Russia Ukraine- Russia Invasion of Ukraine Is a Worrying Development
Russia invasion of Ukraine is a worrying development, as it threatens to destabilize the post-Soviet region and the security structure of Europe. While Russian president Vladimir Putin lamented the loss of Ukraine as the Soviet Union fell apart, he also wants to undermine the role of the United States and NATO in keeping the Soviets in check. Before the invasion, Russia presented a list of demands to NATO, which the latter refused to accept.
Crimean population fully supports Russian annexation of peninsula
In addition to the brutality of the occupation, the security forces regularly detain citizens who try to enter and leave the peninsula. Crimean Tatar activist Raim Aivazov, who had attempted to cross the administrative border between the peninsula and Ukraine, was shot several times near his head by the Russian occupying forces. Observers believe that the charges against him were based on false facts.
The local occupation authority installed by the Russian government is led by Sergey Aksyonov, the “prime minister” of the “state council of the republic of Crimea.” This body has full powers to govern the peninsula and to implement law enforcement measures. However, the Russian government recently allocated seats to the “state council” in the parliamentary elections, which the international community condemned. The international community has criticized the Russian government for the annexation of Crimea and believes that the seats allocated to the peninsula violate the Ukrainian constitution.
Many people in the Crimean peninsula supported the annexation of the peninsula. The referendum was held under less than ideal conditions, but most observers agreed that the majority of Crimeans supported Russia’s annexation of the peninsula. In addition, the Crimean government has banned the use of the word “annexation” in its political discourse. It is a blatantly political tool that aims to divide people.
The annexation of the peninsula is illegal. The Russian military took the peninsula in March. The Crimean Supreme Council voted to annex the peninsula to Russia and scheduled a referendum on March 16. The referendum offered two options: to remain in the current constitution or return to the 1992 constitution which granted significant autonomy to the peninsula. Those in favor of the current constitution were not able to check the “no” option. Nonetheless, the referendum resulted in the annexation of the peninsula. Three days later, the Crimean and Russian governments signed the Treaty of Annexation of the Republic of Crimea. The treaty was ratified by the Russian President and became official.
Russian military presence in Ukraine
The Kremlin has been incensed by the recent reports of Russian military presence in Ukraine. The Kremlin denies sending military specialists to Ukraine. However, Russia has maintained a strong military presence in Ukraine. It has even turned Europe’s largest nuclear power plant into a military base. This has raised fears that the Russians may be engaging in nuclear terrorism. The Russian government reportedly agreed to the mission, but it insisted that the mission approach the plant from its territory.
The Russian government has rebuffed media reports that Russia has sent soldiers to Ukraine to fight in the conflict. In fact, many Russian soldiers fighting in the conflict have been assigned to contract units, and they are not volunteers, as the Kremlin has previously stated. Nonetheless, the Russian military has been putting up heavy propaganda about its presence in Ukraine, and the news has been causing alarm. There are reports of Russian contract soldiers quitting the war in Ukraine, and these stories are putting to question the Kremlin’s claim that the Russians are merely volunteers.
While the Russian military is not yet directly attacking Ukraine, the military has been concentrating its forces on two fronts in Kyiv. There are also reports that Russia has made several bridges over the Dnieper unusable, which suggests that it is trying to cut off the supply of arms to the European Union. However, Ukrainian forces have resisted the incursions, and have defended the city of Irpin.
In late January and early February, the Russian government said it had deployed 10,000 more troops in Crimea. These soldiers include airborne forces and infantry. Some units were placed on the highest readiness level. Meanwhile, the Russian military has also extended joint military exercises in Belarus because of the situation in Ukraine. Furthermore, Russia is believed to have deployed heavy air defence systems and Iskander missile launchers. As a result, it has become increasingly difficult for Ukraine to fight back against Russia.
Russian cyber capabilities
On January 13, 2022, Russia unleashed the destructive WhisperGate malware to wipe out the data on Ukrainian government systems and IT sector systems. The malware erases entire hard drives and erases operating systems from the computers, rendering them useless. It was followed by denial-of-service attacks on the Ukrainian government’s websites. The attack has prompted questions about Russia’s intentions and the level of Western cybersecurity preparedness.
The primary targets of these attacks were Ukrainian government websites, energy and telecom service providers, media outlets, and financial institutions. In this way, the attack was designed to disrupt all of the most important sectors of Ukrainian society. However, it was ultimately unsuccessful in disrupting the Ukraine’s government. It also demonstrated that Russia depends on Western technology to mount cyberattacks. It could backfire for years to come, as Ukraine’s war with Russia has bolstered its defenses.
In addition to the use of hacking emails and telecommunications systems, Russian military forces also used their information warfare capability to spy on the Ukrainian population. These Russian-backed disinformation campaigns were largely unsuccessful, mainly because Russia failed to produce compelling content that would sway Ukrainian audiences. Instead, it used a standard Russian tactic of hacking databases and emails and leaking stolen data, which can be easily falsified. The Russian disinformation campaigns also failed to counter declassified Western intelligence and hide evidence of international law violations, aggression, and human rights violations.
In recent years, Russia’s military establishment has developed cyber warfare capabilities. It has been carrying out quasi-military cyber operations against several states. These attacks are often carried out by deniable proxy groups, which are believed to be working for the Russian government. These deniable proxy groups have also developed their own ways of executing cyber attacks without attracting significant repercussions to the Russian state. In addition to these cyberattacks, Russia is increasingly supplying heavy weaponry to its adversaries.
Russian grain in Ukraine
Reconnecting Ukrainian grain exports to global and regional markets should help rebuild world grain stocks and stabilize regional supplies. Such efforts require protocols and inspections for ships, as well as the reduction of shipping rates for commercial operators. The July 23 missile attack sends a negative message and limits the scope of such efforts. The deal also has to be approved by the U.N. Security Council, which would have weakened Russia’s incentive to interfere in Ukraine.
The resumption of grain exports from Ukraine to Africa and Asia would help alleviate some of the food crisis there. The grain trade would also help the World Food Programme source food in Africa and Asia. While it’s unclear when the grain trade will resume, the prospects for the harvesting of new crops are promising. The future of exports from the Black Sea will depend on multinational talks. In addition to the Ukraine’s own efforts to regain market share, the resumption of trade with Russia will help stabilize prices and bolster food security.
However, the deal between Russia and Ukraine is far from clear. The agreement only covers the next 120 days and will need to be renewed. Ukraine has been among the world’s largest producers of wheat, corn, and sunflower oil before the Russian invasion. Before the Russian invasion, it was one of the top exporters of food products, including cooking oil and fertilizers. In fact, it contributed ten percent of the world’s wheat exports last year. It’s unclear how much of this food supply will be shipped through the Black Sea ports.
The resumption of grain exports from Ukraine is a significant step towards addressing Ukraine’s food security concerns and helping Kremlin agricultural holdings expand their export revenue. In Istanbul, the two countries signed an agreement to unblock the Black Sea ports. As a result, 22 million tons of Ukrainian grain will be available for export. It is a step in the right direction and could alleviate a global food crisis.
Russian troops advancing toward Kyiv
Ukraine is reeling from news reports of Russian troops advancing toward the capital Kyiv. Russian forces are fighting Ukrainian forces on multiple fronts, and it appears they are advancing on the city’s center. Russian paratroopers appeared to have taken control of Kyiv’s Hostomel cargo airport after a battle with helicopters. In this picture, you can see the city’s skyline and residential buildings after sunset. The city is a hotbed of conflict and fighting.
The Ukrainian government is preparing to fight back. NATO and the European Union have put about 3,400 military personnel on standby to deploy to Europe if necessary. The attacks on Ukraine began with air strikes and security camera footage released by Ukrainian border guards showed Russian military vehicles crossing into Ukraine. Ukraine and its neighbors have requested consultations with NATO under Article Four of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The attacks on Ukraine’s border have triggered a wide range of international reactions, including increased tensions between the two countries.
The British government and the European Union have imposed sanctions on Russia, but Germany has been more reluctant to condemn the invasion of Ukraine. It has also backed the Ukrainian government’s negotiations with Moscow. The Ukrainian government has warned residents in the capital to prepare petrol bombs and Molotov cocktails to neutralize the occupier. While there has been no formal threat of invasion, the threat of invasion is real. This is why a resolution calling for an end to the Russian invasion of Ukraine is so important.
While the government has been trying to play down the threat of an invasion, the Russian military is making headway in the region northwest of Kyiv. They have already destroyed a bridge across the river in the town of Ivankiv, about 60 kilometers away. Anti-tank guided missiles hit Russian tanks perfectly, but they are not responding. The Ukrainian military is still on the front lines. Amid this mounting tension, the Ukrainian government has opted to arm residents with assault rifles.