In recent days, Western leaders have taken a variety of steps to show Ukraine support. President Biden spoke in an Alabama factory where the Javelin missiles used by Ukrainian soldiers are manufactured. Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke to the Ukrainian Parliament. President Emmanuel Macron pressed Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop “devastating aggression.” Meanwhile, Germany urged Finland and Sweden to join NATO. The goal of leaders of the West was to capitalize on Russia‘s lack of momentum and strengthen Ukraine‘s resolve.
Russian forces continue to advance into Ukraine
While the Russian invasion has not yet taken major cities, it continues to make gains in several areas. While troops have not yet entered the western third of the country, they are closing in on key cities in the northeast and south. Ukrainian troops have resisted the Russian advance and hold back their frontlines outside of the larger cities. Nevertheless, Russian airs and artillery bombard civilian areas. This is not surprising given the sheer numbers of Russian troops in Ukraine.
The last few days have seen a slowdown in Russian military advances on Ukraine. In the first two days of the invasion, Russian forces only managed to capture a few towns, but they are now advancing northward to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. At the same time, they have begun shelling cities and are moving towards the city center. In the meantime, the city of Polohy is without electricity, running water, or heat. In addition, there are reports that Russian forces have begun uniting their three main groups of forces and are now targeting separatists in the Donbas region.
Earlier on Monday, the Ukrainian military said that Russian forces had targeted a base for paratroopers. According to local press, seven people were killed and a major explosion ripped through central Kharkiv. Another airstrike struck a hospital, killing several people. In addition to these attacks on Kyiv, security footage shows that two bridges have been destroyed, forcing television stations to go off the air.
As part of the ongoing offensive operations, Russian forces have repositioned in Donbas and Mariupol. While it is unlikely that Russian forces will make major advances, they may be able to pin Ukrainian mechanized forces and drive them back into the Luhansk Oblast. They also recently captured the town of Izyum. Although they are repositioning in the Donbas, they will likely continue attacking Ukrainian forces along the line of contact in eastern Ukraine.
A Washington-based research group called the Institute for the Study of War said this week that Russian forces are likely to capture Mariupol this week. The city is under siege by Russian forces, and civilians have no access to basic necessities. Meanwhile, in southern Ukraine, the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, one of the largest nuclear power plants in Europe, is reportedly under Russian control. The two nuclear power plants in Ukraine account for one-third of the country’s electricity production.
Ukrainians flee their homes to neighboring NATO countries
As the war in Ukraine enters its second month, NATO leaders and the EU are meeting in Brussels. President Biden, the U.S. vice president, is addressing the three summits. President Biden announced that the U.S. would provide 100 000 refugees with food and medicine. Meanwhile, Russian deputy defense minister said that his forces would decrease military activity near Kyiv.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, there have been millions of Ukrainians fleeing to neighboring countries. The vast majority of refugees have been children and women. A recent UNICEF report reported that there are at least 1.5 million children among the refugees. The Ukrainian refugees are crossing into neighboring NATO countries. Despite the conflict, Poland is one of the countries that has opened its doors to refugees from Ukraine.
Some refugees have already arrived in Poland and Slovakia. There, U.S.-funded humanitarian organizations have set up mobile medical teams to reach affected areas. These mobile teams provide vaccinations, primary health care, and trauma care. They have also distributed water containers and hygiene kits and provided blankets to those living in collective shelters. These teams also provide psychological support to vulnerable populations and provide the most basic necessities of life.
At least one hundred people are now holed up in a steel plant in Mariupol. Another hundred are expected to be evacuated to Zaporizhzhia in the northeast, which is a city held by the Ukrainians. The convoy is scheduled to leave on Tuesday. The U.S. and the International Committee of the Red Cross are helping them with the evacuation.
With the increasing violence and armed clashes in eastern Ukraine, millions of people have fled their homes and sought refuge in neighboring NATO countries. The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) compiles data from different government sources, but the main purpose of its data is to count refugees who have crossed the border. As a result, the UNHCR doesn’t count refugees who have passed through more than one country, although Moldova and Romania are exceptions to this rule.
South Korea donates nonlethal military supplies to Ukraine
South Korea has announced it will send nonlethal military supplies to Ukraine, an area under Russian occupation. The donations, which are expected to cost about $1 billion, will include bulletproof vests and helmets, medical kits, and combat rations. The logistics of delivery are not finalized, but the military plans to ship the cargo by air. But the Korean military’s decision to ship only nonlethal military aid to Ukraine has been met with criticism.
The Korean government has been donating nonlethal military supplies to Ukraine since early February. President Zelensky of Ukraine requested the aid from Seoul to fight off Russian aggression in the region. But, so far, the donations have been insufficient, and Seoul is reportedly in talks with the Ukrainian government about expanding the humanitarian aid. While the Korean military is willing to provide nonlethal military supplies to Ukraine, it can not supply lethal weapons.
While the donation of nonlethal items to Ukraine is welcome, the Ukrainian government has also expressed gratitude to other countries for their aid. In addition to South Korea, Japan has also donated a range of equipment and training for Ukraine‘s armed forces. The donations, which total about $42 million, are a direct result of the Ukrainian government’s recent attack on Russian troops. The weapons provided by other nations, including Russia, will be used to defend the Ukraine and prevent further Russian aggression.
The United States has made several efforts to provide security assistance to Ukraine. Its most recent $250 million in military assistance is earmarked mostly for battlefield equipment, such as grenade launchers and sniper rifles. Other items include uniforms and sonar buoys. Although the United States has donated nonlethal military aid, it has authorized the sale of lethal supplies to Ukraine. However, the donation has been largely symbolic as Ukraine is a partner in NATO.
Israel prepares to send more military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine
Israeli authorities have prepared a 100-ton package of humanitarian aid to Ukraine. It will be shipped by El Al on a third flight to Warsaw this week and is expected to arrive in Ukraine on May 23. Israel is coordinating the national aid through the Mashav division of the Foreign Ministry. According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the items being sent to Ukraine include defensive systems for ground troops, medical supplies, and emergency water purifying kits. Additionally, Israeli municipalities and NGOs have been running campaigns in support of Ukrainian refugees and are donating aid to the victims.
In the past week, Netanyahu and Likud President Benjamin Netanyahu have discussed the situation in Ukraine, which has erupted into a conflict that is threatening the integrity of the international order. In addition to sending more humanitarian aid to Ukraine, the United States is also stepping up pressure on Israel to take an aggressive stance against Russia. In this regard, Israel is also preparing to send more military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
Lebanon’s Foreign Ministry criticized the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but praised its diplomatic efforts and the help it is providing to the Ukrainian people. IsraAid has also established an “air bridge” for Ukrainian citizens to go to Tunisia. In addition, the organization has opened a field hospital in the town of Mostyska, near Lviv. In addition, Lebanon has three embassies in Europe. It has not yet announced a public stance on the crisis, and the foreign ministry did not make any specific mention of it.
Meanwhile, Russia has doubled down on accusations of supporting a “neo-Nazi” regime in Kiev. The Israeli Foreign Ministry says it is a “mistake” to accuse Israel of supporting this regime, but it is clear that the Israeli government will not provide lethal weapons to the Ukrainian military. Nevertheless, the foreign ministry has welcomed the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s visit to Kyiv, saying that “the government is preparing for decisive battles in the east.