With new meetings between Russian and Ukrainian officials on the docket for this week, the fighting in Ukraine continues. Here is the latest news on the ongoing crisis in Ukraine as the bloodshed continues.
Russian Military Stalling Out
According to U.S. defense officials, the movement of the Russian forces has begun to stall out in some areas of Ukraine. While the Russians were making significant advances just one week ago, the depleted forces have not made as much progress in recent days. Although the Russians are still using long-range fire tactics in the southern port city of Mariupol, they have yet to officially siege the city. In addition, the Ukrainians are growing hopeful that the defense of the cities of Chernihiv, Kharkiv, and Mykolaiv are holding strong.Read More »
The Latest in Mariupol
Despite the optimism that Mariupol is not under the full control of the Russians, Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boichenko is painting a bleaker picture. Boichenko said that the city is now under occupation and that the evacuation corridors leading out of the area have been surrounded by the Russian military. The mayor continues to plead with the remaining residents to leave.
According to Ukrainian government officials, about 90% of the city’s residential buildings have been either damaged or completely destroyed as a result of the battles over the last month.
Talks Between Russia and Ukraine Scheduled to Resume on Tuesday
Officials in Russia and Ukraine are scheduled to resume in Istanbul on Tuesday. According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the in-person discussions will take place after the parties met through video conferences on Monday. This is not the first time that the two sides have met in person. Unfortunately, these talks have not resulted in any significant headway in the conflict.
According to a new statement from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, he would accept a neutral status if it meant that the two nations could broker a peace deal. However, he said that the deal would need to be sent to the citizens of Ukraine in a referendum.
Pentagon Sending 6 Navy Jets to Germany
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby announced Monday that the U.S. is going to send six Navy electronic warfare jets to Germany as part of the effort to boost support in Eastern Europe as the war between Russia and Ukraine continues. The U.S. will send 200 troops to man the jets. The Navy E/A-18G Growler jets will leave from Naval Air Station Whidbey in Washington state. This type of aircraft is generally used for flying electronic warfare missions. This includes the process of radar jamming as a way to mitigate air defenses of other nations.
In other domestic news, the White House revealed on Monday that President Biden’s 2023 budget proposal includes an increased amount of money targeted at security on the domestic and international front. The proposed budget allocates $69 billion for NATO and the European Deterrence Initiative.
Half of Ukraine Refugees Are Children
In a number that is not surprising to officials monitoring the situation, the European Union (EU) said that children account for roughly half of the estimated 3.8 million Ukrainian refugees. While this is a staggering number to process, the amount of new refugees leaving the country has slowed in recent days. At the peak of the migration, there were 200,000 Ukrainians leaving each day. This number is now down to 40,000 per day. EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson said that 800,000 of the 3.8 million arrivals have applied for EU temporary protection.
Because of its proximity to neighboring Ukraine, the highest number of refugees have crossed over the border into Poland. An expo center in the capital city of Warsaw is now the largest refugee hub in Europe. The majority of refugees in this shelter are women, children, and senior citizens.
How the United Nations is Helping
The United Nations (UN) is stepping in to provide aid to the citizens of Ukraine. According to the UN humanitarian coordinator in Ukraine, Osnat Lubrani, the UN and its partners delivered a variety of food rations, household goods, and medical supplies to the eastern city of Kharkiv on Monday.
The materials and supplies were provided through a network of partners, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and the World Food Programme (WFP). The groups are working with the Ukrainian Red Cross to deliver the goods to remote areas such as Balaklia and Izium. The partnership has provided help for almost 900,000 Ukrainians in the form of food, bottled water, and medicine.
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