Ukraine Marks One-Year Anniversary of Russia’s Invasion

Weaponized disinformation campaigns and more conventional attacks on February 24 2023 marked the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; amid retrospectives and updates, a popular Imgur post featured a video and commentary attributed to leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy:

The anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine made headlines globally on and around February 24 2023. The Guardian published a retrospective piece, “Grief and defiance in Kyiv on first anniversary of war in Ukraine,” describing the conflict as “Europe’s biggest war since 1945”:

Fact Check

Claim: Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022

Description: The article states that Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, and the one-year anniversary of this event was marked globally.

Rating: True

Rating Explanation: Several sources, including The Guardian and The Baltimore Sun, reported on the anniversary of the invasion, indicating that this event did occur as stated.

It is a year since the first explosions rocked Ukraine, soon after 4am on 24 February 2022, on a drizzly and grey-skied Thursday morning. Against the odds, Kyiv stills stands, defiant and free. Back then the expectation in Moscow – and among many western politicians – was that Putin’s army would seize Ukraine’s capital in three days. And, most probably, subjugate the whole of the country.

Since then, Ukraine – in the shape of Andrii, and other patriotic volunteers – has staged an extraordinary and inspiring fight back. Putin’s war plan didn’t work. Last spring [2022] Russian troops withdrew chaotically from the Kyiv region but not before going on a killing spree in Bucha and other garden suburbs. The town is now synonymous with some of the worst crimes of the 21st century.

By late autumn [2022] Ukrainian forces had reclaimed half the territory that was initially lost, including most of Kharkiv province in the north-east and the southern administrative capital of Kherson. Since then Russia has dug in. It has sent new reserves to the front. The war rages. Putin is determined to capture – or “liberate”, as he puts it – the entirety of the eastern Donbas region.

A similar Baltimore Sun article (“Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy defiant on anniversary of Russian invasion”) quoted Zelenskyy on the war’s one-year anniversary:

“We have been standing for exactly one year,” Zelenskyy said. Feb. 24, 2022, he said, was “the longest day of our lives. The hardest day of our modern history. We woke up early and haven’t fallen asleep since.”

Ukrainians wept at memorials for their tens of thousands of dead — a toll growing inexorably as fighting rages in eastern Ukraine in particular. Although Friday marked the anniversary of the full-scale invasion, combat between Russian-backed forces and Ukrainian troops has raged in the country’s east since 2014. New video from there shot with a drone for The Associated Press showed how the town of Marinka has been razed, along with others.

Alongside the Imgur submission, the Imgur account identified the source of the footage as Zelenskyi’s Telegram account. Frames of the video included Ukrainian words, and part of the caption translated the words:

Translated video word frames:






Google Translate’s translation of the post’s words (from English to Ukrainian) suggested the transcription accurately reflected the words on the screen:






On Twitter, Zelenskyy shared a slightly longer version of the video, with verbiage also present on the Imgur post:

February 24 2023 was a somber yet hopeful anniversary, acknowledged by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Twitter and Telegram. Zelenskyy shared a montage of clips from the last year, and pledged that 2023 would be the year of Ukraine’s victory following its invasion by Russia.