David vs Goliath: Ukraine’s Resistance to Russia



While support from countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and France has been vital to the survival of Ukraine from Russia, it has been the Ukrainians’ nationalism and pride in their cause that has been the deciding factor so far in the war. The population of Ukraine is approximately 44 million people. However, this number seems exceedingly small compared to their new enemy Russia which more than triples the Ukrainian population. Fighting between these two countries began almost a year ago now and despite the overwhelming odds stacked against them, Ukraine has held strong in defending their homeland. But how? How is it possible that this much smaller nation, which was just a part of Russia three decades ago, now has the second most powerful country in the world looking foolish?

Nationalism and pride in their cause seem to be traits that Russians have lacked during this war, and this is because most don’t even know what their cause is. Russian officials have been very unclear regarding their true motive for invading Ukraine. Public reasoning started with the Ukrainian people being labeled as nazis, but Russia soon took even more desperate measures to encourage their troops. According to newsweek.com, “Putin initiated his “special military operation” in Ukraine last February 24 for the purpose of what he and other top officials referred to as “denazification.” The term was adjusted around October, switching to “desatanization” to combat “hundreds of sects” in Ukraine that allegedly abandoned Orthodox values.”

First, according to Russia, Ukrainians were evil nazis who needed to be stopped, then the narrative switched. In November of last year, former president of Russia Dmitry Medvedev was quoted as saying that Russia was not fighting against just Ukraine, but also Satan. While the Eastern Orthodox Church, while having internal ties to Putin, publicly supports the war, Russian civilians do not. A leaked internal Russian poll states that only about one in four Russian people support the war. With no concrete reason for the invasion, Russian leader Vladimir Putin has resorted to mobilizing over 300,000 civilians against their will and pushing them into the front lines with minimal fighting experience. This has led to many soldiers not even supporting Russia in battle and deserting when the opportunity arises. It is also commonly believed that Russia has not been truthful regarding several narratives surrounding missile and drone attacks. They have claimed Ukrainians have committed false flag attacks on themselves in order to blame Russia and sometimes switched narratives completely in order to try and shift public perception.


On the other hand, Ukraine does indeed know its cause, and they believe in it. Ukraine gained its independence in 1991, and now that it has been threatened with just 32 years of them being a nation, they have made it clear that it will do whatever it takes to maintain their freedom. When the war first started, many people thought that the Ukrainian army was no match for Russia and that was the way it seemed on paper. Russia, at the beginning of the war, was regarded as having one of the strongest militaries in the world, and Ukraine’s, although substantial, looked to be no match on its own. However, the belief in the Ukrainian cause ignited a spark of hope within the hearts of the military and garnered great support from other powerful countries who believed in it.

People all across the world have been rallying and spearheading movements to support Ukraine in its battle. Almost 118 billion dollars of support has been sent out to Ukraine from supporting countries, and 50 billion dollars from the US administration alone! Self-funded support groups have also played a large role in providing relief to Ukrainian families, and worldwide belief in the Ukrainian cause has helped millions in need.

Russia is reported to have lost at least 1600 tanks in Ukraine since the war has begun. Ukraine has also highlighted several weaknesses in the rival country. It is clear that Russia has been in “scramble mode” as they have tried to piece back together their military and they are now seen as a much less formidable force by other global powerhouses. Ukraine has achieved several major victories including a stretch of four battles in Kyiv, their capital and most populous city, from February 26 to March 25 in 2022. While the country is still under attack, it’s people’s hope and defiance has not wavered.

Ukrainian civilians have been doing whatever they can to help their country in battle. Many have chosen to enroll in the military while others have chosen to stay in their country, despite the danger, in order to support troops and help those in need. Despite being the smaller country, Ukraine has had far greater morale and that is what has all the difference in this war.

Ukraine has made it clear, they are not willing to give up their country. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made the brave decision early on to not evacuate his own nation but to stay and fight instead during a time when the future of Ukraine seemed dim and he was on the top of the Russian hit list. He gave this inspiring message in response to the United States offering him escape plans from Ukraine: “The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride.” The Ukrainian people have rallied behind Zelenskyy’s bravery and leadership. Russia has resorted to bombing innocent families and children to try and scare Ukraine into calling for surrender but the people refuse to back down. Ukraine’s noble cause and unimaginable courage have inspired others to support them against a global powerhouse. Their persistence to get back up no matter what hits them has kept them going as a nation. Despite many setbacks and insurmountable odds, Ukraine has stood strong thus far, and the world is on its side.