The Ukraine Russia war has entered its third month of conflict, and Putin is reported to have abandoned diplomatic efforts at peace talks in favor of seizing as much territory as possible. Currently, Russian forces are attempting to establish a land bridge through Crimea, a region south of Ukraine, to establish dominance in an area where Ukraine’s forces have kept Russian attacks at bay. Those with access to Putin say he has a delusional view of his success in Ukraine and accuse the Russian president of believing Russian media propaganda.
“I think the Russian Federation and Putin are not interested in this negotiation,” said Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal. “[Russia is] interested in other things. They are interested in genocide of Ukrainians, they are interested in the creation of a migration crisis in Europe and the world, they are interested in the creation of a food crisis, energy crisis. I’m not sure they are capable to hold this negotiation in a proper way.”
The Russian military is still waning in numbers after their initial invasion of Ukraine. As Russia continues to make new advances into Ukraine, similar circumstances are expected to occur, with Russia unprepared to win against what has proven to be a resilient and courageous Ukraine civilian population, military, and foreign mercenaries. For their part, Russia claims to have destroyed eight Ukrainian arms depots in the last several days.
In Ukraine, Zelenskyy is hosting U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. Blinken and Austin’s visit has resulted in a U.S. pledge to provide Ukraine with an additional $713 million in aid. That is on top of the $13.6 billion the U.S. has already delivered. Ukraine is still seeking to secure anti-missile, and anti-aircraft systems along with artillery and tanks from the U.S. Zelenskyy has repeatedly called for President Joe Biden to meet with him in Ukraine. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will be arriving in Ukraine this week after meeting with Turkish officials who have served as intermittent mediators between Ukraine and Russia.
“You can’t come to us empty-handed today, and we are expecting not just presents or some kind of cakes, we are expecting specific things and specific weapons,″ said Zelenskyy.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is seeking to arrange special negotiations with Russia to establish a cease-fire near the port of Mariupol, where Ukrainian troops and civilians have been surrounded by Russian forces. Ukraine seeks to open a humanitarian corridor to facilitate their escape.
Meanwhile, the situation for civilians in Ukraine has amounted to one in six people being internally displaced. %.2 million Ukrainian refugees have entered Europe, creating the largest migration crisis in Europe since WWII. The U.S. has launched a new program called “Uniting for Ukraine” to allow 100,000 Ukrainians feeling from war to enter the country. Refugees must have a U.S. sponsor, pass a background check, and meet Covid requirements to qualify for the program.
Whatever the future holds for the sovereignty of Ukraine, it seems they do not intend to give over to Russian demands.
“We may protect democracy in Europe, on our continent, in the world, but I think that this war should be finished when we clean our territories from Russian occupants,” said Shmyhal.