Russia: On the Losing Side of the War

An update on the recent Russo-Ukrainian War developments


New York Times

Russia deployed numerous airstrikes on October 10. Some of these hit Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital city, and it went up in flames.

Bella Gallus, Managing Editor

In the six months since Russia invaded Ukraine, nearly five thousand citizens have died, whole cities have been destroyed, and essential infrastructure has been bombed according to Global Conflict Tracker. Recently, allies of Russia, China, and India, called for a de-escalation, as there were numerous ruthless airstrikes on civilian areas by Russia, as well as talk about nuclear warfare. The conflict between these two countries seems to be growing outside of its borders, becoming a large global conflict. 

Recent Airstrikes: 

On October 10, there were 84 airstrikes in Ukrainian cities. Airstrikes are missiles or bombs deployed by aircraft. An estimated 14 people died, and many were injured. Many of these airstrikes targeted critical facilities, like power plants, which left many cities including Lviv, Sumy, Poltava, and Ternopoli without power. Missiles also hit Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital. These missiles hit a playground, a museum, and a popular pedestrian bridge. A Ukrainian citizen, Alla Rohatniova expressed to the New York Times that the attacks have been occurring continuously, and all over the country. She said, “Right now, we don’t know where they will strike. It could be anywhere.”

These airstrikes, according to President Mr. Vladimir Putin, were deployed as a response to the airstrike on an important bridge between Crimea and Russia that Russian troops utilized to move into Ukraine. Ukrainian intelligence indicates that the missile strikes on October 10 were planned. Russia continues to target civilian areas, and critical facilities as winter begins to approach. 

Emergency United Nations Meeting on Monday, October 10:

On October 10, there was an emergency United Nations meeting called in regard to the annexations of the Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia, followed by “staged referendums,” which occur when people of a country are asked to vote on proposed or passed laws, regions in September. According to the New York Times, Vasily Nebenzya, Russia’s ambassador to the U.N., claimed the annexations were for the safety of Ukrainian citizens. However, the Hungarian representative and president of the session, Csaba Korosi, emphasized the need for a diplomatic ending to the war, and said, “The U.N. charter is clear…Invading a neighbor is illegal.”At the meeting, representatives also discussed the airstrikes that hit Ukrainian cities, as they had been deployed earlier that day.

As a result of the airstrikes and annexations, tensions continue to rise between Russia and the rest of the world. Many countries have recognized Putin’s actions as illegal and destructive. Even his allies, India and China, have now called for an immediate de-escalation. Throughout these six months, many countries placed sanctions on Russia aimed at injuring its economy to prevent further war. India and China, as allies of Russia, have held back on placing any sanctions or even commenting directly about the conflict. But, without criticizing Putin directly, Mao Ning, a spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry, and Arindam Bagchi, the spokesman for India’s Ministry of External Affairs, have both commented on the annexations. Ning made comments regarding respecting the sovereignty of nations and coming to a peaceful resolution, in a press release reported by the New York Times. Bagchi said, “India is deeply concerned at the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine, including the targeting of infrastructure and deaths of civilians.” Russia is standing alone on a crumbling pedestal as the world’s nations begin to focus efforts towards aiding Ukraine, and its own military fails at conquering territories.

Reclaimed Territory:

The Ukrainian military has made significant progress toward reclaiming land from Russia. Ukrainian troops have made a breakthrough in the South of Ukraine by taking control of the village of Dudchany on October 4, according to the British Broadcasting Company (BBC). This forced Russian troops to move back into Crimea. In the East, Ukrainian troops have taken control of Lyman and continue to push into Luhansk. Lyman was a large, and humiliating loss for Russia. As Ukraine makes substantial progress, reclaiming about 6,000 square kilometers, Putin seems to be concerned and has started making threats, one of these threats being utilizing nuclear weapons.  

A Nuclear Armageddon:

In addition to his humiliating defeats, Putin required that young men enlist in the army, which was widely unpopular in Russia, according to the New York Times. In an “angry speech,” Putin threatened to use nuclear warfare. The word “nuclear” raises many concerns, however, US officials, while emphasizing that it is a direct threat, say the chances of anything happening are low. Also, if Russia deployed nuclear weapons, they would most be deployed in a tactical strike, which would be on a battlefield or unpopulated areas, and are smaller than intercontinental ballistics, which strike at a range of 3,800 miles, according to the New York Times. These threats will not affect citizens in the United States.

President Joe Biden has described this as becoming a “nuclear Armageddon,” referencing the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, in television interviews, claimed that there would be “catastrophic consequences”  for Russia if they were to go through with deploying nuclear arms. These consequences are communicated privately with Moscow, by Sullivan and other officials.


The Russo-Ukrainian War is still developing. Nations still pledge their support to Ukraine, and Ukraine is holding a strong front against Putin. As tensions grow, it seems that this could quickly mutate into a larger global conflict with nuclear threats and constant airstrikes on civilian areas. Stay strong, Ukraine.