February 1, 2023

2022. Russian invasion of Ukraine, civil war and nuclear threats

a Russian President Vladimir Putin has spent months concentrating hundreds of thousands of troops along Russia’s – as well as Belarus’ – border with Ukraine, always denying any intention of crossing it and stating repeatedly that it was just a pre-scheduled military exercise.

Then, on February 24, Russia’s military offensive began on three fronts — the third being the pro-Russian separatist eastern Ukraine, where fighting has taken place since 2014, the year Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea — out of necessity. . “Disarm and discredit” the neighboring country for the sake of Russia’s security and, above all, out of fear of Kyiv’s rapprochement with NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Western defense bloc) and the European Union.

Nearly ten months later, this war has caused not only Europe’s most serious security crisis since the Cold War, with threats of nuclear weapons from Putin – not always veiled – but also, according to the United Nations, the largest refugee crisis. Since World War II (1939-1945): Of the 44 million inhabitants of Ukraine, more than 14 million have fled and a growing number of civilian and military deaths.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, at this time when winter is approaching, and Russia has stepped up the bombing of energy production infrastructure so that millions succumb to the cold and the country surrenders, 17.7 million Ukrainians need humanitarian aid and 9.3 million need food. Aid and shelter.

After annexing Crimea, which he considered historically part of Russian territory (ceded to Ukraine in 1954 by the then Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev), Putin, whose offensive proved to be much longer, more exhausting, and costly than he had anticipated. However, four other regions of Ukrainian territory had already been annexed – Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia (where Europe’s largest nuclear power plant is located, which had been under Russian control for several months and had been the target of so many bombings that it raised fears of a nuclear catastrophe worse than Chernobyl, in 1986) – and declared that there would be no peace negotiations unless these lands were internationally recognized as Russian.

The invasion also led to economic sanctions against Moscow and the European need to find alternatives to Russian oil and gas, which foresaw an unprecedented commitment to renewable energies.

The Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, has been repeating requests for assistance to Western countries in order to continue to repel the Russian forces, which, after a period of withdrawal and the withdrawal of forces from some regions of the country, have returned to forcefully bombing several cities. Among them is the capital, Kyiv.

So far, much of the international community has condemned Putin’s initiative to invade an independent country and target civilians – with more than 400 cases of war crimes identified by the UN and more than 48,000 ongoing investigations – and has agreed to several packages of which help Ukraine. By sending weapons and military equipment and imposing economic sanctions on Russia.

As for military aid, the United States has promised Ukraine to send Patriot missiles in 2023 and Ukrainian soldiers are being trained to deal with them.

Putin responded by saying that if the Patriot missiles were provided “there will be consequences”, having already asserted that Russia could use atomic weapons if attacked first.

According to some political analysts, the Third World War has already started, albeit in a fragmented way, in a new way that has not yet included official declarations of war, although hostile blocs have been formed for a long time.

Read also: 2022. The Brazilian elections that showed two countries not talking

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