Side-by-side photos show the effects one year of the Russian invasion has had on President Zelensky

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By James Kay

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One year on from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky marked the occasion with a rallying speech as his country continues to fight the Russian aggressor.

In what President Vladimir Putin referred to as a "special military operation," Russian soldiers entered Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

Over 200,000 Russian soldiers entered the country in what is the biggest invasion of a European country since the Second World War, but what Putin appeared to think would be a swift operation was thwarted by the Ukrainian army, per BBC News.

More than eight million Ukrainians have reportedly fled the country as the Russians progressed toward the capital of Kyiv, with the current civilian death toll at around 8000, per the Independent.

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Zelensky remained in Ukraine after the outbreak of the war despite being offered refuge in allied countries. Credit: MARTIN DALTON / Alamy

Zelensky marked the anniversary of the invasion with a defiant speech to his people, and it shows the contrast of the message he gave from the streets of Kyiv a year ago.

As cited by the New York Post, the President said: "A year ago on this day, from this same place around seven in the morning, I addressed you with a brief statement, lasting only 67 seconds.

"We are strong. We are ready for anything. We will defeat everyone. This is how it began on February 24, 2022. The longest day of our lives. The most difficult day in our recent history. We woke up early and haven’t slept since.

"Almost everyone has at least one contact in their phone that will never pick up the phone again. He who will not respond to the SMS ‘How are you?’. These simple words got a new meaning during the year of the war."

The toll of the war is evident on the streets and people of Ukraine, but it is also evident on the face of the President who surprised many after he remained in the country.

Despite being offered the chance to seek refuge elsewhere after the Russian invasion, Zelensky remained in his country in an act of defiance.

The President of Ukraine marked the anniversary by awarding the Hero of Ukraine and other state awards to Ukrainian defenders in central Kyiv, a city that has seen attacks from Russian forces, but has never been taken.

Just 41 days after the invasion began, the fresh-faced Zelensky already had a hardened look about him, and the story of the last year remains etched onto his unwavering expression.

One of Putin's aims was to "demilitarize Ukraine," and as Zelensky remains in the center of Kyiv awarding medals to his soldiers, it would appear that this target has not been accomplished.

Additionally, if you would like to know how you can support the Ukrainian people at this time, click HERE to find a list of organizations and groups dedicated to helping those affected by this crisis.

Featured image credit: MARTIN DALTON / Alamy

Side-by-side photos show the effects one year of the Russian invasion has had on President Zelensky

vt-author-image

By James Kay

Article saved!Article saved!

One year on from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky marked the occasion with a rallying speech as his country continues to fight the Russian aggressor.

In what President Vladimir Putin referred to as a "special military operation," Russian soldiers entered Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

Over 200,000 Russian soldiers entered the country in what is the biggest invasion of a European country since the Second World War, but what Putin appeared to think would be a swift operation was thwarted by the Ukrainian army, per BBC News.

More than eight million Ukrainians have reportedly fled the country as the Russians progressed toward the capital of Kyiv, with the current civilian death toll at around 8000, per the Independent.

size-full wp-image-1263196830
Zelensky remained in Ukraine after the outbreak of the war despite being offered refuge in allied countries. Credit: MARTIN DALTON / Alamy

Zelensky marked the anniversary of the invasion with a defiant speech to his people, and it shows the contrast of the message he gave from the streets of Kyiv a year ago.

As cited by the New York Post, the President said: "A year ago on this day, from this same place around seven in the morning, I addressed you with a brief statement, lasting only 67 seconds.

"We are strong. We are ready for anything. We will defeat everyone. This is how it began on February 24, 2022. The longest day of our lives. The most difficult day in our recent history. We woke up early and haven’t slept since.

"Almost everyone has at least one contact in their phone that will never pick up the phone again. He who will not respond to the SMS ‘How are you?’. These simple words got a new meaning during the year of the war."

The toll of the war is evident on the streets and people of Ukraine, but it is also evident on the face of the President who surprised many after he remained in the country.

Despite being offered the chance to seek refuge elsewhere after the Russian invasion, Zelensky remained in his country in an act of defiance.

The President of Ukraine marked the anniversary by awarding the Hero of Ukraine and other state awards to Ukrainian defenders in central Kyiv, a city that has seen attacks from Russian forces, but has never been taken.

Just 41 days after the invasion began, the fresh-faced Zelensky already had a hardened look about him, and the story of the last year remains etched onto his unwavering expression.

One of Putin's aims was to "demilitarize Ukraine," and as Zelensky remains in the center of Kyiv awarding medals to his soldiers, it would appear that this target has not been accomplished.

Additionally, if you would like to know how you can support the Ukrainian people at this time, click HERE to find a list of organizations and groups dedicated to helping those affected by this crisis.

Featured image credit: MARTIN DALTON / Alamy