a few days.

The history of the conflict

In February 2014, Russia occupied Ukrainian Crimea, but never admitted that its armed forces had also entered eastern Ukraine that same year. The evidence published by Amnesty International since 2014 – examination of satellite images and eyewitness statements – confirmed this entry of Russian troops, which means that this international armed conflict has now lasted ten years.

Between 2014 and 2021, more than 10,000 civilians were killed or injured in Ukraine, and numerous violations of the laws of war were reported in the first year of fighting. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced from eastern Ukraine after Russian-backed armed groups declared the ‘people’s republics’ of Donetsk and Luhansk, although many others remained.

Residents of Slovyansk told Amnesty International that in 2014, an armed group kidnapped a local cleric, two of his children and two parishioners, and demanded a ransom of US$50,000 for them. By the time the local community managed to raise the money, the five captives had died at the hands of their captors. With the full-scale invasion of Russia two years ago, attacks spread across the country.