Ukraine is marking one year since the start of Russia’s invasion, which led to the end of decades of relative stability in Europe. The war has had a significant impact on energy markets and increased global hunger, and it has also reinvigorated the NATO military alliance in response to the Russian threat. Despite the ongoing conflict, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky remains defiant and has framed the conflict as a battle between autocracy and freedom. He has pledged to fight on with the help of Western arms. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to push for Russian power over significant parts of Ukraine. Russia controls about a fifth of Ukraine’s territory, including parts of four regions Putin illegally annexed in 2022, as well as the Crimean peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014.
Zelensky is expected to address reporters on Friday and may discuss the possibility of ending the conflict through a negotiated deal. However, it remains unclear what concessions either side would accept. Ukraine continues to face severe economic strain due to the cost of the war effort, civilian displacement, and infrastructure damage. The Ukrainian government is hoping to secure a $15 billion support deal from the International Monetary Fund to add to earlier aid pledges from the United States and the European Union.