June 21. 2024. 6:37

The Daily

Read the World Today

Ukraine war: Zelenskiy vows ‘this will be the year of our victory’ one year after start of Russian invasion


It is one year since Russia started its invasion of Ukraine. Our writers around the world and at home continue to bring you complete coverage of the conflict that has reshaped the world.

  • Daniel McLaughlin reports from Ukraine’s second city Kharkiv where structures may be damaged and lives lost but second city’s spirit still defies Russia
  • Europe Correspondent Naomi O’Leary in Brussels outlines six ways the invasion of Ukraine has changed the EU
  • Mark Paul, London Correspondent writes that the UK’s moral stance on the invasion of Ukraine stands in contrast to London’s status as a playground for Putin’s friends.
  • Here are some of the defining images of the 12-month conflict
  • This is The Irish Times view of the war

[ Full coverage of the conflict and the anniversary ]


Zelenskiy: ‘We know that this will be the year of our victory’

‘This will be the year of our victory,’ Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy posted on Telegram this morning, saying, “On 24 February, millions of us made a choice. Not a white flag, but a blue and yellow flag. Not fleeing, but facing. Facing the enemy. Resistance and struggle. It was a year of pain, sorrow, faith and unity. And this is a year of our invincibility. We know that this will be the year of our victory!”

On February 24, millions of us made a choice. Not a white flag, but the blue and yellow one. Not fleeing, but facing. Resisting & fighting.
It was a year of pain, sorrow, faith, and unity. And this year, we remained invincible. We know that 2023 will be the year of our victory! pic.twitter.com/oInWvssjOI

— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) February 24, 2023


Wagner mercenaries claim control of village near Bakhmut

Russia’s Wagner group of mercenaries has taken full control of the Ukrainian village of Berkhivka, on the outskirts of Bakhmut, Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin said on Friday.

“Berkhivka is fully under our control. Units of Wagner Private Military Company are in full control of Berkhivka,” he said in a post on social media.

Berkhivka is about 3km northwest from the suburbs of Bakhmut, a frontline city that has seen intense fighting. – Reuters


‘Ukraine will prevail ... you will live in peace’

President of the European Council Charles Michel has posted a message in support of Ukraine.

In a video uploaded to Twitter, Mr Michel said: “Today is a dark anniversary ... for one year, you, Ukrainians have fought back with courage.”

“Ukraine will prevail. You will prevail. And you will live in peace and freedom. A free and independent Ukraine is a free and independent Europe.”

Today is a dark anniversary. For Ukraine. For Europe. And for the world.

For one year, Russia has waged war against Ukraine.

And for one year, Ukraine has fought back with courage.

A free and independent Ukraine is a free and independent Europe. Ukraine will prevail. pic.twitter.com/IHE46qiwT4

— Charles Michel (@CharlesMichel) February 24, 2023


Applause as UN votes for Russia to leave Ukraine

The UN overwhelmingly voted yesterday to call for Russia to immediately and unconditionally withdraw from Ukraine, marking one year since Moscow’s invasion by calling for a “comprehensive, just and lasting peace”.

Applause broke out when the result was announced, with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, calling the resolution “a powerful signal of unflagging global support for Ukraine” in a tweet late on Thursday.

The resolution on Thursday night saw 141 countries in favour with seven against and 32 abstentions, including China.

Russia had worked hard to try to end its isolation by blaming the west for pouring arms into the region and by pointing to the growing hunger crisis it blamed on western sanctions.


China calls for ceasefire, saying ‘conflict and war benefit no one’

China has called for a ceasefire in Ukraine, urging western powers to lift sanctions against Russia and warning Moscow against the use of nuclear weapons, writes our China correspondent, Denis Staunton.

A 12-point position paper published by the foreign ministry in Beijing on the first anniversary of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine says the conflict can only be resolved through negotiation.

“Conflict and war benefit no one. All parties must stay rational and exercise restraint, avoid fanning the flames and aggravating tensions, and prevent the crisis from deteriorating further or even spiralling out of control. All parties should support Russia and Ukraine in working in the same direction and resuming direct dialogue as quickly as possible, so as to gradually de-escalate the situation and ultimately reach a comprehensive ceasefire,” it said.

China has declared itself to be neutral in the war, neither endorsing nor condemning the invasion but the United States and its allies claim that Beijing is backing Moscow. US secretary of state Anthony Blinken said this week that China is considering supplying lethal military equipment to Russia, a claim Beijing has denied.

Friday’s position paper reaffirms China’s stated commitment to respecting the sovereignty, independence and integrity of all countries “big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor”. But it says that the security of one country must not be pursued at the expense of another, calling for the abandonment of the Cold War mentality.

“Dialogue and negotiation are the only viable solution to the Ukraine crisis. All efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of the crisis must be encouraged and supported. The international community should stay committed to the right approach of promoting talks for peace, help parties to the conflict open the door to a political settlement as soon as possible, and create conditions and platforms for the resumption of negotiation,” it says.


A minute’s silence was held in the Dáil on Thursday to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion.

Ukraine’s ambassador to Ireland Larysa Gerasko was present in the chamber as well as members of the international diplomatic corps.

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl said as the Dáil marked the first anniversary of Russia’s “unlawful and brutal war, we remember and stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine”.

“We acknowledge the generosity of the Irish people and their kindness and welcoming spirit in having almost 77,000 Ukrainian displaced people in our country at this present time,” he said. Sarah Burns was in the Dáil yesterday – you can read her full report here.


Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy yesterday vowed that Ukraine would win its war with Russia and hold the Kremlin to account for crimes committed during the conflict, as his country braced for a possible missile attack by Moscow’s forces a year after they launched their all-out invasion.

As Moscow and Beijing warned that the war could spiral into a wider international conflict, Russian president Vladimir Putin pledged to strengthen his nuclear arsenal and Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg noted “signs” that China might supply weapons to Russia and said it “should not be part of that”.

Commenting on photographs from 12 months of fighting that have killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions, Mr Zelenskiy said they “leave deep scars in your heart and soul. They remind us of the path we have gone from February to February. It must be in our DNA.” Read the full report here.