There is no shortage of Russia and Ukraine news this week. The Russian ruble has dropped significantly, which has forced many to halt travel abroad. Russians have flocked to ATMs and banks in droves, with reports of long lines and machines running out of cash. Meanwhile, the United States has ordered the expulsion of twelve diplomats from Russia’s Mission to the UN, citing espionage activities. Click here
The International Committee of the Red Cross has confirmed that it is ready to evacuate civilians from Mariupol. It said teams were on the way to the city. Both sides must agree on the terms and route of evacuation before the relief operations begin. The UN will monitor the operations and coordinate them, according to the Russian Ministry. This is the only way to ensure the safety of civilians in the conflict zone.
On Wednesday, the United States delegate to the UN Security Council expressed his concern over the situation in eastern Ukraine. He called on the Russian Federation to honor agreed corridors and communication channels while ensuring the safety of civilians and humanitarian aid workers, as well as the protection of humanitarian goods and supplies.
Russia has promised to protect populated areas in the east of Ukraine, where it is most needed. A humanitarian corridor would help in facilitating the evacuation of Ukrainian troops. A partial ceasefire in Mariupol and Volnovakha would also help. Reuters reports that there was no immediate response from Russia to the claims made by the Ukrainian authorities.
Russian president Vladimir Putin orders pause
On the other hand, there was a pause in the conflict following a Russian missile attack in the city of Mariupol. One of the missiles targeted a theater where civilians were sheltering. The Ukrainian foreign ministry reported a large number of civilian casualties from the attack, but Russia denied that it targeted civilians. Meanwhile, the Azov Battalion claimed responsibility for the theater’s destruction.
Russia is trying to change the post-Cold War boundaries in Europe. By forcing Ukraine back into the orbit of Moscow, Mr. Putin hopes to upend the security structure in Europe that has helped maintain an uneasy peace for decades. The Russian leader has claimed that the modern Ukraine is a creation of Russia. The current Ukrainian government rejects the shared history and heritage of the two nations, which strengthens the ambitions of the US to weaken Russia.
Russia is stepping up its military presence in Ukraine, with troops moving into two breakaway eastern regions. Russia has granted permission to its forces to deploy outside the country’s borders, but the U.S. and its European allies have warned against an invasion by the Kremlin. As for Ukraine, the conflict is likely to worsen. But in the meantime, President Biden will speak on the crisis on Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET. Biden is not yet using the word “invasion” in his remarks, but that word has many implications.
The situation in Ukraine is deteriorating fast. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has sided with the separatists. Ukraine’s president is denying accusations of aggression from the separatists, while the Russian military has claimed to have killed five Ukrainian’saboteurs’ in its territory. On Monday, the separatist leaders of eastern Ukraine appealed to Mr. Putin to recognize their independence.
Canada imposes new sanctions on 14 close associates of the Russian regime
As a result of the new sanctions, major transnational corporations are significantly reducing their business relationships with the Russian regime, and Russian oligarchs are selling their holdings overseas for fear of a crackdown. This could hamper strategic sectors of the Russian economy and make the country vulnerable to economic crises.
The new sanctions are a response to the illegal invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces. As a result of the sanctions, the Canadian government has stopped export permits to Russia and froze the assets of the Russian sovereign wealth fund. It has also banned transactions with Russia’s central bank. Ultimately, the new measures will be a victory for the freedom fighters in Ukraine and Crimea.
The US Treasury also imposed new sanctions on eight entities and individuals in the Crimea region. The Transatlantic community continues to stand united against Russia’s provocations in Ukraine, occupied Crimea, and on its borders. We have a clear message for Russia: cease the provocations and stop the military build-up and inflammatory rhetoric. So, what should we do now? Let’s start by identifying the key players.
Shoigu says he’s ready to negotiate with Kiev
The Russian military has failed to take the major cities in eastern Ukraine, and is now stalling on several fronts. Despite its efforts, the government in Kiev has failed to secure a unified Ukrainian government. The main objective of the first phase of the invasion has been achieved. However, it is not clear whether the Russian military will be able to deliver the promised weapons and a ceasefire to end the conflict.
The Russian military has stepped up its efforts in the east of Ukraine, with the aim of freeing the territory held by pro-Russian separatists in Donbas. Shoigu has said that the Russian military has begun its “liberation” of Donbas. This has raised concerns among Ukrainians that the Kremlin might split. In addition, Russia is also increasing its military presence in Ukraine’s east, which could force the Ukrainian government to cede territory to the Russians.
After the recent Ukrainian elections, the pro-Western Sandu, who is set to replace Igor Dodon in 2020, has urged Russian citizens to take part in a Victory March with a St George ribbon – a military symbol of Russian patriotism. Meanwhile, the Russian Defence Minister, Sergei Shoigu, has said that his country’s forces are “methodically” carrying out plans to liberate the Donbas breakaway regions. The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics were set up after the separatists captured the territory in early 2014.
The United States is prepared to accept the Russian-Ukraian ceasefire agreement. But the United States remains concerned. On Tuesday, Ukraine also invited the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency to visit Ukraine, a sign that it is ready to engage in negotiations. But the U.S. is hesitant to give the United States any guarantee of safety. There’s no guarantee that the talks will go smoothly.