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Current Russia – Ukraine conflict could be the crescendo to a protracted ‘war’

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Wandaphi Lyonne Mawlong 

Shillong, Mar 1: The ongoing Russia – Ukraine conflict has the world at tenterhooks and is currently the most debated issue, and many fear this could be the starting point of the 3rd World War. In the midst of this, it is to be realized that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine or the invasion of Ukraine by Russia isn’t a sudden move but a long drawn military and political exercise that started years ago, and the current conflict maybe the crescendo to this ‘war’- as many country have put it.

In 2014, Russia invaded and subsequently annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine, which is internationally recognised as part of Ukraine. This event took place in the aftermath of the ‘Revolution of Dignity’ and is part of the wider Russo-Ukrainian War.

In February 2022, Russia again invaded Ukraine across a broad front. Weeks before the attack, Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, announced he was recognising the independence of two self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine. The breakaway regions were seized by Russian-backed rebels after Russia invaded Crimea in 2014. Putin launched that attack after mass street protests in Ukraine that ousted pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych.

After Putin officially ordered the operation, Russian forces fired missiles at several cities in Ukraine and also landed troops on the country’s South Coast. Ukraine declared martial law and severed all diplomatic relations with Russia. The country said that weapons would be given to anyone who wanted them.

In the capital Kyiv, home to almost three million people, warning sirens blared out as traffic queued to leave the city and crowds sought shelter in metro stations. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said 137 were dead after first day of fighting, reported AFP.

The U.N. Security Council voted for the 193-member General Assembly to hold an emergency session on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The vote to authorise an emergency meeting was 11 in favour, Russia opposed, and China, India and the United Arab Emirates abstained.

Ukraine’s leader said his country “won’t give up its freedom”. The Ukrainian President also said that: “Russia has embarked on a path of evil, but Ukraine is defending itself.”

Several neighbouring countries have already taken in a large number of refugees. Moldova alone said more than 4,000 people had come over the border from Ukraine.

More than 70 Ukrainian soldiers were killed in a Russian rocket attack as a huge Russian military convoy approached the capital Kyiv. An Indian student was also killed in shelling in Kharkiv on Tuesday.

Over the past few months Russia has forward deployed hundreds of tanks, self-propelled artillery and even short-range ballistic missiles from as far away as Siberia to within striking range of Ukraine.

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