One week has passed since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Several historical events have taken place in seven days. For the first time since World War II, the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, and other major cities have been attacked by Russian troops.
The United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom have for the first time imposed major economic sanctions on Russia.
In response to the attack, European countries have adopted historic foreign and defence policies. Concerns over Russia’s nuclear attack on Ukraine have grown the most since the Cold War. As the war intensified, so did the humanitarian crisis.
An analysis of the week Russia-Ukraine Conflicting Russia-Ukraine war has been published in Al-Jazeera. Let’s take a look at the war situation in Russia and Ukraine in the last one week.
The Way the Attack Started
Russia has deployed between 1.5 million and 200,000 troops on the Ukrainian border amid ongoing tensions over its accession to NATO. On February 21, Putin ordered the deployment of troops to the breakaway regions of Luhansk and Donetsk in Ukraine.
The Russian president recognized the two regions as independent states. In a 55-minute speech, Putin defended his decision. He blamed NATO for the crisis. Putin alleged that the Western military alliance was a threat to Russia’s very existence.
Last Thursday, Putin announced a military operation in Ukraine. The United States and the European Union have imposed sanctions on several Russian banks in a bid to oust the Russian president.
Russian forces launched an offensive in Ukraine from three directions. The attacks began in Belarus in the north, the occupied Crimea Peninsula in the south, and Russia in the east. Russia has deployed troops on a large scale since World War II.
Resistance of Ukraine
In the aftermath of the war, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky imposed martial law. Russia has carried out a series of airstrikes and shelling in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, and other major cities. Western media reports also reported resistance from the Ukrainian army.
Ukraine’s emergency services say more than 2,000 civilians have been killed since the attack began. However, no definite information was available about the number of casualties.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says 138 civilians, including 13 children, were killed in the attack.
Refugees in Europe are growing rapidly. The United Nations says one million people have fled the Russian invasion of Ukraine and taken refuge in neighbouring countries.
Russia’s aggression in Ukraine has raised concerns around the world about the use of nuclear weapons. On February 26, the nuclear arsenal was ordered to be on high alert. The European Union (EU) has warned that Russia could use Belarus to launch a nuclear attack.
Decades later, EU member states have reached a common foreign and defence policy. For the first time, the European Union is financing the purchase and supply of weapons to a warring country.
EU pays Ukraine 500 million euros for arms Germany has also changed its historic policy against sending weapons to conflict zones, announcing arms aid to Ukraine.
George Pagolatos, director of the Hellenic Foundation for Europe and Foreign Policy, said the coronavirus infection had led to economic agreements between EU countries and Russia had led to defence agreements between EU countries.
George Pagolatos also said that the defences of European countries have changed since the Russian invasion. France has long pressed for a stronger defence, and Germany has opposed the move, fearing rising costs.
But after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Germany changed its position. Germany is approving a huge defence package. The newly approved 100 billion defence budget is more than double the current defence budget.
Attempts are being made to corner Russia by imposing economic, cultural and sports sanctions. The Moscow Stock Exchange has lost 45 percent of its value since the announcement of the sanctions.
Stelios Javvos, owner of Zeus Capital Management, has warned about the volatility of the stock market. “We do not know how long the war will last,” he said. This means that there will be widespread uncertainty and instability in the market.
Javvos added that the attack would also increase the price of fuel oil. Our analysis is that the price of oil could be 120 per barrel or more.
It will also cause high inflation and stagnation in growth. As a result, disrupting international trade would be detrimental to both business and family life.
Russia has announced further sanctions. For example, some Russian banks have been excluded from Swift. Not just financial sanctions, but Russian airlines have been banned from EU and US airspace.
Russia’s state-run media Russia Today and Sputnik have also been banned by the European Union. Ukrainian President Zelensky formally requested to join the European Union on Monday.
Russia’s military says it has taken control of the southern Ukrainian city of Kharsan on Wednesday. Russia’s 64-kilometer-long military fleet is en route to Kiev. Russian forces have laid siege to the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv and the port city of Mariupol.
What Will Happen if Ukraine Collapses
Samir Puri, a senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, says what will happen if Ukraine falls to Russia? It is not Russia’s intention to occupy Ukraine.
If the Ukrainians continue to resist for a long time, the country is in danger of splitting. Samir Puri thinks that Ukraine may have to face the same fate as Belarus.
Which will be an independent sovereign state, but will recognize allegiance to Moscow. And that’s probably what Putin wants.
Image source: BBC News (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-60485766)