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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Russo-Ukrainian War still raging

Leo Woods
Ukrainian flag sits in bed of flowers in Beacon Hill.

Content Warning: Mentions of sexual violence 

The violence in Ukraine first broke out in February of this year, with persistent violence resulting in countless missile strikes, U.S. economic assistance to Ukraine and a U.N. report that Russia has been using rape as a “military strategy.”

A senior U.S. military source reported on Oct. 16 to CNN that Russian forces launched hundreds of missile attacks in Ukraine over the past week, the majority of them hitting civilian targets. 

At least 12 Ukrainian cities have been targeted by missile strikes just two days after a blast damaged a strategically important bridge connecting Russia and Crimea. 

“When we found out about the missile attacks we had similar feeling that we also had on Feb. 24 because on that day too there were a lot of missile attacks too but this time we don’t have fear, we just have hate.” said Nika Chelnokova, a Ukrainian student at Suffolk University and the president of the Russian Suffolk Club. 

Power outages rolled across the country, cutting off water supplies and transportation in areas, in strikes that recalled the terror inflicted on civilians in the early days of the invasion but had largely subsided in recent months. Based on recent reports, 19 people were killed and over 100 were injured after the missile attack.  

As a result, President Joe Biden’s administration authorized $725 million in additional security and defense for Ukraine on Oct. 14. Since January 2021, the U.S. has provided Ukraine with more than $18 billion in military aid. 

“The capabilities we are delivering are carefully calibrated to make the biggest difference on the battlefield for Ukraine,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken told CNN. “We will continue to stand with the people of Ukraine as they defend their freedom and independence with extraordinary courage and boundless determination.” 

Moreover, a panel of U.N. experts recently verified that over a hundred cases of rape and sexual assault incidences have been reported since Feburary, with the first cases reported just three days after the invasion. 

Since the beginning, Ukrainian officials have repeatedly accused Moscow’s forces of sexually abusing women and children, claiming that rape and other sexual acts are being used as weapons and a strategy of war.

“It’s such a hard topic to think about because that means if I was in Kyiv right now, where I grew up my whole life, it could be me, out in the streets getting raped, only because I’m Ukranian,” Nika said. 

Russian soldiers have been using sexual assault as a “deliberate tactic to dehumanize the victims,” according to Pramila Patten, the U.N.’s special envoy on sexual violence in war, in an interview with the Associated Press. 

According to Patten, “Russian forces have also made family members witness crimes against their loved ones under threat.” 

Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, has advocated for the international community to hold Russia responsible for the war crimes they have committed, as reported by the U.N. “Who’s ready to fight alongside us? I don’t see anyone. Who is ready to give Ukraine a guarantee of Nato membership? Everyone is afraid,” said Zelensky in an interview with CNN. 

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About the Contributor
Leo Woods, Photo Editor | he/him

Leo is a senior political science major with a minor in journalism from Clinton, Conn. He has photographed political events, protests, performing arts groups and documented Boston Pride for the People for the History Project. Outside of Suffolk, Leo is an avid Dungeons and Dragons player and podcast listener. After graduation, he plans on attending law school and working in politics.

Follow Leo on Twitter @leowoods108

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Russo-Ukrainian War still raging