500 Days of the War

by Olha Povaliaieva
Saturday, July 8, 2023
500 Days of the War

Chronology of significant events from desperation through pain and blood to counteroffensive

On February 24, 2022, Russia launched its unprovoked and brutal full-scale war against the Ukrainian people. On that day, there was not a single person outside of Ukraine who believed that our country would stand at least a day. Today Ukraine marks 500 days of resistance, resilience, courage and dedication.

February 24, 2022. The beginning of the full-scale Russian war. At 4:20 a. m., the Russian warship "Moskva" addressed Ukrainian border guards on Serpent island with an order to surrender. To which the Ukrainians replied: "Russian warship, go f*ck yourself."

There were 13 Ukrainians on the island, and all of them were taken prisoner. On April 13, a Ukrainian-made missile, "Neptune", destroyed the ship that attacked Serpent island. On July 7, 2022, the flag of Ukraine was again raised over the island, and the heroes from Serpent's island were released from captivity.

"Russian warship, go f*ck yourself" has become a catchphrase that every Ukrainian displays his attitude towards the Russians and their war.

February 24, 2022. Ukrainians are trying to evacuate from Kharkiv and Kyiv.

March 3, 2022. The Ukrainian army de-occupied Bucha. This picture opened before the eyes of the liberation forces. For almost a month of occupation, the Russians burned the town, raped and shot 461 people. In total, 1.137 people were killed in the Buchansk region, 911 of which were buried in mass graves. Bucha massacre.

March 3-30, 2022. Yahidne village. The invaders kept 300 people prisoned in a windowless basement for almost a month. Many of them died from starvation and disease. The total population of the village of Yahidne at that time was 400 people.

March 16, 2022. The invaders dropped 2 units of 500 kg bombs on a theatre in the city of Mariupol. About 700 Ukrainians hid there from shelling. About 600 of them died. The rest were deported to Russia.

"Azovstal." The Hearts of Steel. From March 18 to May 20, 2022, the Ukrainian regiment "Azov" held the defence on the territory of the "Azovstal" plant. They also protected hundreds of civilians who were hiding from Russian shelling. On May 20, Zelenskyy ordered the Ukrainians to surrender, as the Red Cross and the UN promised to protect the "Azov" fighters and release them from captivity. However, most Ukrainian soldiers were burned alive by the Russians in a closed prison room in Olenivka.

March 2022. Kharkiv. Ukrainian farmers several times attacked the confused Russian occupiers and took away their tanks. A Ukrainian tractor towing a Russian tank is one of the symbols of Ukrainian resistance and courage.

April 8, 2022. Russia fired "Iskanders" at a crowd of people at the railway station in Kramatorsk, Donetsk region. All these people were waiting for the evacuation train. 61 people were killed, and 121 were injured. Many people were left without legs.

April 22, 2022. The first meeting of the Ukraine Defence Contact Group, known as "Rammstein". More than 50 states have united to protect Ukraine, provide weapons and funding. In just 500 days of the war, 13 meetings of the Ukraine Defence Contact Group were held.

June 23, 2022. In 3 days, Ukrainians have collected almost $16 million for the purchase of "Bayraktar" drones to protect Ukraine.

June 23, 2022. Ukraine received the status of a candidate member of the European Union.

July 14, 2022. A Russian strike on Vinnytsia killed a 3-year-old girl Liza. What is left of the child is hidden under a white sheet. Liza and her mother were going to developmental lessons for children with special needs.

July 20, 2022. Russian "Hurricane" hit the civilian sector of Kharkiv and killed a 13-year-old boy. The father held his son's hand for 2 hours and read prayers over him.

October 10, 2022. Russian attack on the centre of Kyiv with drones and missiles. 49 people were injured, 7 were killed.

October 13, 2022. The invaders fired missiles at Mykolaiv. The multi-storey building was destroyed. 11 years-old boy was taken out from under the rubble for 6 hours. A few hours after the release, he died in the hospital from a cardiac arrest.

December 22, 2022. Volodymyr Zelenskyy left Ukraine for the first time. The President arrived in Washington, met with Joe Biden and addressed the US Congress.

January 14, 2023. A Russian missile hit a residential high-rise building in the city of Dnipro. 72 apartments and everyone who was in them were completely destroyed. 45 dead, of which 6 are children.

January 20, 2023. A peaceful demonstration took place in Berlin, the participants of which demanded from the German government to “Free Leopards”. A few days after that, Germany allowed the allied countries to transfer battle tanks to Ukraine.

February 8, 2023. Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrived in London, met with the King of Great Britain and addressed both houses of parliament.

June 6, 2023. The invaders blew up the Kakhovka dam in Kherson. Human deaths and ecocide. Water from the Kakhovka reservoir in the controlled territory of Ukraine drowned 14 people. Another 4 people were shot dead by the invaders. On the territory temporarily controlled by the occupiers, the number of deaths is in the hundreds: some Ukrainians drowned, some were shot while trying to evacuate.

July 2023. During the 500 days of the war, the Russians kidnapped and took 700.000 Ukrainian children to Russia.

July 2023. Bakhmut in the Donetsk region. Heavy fighting completely wiped out the town from the face of the earth. The town of Bakhmut is no longer exists.

July 2023. 22 countries officially confirmed their support for Ukraine's accession to NATO by signing the Declaration on Euro-Atlantic integration.

July 7, 2023. 2 neutral countries, Switzerland and Austria, have joined other 17 European countries in the pro-Ukrainian "European Sky Shield Initiative."

This is just a part of everything that happened during these 500 days of the war. However, one thing remains unchanged: Ukraine is loved. Ukraine is supported. And Ukrainians will never give up. Soon we will be celebrating Ukraine's victory over Russian aggression. And everything will be Ukraine.

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