WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — Five months ago, air raid sirens first rang out in Ukraine as Russia began to advance on its neighbor to the west.

In that time, the world has rallied around the eastern European nation with money, weapons, and the silent support of those yellow-and-blue flags.

Around five million people have fled the country, with millions more displaced within the country.

But according to West Liberty Professor Dr. Brian Fitzpatrick, Russia can’t exactly say their offensive has been a success.

They control some of the eastern edges of the country, but Ukraine is chipping away at their gains.

In addition, the first grain export to leave the country in months just set sail today thanks to a UN agreement.

So, will any of this lead to a lasting peace?

Nobody knows, that’s my first response, nobody knows right now. It doesn’t look like anything is going to happen this year. Particularly for Ukraine, they would like to retake as much area in eastern Ukraine as possible.”

Dr. Brian Fitzpatrick, Assistant Professor of Political Science, WLU

He explains that both sides are gaining and losing territory in different regions throughout Ukraine.

If they stop now and make a peace agreement—neither of them would get exactly what they want.

All of that is to say that the fighting will most likely continue into next year.

For now, the world will turn its focus to making more export deals—and praying for the small but determined Ukrainian defense.