Ukraine-Russia: The Battle of the Underdog!

by Elpidio Estioko

The two-month-old Ukraine-Russia war is a dispute I call the “Battle of the Underdog” with Ukraine being the underdog and Russia as the stronger adversary.

Russia is considered a superpower, a member of the advanced nation, and a global force in all aspects while Ukraine, a former member-nation of USSR, is just one of a weaker nation of the world with less capabilities in all aspects, including military powers.

In most cases, people go for the underdog, but this is for a brief period. There is no way an underdog could last a prolonged combat but in the case of Ukraine, they are holding it for a longer period contrary to what the stronger adversary has thought. Russia underestimated Ukraine!

As I See It, this is the modern version of the “David and Goliath” biblical story of a weaker opponent against a stronger opponent. Goliath is described in the biblical Book of Samuel as a Philistine giant defeated by David in a single combat.

David is likened to Ukraine and Goliath to Russia and while David defeated Goliath in a single combat, the Ukraine-Russia war is a continuing battle where the winner may have to be determined in time after a series of exchanges in the battleground that only time will tell when it will be ended.

This is the modern version where the weaker protagonist (Ukraine) is joined by people of the world (the world community led by US and NATO) after the first combat (Russia firing the first salvo) was waged.

Military, humanitarian, and other forms of support from all nations of the world are overwhelming. G7 is there, NATO is there, and the European community is there to back up Ukraine!”

US President Joe Biden considers it as a fight for democracy. Ukrainian troops and US troops in Poland are fighting for world peace!

The United Nations reported that about 10 million people have fled Ukraine since Russia launched its unprovoked assault on Feb. 24, the vast majority of whom are women and children because their husbands and other male adults were left fighting for their country.

Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced a joint task force to reduce their dependence on Russian fossil fuels as the Kremlin’s war with Ukraine continues.

The US has said it will collaborate with international partners to provide at least 15 billion cubic meters more of liquified natural gas to Europe this year.

According to the U.K.’s Defense Ministry, Ukraine has re-occupied control of towns and defensive positions up to 35 kilometers east of the capital Kyiv.

Russia withdrew its military troops from the northern cities of Kyiv and Bucha but started its assault in the eastern parts of Ukraine. This is a new strategy being employed by Russia, a “withdraw-attack” strategy to further enhance Russian President Vladimir Putin’s selfish ambition to erase Ukraine in the face of the earth!

Putin withdrew from Ukraine’s occupied cities but shifted its barbarian assault to other key cities especially in the eastern part of the country.

It remains to be seen that Ukraine is determined to defend their country to the hilt which they are doing with aggressiveness and resolve at this time. And all nations of the world are supporting Ukraine to defeat Russia.

But there is no clear sign when it will end. Associated Press reported that “Moscow faced global revulsion and accusations of war crimes after the Russian pullout from the outskirts of Kyiv revealed streets, buildings and yards strewn with corpses of what appeared to be civilians, many of them evidently killed at close range.”

Germany and France reacted by expelling dozens of Russian diplomats, suggesting they were spies. Meanwhile, Biden said Putin should be tried for war crimes.

“This guy is brutal, and what’s happening in Bucha is outrageous,” Biden said.

In early April, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the United Nations Security Council with a list of accusations of Russian atrocities and a call for the overhaul of the institution. Russia dismissed reports of slain civilians.

The US and the European Union said they would help Ukrainian authorities gather evidence for investigations into alleged war crimes, while France said it is opening its own probe.

Following reports of alleged Russian war crimes in Ukraine, the US and EU moved to tighten sanctions on Moscow. Because of this, NATO’s chief urged the rapid resupply of Kyiv’s forces, anticipating a concerted Russian assault on Ukraine’s southeast.

Under a prolonged situation, will the underdog win this time?

ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and a multi-awarded journalist here in the US. For feedbacks, comments… please email the author at

Opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle.

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