Detroit Today: One year later, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could lead to a more disastrous path

Stephen Henderson evaluates Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and how it affects our community one year later.

Vladimir Putin at a Russian Chapel

Russian President Vladimir Putin in July 2016.

Tomorrow will mark the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a dramatic escalation in conflict between the two countries since President Vladimir Putin’s decision to have Russian forces occupy Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014.

When Putin decided to take the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on Feb. 24, 2022, it seemed like a foregone conclusion for many that Russia would succeed. Yet despite having one-tenth of Russia’s GDP and less than a third of its population, Ukraine was able to repel Russia from the city and continues to fight to this day, though not without casualties. According to Reuters, at least 42,000 people have died and 14 million have been displaced since the war began.

Meanwhile, Putin attempted to put on a show of strength this week, meeting with China’s top diplomat at the Kremlin. He also stated Russia would be “suspending its participation” with the last remaining nuclear arms treaty with the U.S., which was set to expire in 2026. This news comes as U.S. intelligence suggests China is considering providing arms and ammunition to Russia.

Where do things stand one year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine? Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson is joined by Jonathan Guyer from Vox and Dr. Olena Danylyuk, vice president of the Ukrainian-American Civic Committee, to discuss the ramifications of Putin’s war.

Listen: What the war in Ukraine means for Michiganders and those across the country


Jonathan Guyer covers foreign policy, national security and global affairs for Vox. He has been writing a lot about the Russian invasion of Ukraine after one year of war between the two countries. He says the conflict does not appear to be ending soon.

“We’re turning to this moment where nuclear powers are really on edge. Each side is doubling down a year on, and unfortunately, especially for the people of Ukraine, for the Russians living under Russian tyranny, and for everyone else being affected by energy prices, food prices, all these negative effects of the war — the war has no end in sight,” says Guyer.

Dr. Olena Danylyuk is the vice president of the Ukrainian-American Civic Committee. She grew up in Western Ukraine and now lives in Southeast Michigan. She says Ukrainian-Americans have been trying to support their friends and relatives in Ukraine.

“Since 2014, our community is trying to help in Ukraine and just trying to do everything possible here in the United States to protect Ukraine,” says Danylyuk.

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  • Detroit Today
    Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.
  • Sam Corey
    Sam Corey is a producer for The Metro on 101.9 WDET. In that role, he goes out in search of fun and interesting stories for radio. He enjoys salsa dancing — and actual salsa.