By: Lucy Panicacci
Over the past month, Ukrainians struggled through numerous attacks and funding issues in their war with Russia. On Oct. 5, Ukraine suffered one of the deadliest attacks of the war when fifty-two people, the vast majority civilians, died in a Russian missile attack in Hroza. The missile strike hit the wake of a Ukrainian soldier, Andriy Kozyr, killing his immediate family and decimating one-third of the entire village. “From every household there were people present,” Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko commented. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered an address on the night of the tragedy, stating, “It was not a blind attack. People gathered there for a memorial meal, a Christian memorial meal. Who could launch a missile at them? Who?”
Days following the strike on Hroza, Russia failed to rejoin the UN Human Rights Council. The council suspended Russia in April 2022 following the invasion of Ukraine. Russia reportedly campaigned heavily for reelection, but the US and other countries urged members to vote against Russia. In the vote results, Bulgaria and Albania took the two seats allotted for Eastern European countries.
The aftermath of the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel caused conflict within Russia. Following the attack, Russia did not explicitly condemn the Palestinian gunmen from Hamas, only referring to the event as “a spiral of violence.” Instead, Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed the US, stating, “Many will agree with me that this is a vivid example of failure of US policy.” Russian officials report the Israel-Hamas war will not affect their ties with either country. On Oct. 10, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, “We have long-standing ties with the Palestinians. We continue our contacts… But at the same time, we have our relations with Israel.”
Throughout October, the US remained divided on the issue of Ukrainian aid. Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s short-term government spending bill did not include the six billion dollars President Biden planned to go towards military, humanitarian, and economic aid for Ukraine. However, following the deadly Hamas attack on Israel, the White House is considering legislation that provides a joint funding package for Israel and Ukraine. Republican and Democrat lawmakers support aid for Israel, including hard-right members who oppose continued aid to Ukraine. Taking advantage of this consensus, pro-Ukraine lawmakers hope that Republicans will approve the joint funding plan due to their refusal to block aid to Israel. In response to the proposition, Republican Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota advised, “If they try to jam me with more money on Ukraine without telling us what the plan is, where we’re at and how we’re doing it, that’s going to be a real problem — not just for me, but for a lot of people.”
(Sources: BBC, CNN, NY Times, Washington Post)