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Updated December 28th, 2023 at 20:01 IST

NATO expansion to drone strikes, 5 key moments that change the course of Russia-Ukraine war in 2023

Amid all the chaos, here's a look at the five most significant events that changed the course of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war in the year 2023.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy | Image:AP/ X - @r_stefanchuk
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February 24, 2023, marked the first anniversary of the catastrophic Russia-Ukraine war that changed the world forever. One of the biggest conflicts of the 21st century started in 2022 when Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his army to infiltrate Eastern Ukraine and called it a “special military operation”. With the commencement of the war, Towns and cities were devastated and Tens of thousands of civilians and fighters on both sides were killed and injured. Hence, it is safe to say that the year 2023 remained as turbulent as the year before. 

Amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, Kyiv started the year with optimism and hopes that its much-awaited counteroffensive would change the dial in the war against Russia. However, things did not go as planned and Ukraine's prospects of making a breakthrough in 2024 also look bleak. Amid all the chaos, here's a look at the five most significant events that changed the course of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war in the year 2023.

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Top 5 key moments that defined the Russia-Ukraine war in the year 2023 

Turbulence in Crimea 

In the year 2023, turbulence in Crimea remained one of the most significant aspects of the Russia-Ukraine war. After Ukraine attacked the Crimean bridge over the Kerch Strait, Russia started to find alternatives to stay connected to the arid peninsula it annexed in 2014. Hence in the year 2023, reports started to emerge that Russia is planning to make a tunnel from the mainland to Crimea. What made matters even more interesting is the fact that a Chinese company will be reportedly helping Moscow in making the tunnel, Sky News reported. 

Avdiivka became the new Bakhmut 

Ever since the commencement of the Russia-Ukraine war, Donbas remained one of the epicentres of the war. With Russia maintaining its dominance in Bakhmut, Ukraine plans to encircle the Bakhmut with Avdiivka as its major stepping stone. However, things did not look good for Ukraine after Russia claimed in December that it had captured the eastern Ukrainian town of Mariinka which is near the highly contestant region. 

Year of drone warfare 

The year 2023 was the year of both sides using multiple drones to attack each other. While Ukraine does not have a strong naval base, it used its drones to attack some of the crucial naval vessels stationed near the Black Sea. Meanwhile, Russia famously used multiple Iranian drones to attack key Ukrainian infrastructures.

NATO expansion 

It was believed that before Russia started to invade the Ukrainian territories, it was concerned about the eastern European countries joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). However, the commencement of the Russia-Ukraine war actually pushed Finland to become the 31st member of NATO. Not only this, Putin is currently navigating through an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) over alleged war crimes. This has led to the Russian President limiting his foreign trips and bilateral ties. 

Obstacles for Ukraine 

Ukraine's ambitious counter-offense did not garner much success. In light of this several Western nations expressed “war fatigue” while supporting Kyiv in the war. While Ukraine is already struggling to garner a solid aid package from the US, the lack of financial envelope has the potential to cost Kyiv this war.
 

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Published December 28th, 2023 at 20:01 IST

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