The conflict in Ukraine enters its twelfth day
TEHRAN — Ceasefire agreements between Moscow and Kiev have broken down, with both sides blaming each other but appearing to be partly on the right track.
The Kremlin has blamed Ukraine for a failed deal to evacuate civilians from the city of Mariupol and a nearby town, while Ukrainian officials say attempts to create the humanitarian corridor in the east for civilians collapsed due to shelling.
Now a second ceasefire attempt has been tested in Mariupol for the reported evacuation of around 400,000 civilians. The Mariupol city council said the ceasefire will be observed between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. local time on Sunday. The third round of talks between the two sides is also expected to resume on Monday.
A senior official with the NGO Médecins Sans Frontières (Médecins Sans Frontières MSF) has warned that the humanitarian situation in the port of Mariupol, in southern Ukraine, is “catastrophic” and that it is vital that civilians are evacuated.
US President Joe Biden spoke with his Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, to discuss Washington’s ongoing efforts to impose sanctions on Russia and accelerate US military and economic assistance.
The White House said on the call that the two leaders also discussed ongoing negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, but declined to provide further details.
Zelensky insisted that the West should establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine, or at least provide it with fighter jets to help its forces fight the Russian military.
Despite Kiev’s pleas, Poland, which has accepted an influx of refugees from Ukraine, has so far refused to supply its eastern neighbor with warplanes. “We are supporting Ukrainians with humanitarian aid. However, we will not send any jets into Ukrainian airspace,” President Andrzej Duda said recently.
The White House has told US media that Washington does not mind if Poland provides Ukraine, only some of its old Soviet-era fighter jets to help repel the ongoing Russian advance. “We are also working on what capabilities we could provide to replace Poland if it decides to transfer planes to Ukraine,” a spokesperson said.
Four US officials have reportedly said Washington could fill the void in the Polish Air Force if it decides to donate its used MiG-29s to Kiev.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Washington is considering giving Poland F-16 jet fighters if it transfers some of its old planes to Ukraine.
But Washington will not give Ukraine F-16 fighter jets, which critics say is another sign that America is effectively abandoning Ukraine on the battlefield.
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Olha Stefanishyna lashed out at the US NATO alliance saying, “It’s very upsetting when the group of 30 leaders or ministers or even ambassadors… get together in a fancy cabinet, with fancy furniture, and talk. about fantasy knowing Ukraine was above that table for all [these] years sitting in those fancy offices… But knowing now that we can’t be there because we’re operating under the bombardment of [the] Russian Federation.”
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told reporters that “missile troops eliminated [Ukraine’s] S-300 air defense weapon system. According to Konashenkov, Russian aviation and air defense also shot down four Su-27 and one MiG-29 aircraft near Zhitomir, one Su-27 and one Su-25 near Radomyshl, one Su-25 near Nezhin and two Mi-8 helicopters near Kiev. A total of six drones have been eliminated in the past 24 hours, including a Bayraktar TB2.
According to the Washington Post, the United States and its allies are secretly drawing up “contingency plans” in case the Russian army succeeds in its operation in Ukraine and “forces the current government into exile”.
According to the report, officials in Washington and European capitals predict that the Russian military will soon make rapid advances that will set the stage “for a long and bloody insurgency.”
Several US and European officials say the methods by which Western governments would support a Ukrainian insurgency are turning into something definite or tangible.
Moscow has repeatedly said that it has no plans to occupy Ukraine and has announced a “special operation” to prevent further bloodshed against ethnic Russians in the eastern Donbass region, demilitarization and neutrality of Ukraine along with the end of its applications for NATO membership.
The Kremlin argues that Ukraine’s NATO membership threatens Russian security by allowing the US-led alliance to place dangerous weapons on Russian borders and that being part of NATO means sharing your information with the North Atlantic Alliance.
Meanwhile, Germany crumbled under pressure from NATO, making a historic U-turn by announcing it would allow arms to be delivered to Ukraine. The new German government will deliver 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 Stinger air defense systems to Ukraine.
Berlin also allowed the Netherlands to send 400 rocket-propelled grenade launchers to Ukraine and asked Estonia to transfer nine howitzers. The government said the weapons would be delivered “as soon as possible”.
US credit card giants Visa and Mastercard have announced they will suspend business operations in Russia.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a six-point plan in response to Russia’s military action and is urging other leaders to endorse it in a bid to ensure Russia fails in its alleged attempt to “take control” of his neighbour.
The plan includes additional economic sanctions against Russia. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte are due to travel to Downing Street on Monday to discuss the measures.
Analysts say EU sanctions will backfire on European consumers who will see higher costs in their energy bills as Europe relies heavily on Moscow for energy.
The International Monetary Fund has warned of the global economic impacts of sanctions against Russia. In a statement, he said that “the economic consequences are already very serious. Price shocks will have an impact around the world, especially on poor households for whom food and fuel represent a higher proportion of expenditure”
The IMF said “the sanctions against Russia will also have a substantial impact on the global economy and financial markets, with significant spillovers to other countries.”
The global currency group also warned that “should the conflict escalate, the economic damage would be all the more devastating.”
The IMF also announced it could approve $1.4 billion in emergency financing as early as next week as the body warns of the “serious impacts” of conflict on the global economy.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova criticized Britain for advocating financial punitive measures against Moscow, saying “the sanctions hysteria in which London is playing one of the main roles, if not the leading role, leaves us no choice but to retaliate proportionately harshly.” she warned, adding that Britain’s interests in Russia would be “undermined” by Moscow’s response.
The Russian President issued a warning to the Ukrainian government saying that “current leaders must understand that if they continue to do what they are doing, they are risking the future of the Ukrainian state. If this happens, they will have to be blamed for it”.
Addressing Ukraine’s request for NATO to impose a no-fly zone over the country, which NATO has so far rejected, Putin further warned that “the realization of this request would entail catastrophic results not only for Europe but for the whole world”.
Elsewhere, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Beijing rejects any measure that “adds fuel to the fire” in Ukraine. Wang called for negotiations to end the crisis, pointing out how the United States and Europe failed to pay attention to the negative impact of NATO’s eastward expansion on security issues. Russian security. He made the remarks to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.