Russia is not slowing down in its aggression against Ukraine. They now are sending airstrikes in new parts of the country’s western edge. And Russian President Vladimir Putin just approved the recruitment of “volunteers” from Syria and some other nations to join the Russian ranks in the war on the people of Ukraine.
This war has caused more than 2.5 million people to leave their homes in Ukraine and many others have been forced to hide in basements, subway stations, and underground shelters. More evacuations are necessary, but Russia keeps shelling the evacuation routes in places like Mariupol.
Countries in the West have increased economic pressure on Russia. The United States and its allies have downgraded Russia’s trade status so that they are even more isolated from the rest of the world.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine, relayed a video message to the world saying that it was impossible to say how many days they will need to free their land, but it is possible to say that they will do it.
Russia used high-precision long-range weapons to demolish new areas in western Ukraine. Lutsk Mayor Ihor Polishchuk indicated that four servicemen were killed and another six were wounded. Iryna Vereshchuk said that there have been 1,300 civilians killed in Mariupol so far in the war. The recent missile attacks have left apartment buildings on fire and the city’s population of 430,000 have been without food, water, and electricity for 10 days as temperatures stayed near the freezing mark.
And Satellite images have revealed that the massive Russian convoy that had been stalled outside of Kyiv has now dispersed into towns and forests.
In the midst of such devastation, now Putin has approved bringing volunteer fighters from Syria and some other nations into the war on Ukraine. The defense minister of Russia indicated that there have been more than 16,000 applications from the Middle East. Many of these are people that fought with Russia against the Islamic State group.
The Ukrainian government has reported that approximately 20,000 people from outside of Ukraine have joined the International Legion for the Territorial Defense of Ukraine. They have been given weapons and have joined the ranks of the Ukrainian fighters. There are about 100 Americans who are among the pro-Ukrainian soldiers.
There is an intense focus on creating safe evacuation routes for many in Ukraine. The top priority is getting people out of the Mariupol region and also getting aid to the desperate people. There are also efforts to make new humanitarian corridors to the southern city of Kherson, the northern city of Chernihiv, and the eastern city of Kharkiv. The main hindrance to these humanitarian efforts is the continued shelling of the areas from Russia. For many, the danger of fleeing is too great.
President Joe Biden just announced an agreement with other nations to revoke Russia’s “most favored nation” trade status. This will enable higher tariffs to be put on Russian imports. Along with their decision, the United States banned the import of Russian goods like seafood, alcohol, and diamonds.
French President Emmanuel Macron is one of the leaders in the West that has united in an effort to punish Russia through economic sanctions. He said recently that the European Union will keep applying pressure on the Kremlin and be open to considering more sanctions based on President Putin’s future bombing of cities like Kyiv.
The unified nations in the West should be ready to intensify their stand due to Russia’s plan to add non-Russian soldiers from places like Syria to their ranks. Putin continues to pick up the momentum of war and defy the world’s sanctions.