Ukraine is changing warfare forever

Ukraine is indirectly killing the aspect of modern-day imperialism.

A lone Ukrainian Humvee rides into the ravaged frontline city Bakhmut, Ukraine.

AP Photo/Libkos

A lone Ukrainian Humvee rides into the ravaged frontline city Bakhmut, Ukraine.

Ethan McNickles, Staff Reporter

On February 24th, 2022, the world was shocked as Russia launched a “special military operation” into Ukraine, spiraling the two countries into a bloody, high casualty, costly war. Many expected Ukraine to only last a few days, as the world’s second strongest military rampaged through the country.

What little expected was Ukraine to hold Vladimir Putin’s military by their necks, and send a symbolic message to all global superpowers of the world: modern day imperialism is dead.

Imperialism has always shaped great militaries and countries, as throughout the course of human history people have always dreamt of acquiring more land.

And a picture has been clear throughout history: the powerful dominate the weak.

So why is Ukraine, a relatively forgotten post-Soviet eastern European country going toe-to-toe with Russia, a global superpower? And why are their triumphs over Putin’s deplorable act of imperialism so important for the global stage?

A Ukrainian victory in this war would mean wonders for the military world internationally. This David and Goliath story would almost certainly kill all aspects of modern-day imperialism. What the Ukrainian military, government, and citizens have clearly shown us is that people are sick of foreign countries coming to their land and using their incredibly vague and unethical “justifications for war” to cause havoc and turmoil with the primary purpose being to increase their sphere of influence.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been an example of that. Mass grave sites, dozens of murdered citizens lying coldly on the ground, and hundreds of unsurfaced stories surface daily. What people forget about imperialism is that these powerful countries feel no sense of being ethical or following the traditional “rules” of war, since no one dares to get in their face in fear of being the next target.

Except Ukraine forgot how this is supposed to work.

At the start of war, Ukraine was single handedly successfully defending itself, enough to get the attention of NATO and most of the world. The Ukrainians are showing the world that ordinary people are sick and tired of foreign countries coming to their land and destroying everything. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy is the shining example of what a war-time leader should be: a person who is able to direct a country’s pain and fear into motivation to defend every inch of their land. To not bend the knee to the imperialists, and to be with the people, not in a secure bunker in a faraway land.

The Ukrainians effort in this “special military operation” is also crucial to discouraging another global superpower, China, from invading its neighbor Taiwan, which is a whole separate story.

For now, if Ukraine keeps up its current pace, we could see a once in a lifetime David and Goliath story. Like the Spartans at the door of the Persians. Like the Colonists and Great Britain.

A defeat for Russia would almost certainly see the end of Putin’s rule, and possibly even a more passive, cautious Russia. The fall of Putin’s Russia would also lead to the inevitable collapse of modern-day Imperialism.

As the powerful create selfish meaningless wars of greed, the poor and weak are the ones that suffer the most. Over the course of the war, hundreds of thousands of soldiers and citizens have been killed through the ruthless fighting, with millions displaced from their homes. Both countries have introduced at least “semi-conscription,” meaning that citizens of Russia and Ukraine have been forced to enlist in the army. Many of these troops go into fierce fronts like the Kherson or Donetsk regions, and never return home.

The difference between them is that many of those Ukrainian soldiers are willing to die to defend every inch of their country from the Russians.

The Russians aren’t.

Many enlisted Russian troops go into the frontlines with little to zero formal training and are essentially just walking targets for more experienced troops on the frontlines. Many of them don’t want to be there, and thousands have surrendered to the Ukrainians, praying for mercy.

Putin’s war of imperialism and greed has cost his people their livelihood and loved ones. When will the inhumane invasion finally stop?