The illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine marks one year this Friday, in which the former Soviet republic put up fierce resistance to Russian troops and, with Western backing, inflicted unexpected setbacks on Vladimir Putin’s forces.
The Russians entered the Ukraine on February 24, 2022starting the worst conflict on European soil since the end of World War II.
Twelve months later, numerous Ukrainian cities were left in ruins, a part of the country lives under Russian occupation and the death and wounded balance on each side exceeds 150,000according to Western estimates.
During this Friday, the Ukrainian president, Volodimir Zelensky, will give a press conference and ceremonies will be held in cities symbolic of the suffering of the war, such as buchaon the outskirts of kyivtheater of a massacre of civilians imputed to the Russian forces.
The president of the European Comission (EC), Ursula von der Leyenand the Secretary General of the NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, will attend the events to mark the 105th anniversary of the founding of the Baltic republic this Friday in the Estonian capital of Tallinn. There it is expected that they will also pronounce on the situation in Ukraine in a joint press conference with the Estonian president and prime minister.
The UN General Assembly approved this Thursday by 141 votes in favour, 7 against and 32 abstentions a resolution demanding that Russia “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all its military forces” from Ukraine.
China, which abstained in this vote, tabled a proposal for a “political solution” to the conflictin which he urges dialogue, warns against the use of nuclear weapons and urges do not attack civilians.
“All parties should support Russia and Ukraine to work in the same direction and resume direct dialogue as quickly as possible.”, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in this twelve-point document.
Ukrainian information services pointed out the risk of “large-scale provocations” by Russia during this Friday, including bombing campaigns.
In Paris, the Eiffel Tower It will light up in the yellow and blue colors of the Ukrainian flag.
In LondonA minute of silence will be held in front of the Russian Embassyin the presence of deputies and diplomats.
In berlinthe German head of government, Olaf Schölzwill participate in a ceremony with the Ukrainian ambassador and a protest will be held in front of the Russian embassy.
Meanwhile, Zelensky highlighted on Thursday the determination of his compatriots.
“We have not broken. We have passed many tests and we will succeed. We will ask all those who brought this evil and this war to our land to account.“, he claimed.
Ukrainians admit their exhaustion after a year at the rhythm of anti-aircraft alerts often deprived of electricity and water by shelling, but they rely on a favorable outcome of the conflict.
“Victory will be ours and everything will be fine. I hope this ends soon”, affirmed Sofia, a resident of Kramatorsk (this).
Oksana, 60, admits to “living in fear” and hopes for “peace”. “We want this war to end, we are tired of living like this”, he comments.
Putin looks to the West
Putin, for his part, accuses western powers of “stirring up the Ukrainian conflict” in order to “finish off” Russia and on Wednesday he claimed that his country is fighting in Ukraine for its “historical lands”.
In Russia, it seems unlikely that difficulties at the front or the mobilization of hundreds of thousands of young people will provoke protests, given that criticism of the army is harshly repressed and opposition personalities are exiled or imprisoned.
On Thursday, Muscovites were questioned by the news agency AFP They oscillated between hopelessness and indifference.
“I don’t see any future. I don’t see any interest in having children or developing my brain. So that?” said Ruslan Melnikov, a 28-year-old teacher.
Lyubov Iudinaa 48-year-old security agent, maintains that during this year “there was no change” in his life, although the children of many of his friends were mobilizeds.
“Some died. But that’s the way it is“, said.
Russia was initially betting on a quick victory that would keep Ukraine within its sphere of influence.
But at the moment it seems to concentrate its objective in the four regions of the east and the south that it proclaimed under its sovereignty and in reversing its last military setbacks with the conquest of Bakhmutbesieged for months.
Western powers imposed a series of sanctions against Russiaand in particular against his oil and gas exports and the banking, aviation and defense sectors.
USA and the countries of the European Union (EU) provided aid for more than 128,000 million euros ($135 billion) to Ukraine, according to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
Washington announced Thursday that prepares new “significant” sanctions and a new military aid package of 2,000 million dollars.
Gathered in India, the finance ministers of the G7 discussed new sanctions and increased their financial support for kyiv to 39,000 million dollars.
(With information from AFP)
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