India’s Neutral Foreign Policy Threatened by Ukraine Crisis

On February 24, Russia made the conscious decision to invade Ukraine for yet another time since 2014. This active encroachment into non-Russian territory, which was condemned internationally, triggered the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II, reports Reuters. Although Europe has been heavily affected by this Russian aggression, the actions taken by those less impacted by the conflict will set the tone for how the international community reacts to similar crises in the future.

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Russian Attacks on Mariupol Devastate the City

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky compared the ongoing Russian siege of Mariupol as mirroring the Nazi siege of Leningrad in a speech on March 16 as the city underwent heavy bombardment by the Russian military, reports The Guardian. This comparison may not be entirely inaccurate, as The Red Cross claims that the Russian Siege of Mariupol is veering towards a humanitarian crisis. Ukrainian reports estimate nearly 3,000 civilians have been killed.

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FOCUS on Ukraine: Global Sanctions

Although the United States and its European allies have so far avoided direct military contact with the Russian armed forces, they have engaged in a different kind of warfare. Economic warfare has been employed to deter further Russian aggression in Ukraine and punish the regime for its illegal territorial expansion.

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FOCUS on Ukraine: Refugees

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, an estimated 3.1 million Ukrainians have fled the country, reported by the Brookings Institution as of March 18.  It is currently estimated that the number may reach 4 million if Russia’s military offensive continues at its current rate.  

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Global Reactions to Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

Across the globe, the world is shunning Russia in a multitude of ways to protest President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. As The New York Times examines, from culture to commerce and sports to travel, many doors have been closed on Russia and its people, in a capacity not seen since the days of the Cold War. Such a worldwide rejection of Russia has been intended to show solidarity with the beleaguered  Ukrainians, while also attempting to force President Putin to pull back Russian forces.

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FOCUS on Ukraine: Ukrainian Resistance

Ukrainians have mounted a “stiffer-than-expected” military and civil resistance since Russian troops invaded the country in late February, the New York Times reports. 

The Ukrainian military, one of Europe’s largest with over 370,000 active and reserve troops, has spent billions training its soldiers to counter Russian offenses in the aftermath of the annexation of Crimea in 2014. Thus far, it appears that their efforts have paid off – Russia, despite its military and economic advantages, has managed to capture only one major city in 10 days, the southern city of Kherson.

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Sanctions May Not Stop Putin, But They Will Certainly Hurt the Russian People

As the world watched in horror while Vladimir Putin launched his illegal and indefensible invasion of Ukraine, many immediately called for the harshest sanctions possible to be imposed on Putin’s regime. The United States and its allies showed remarkable unity in implementing comprehensive sanctions targeting key sectors of the Russian economy. According to Vox, the U.S. and Europe immediately sanctioned Putin and other Russian oligarchs by freezing their assets and confiscating properties belonging to individuals close to the Russian government. 

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Seven Russian Banks Banned from SWIFT

The crisis in Ukraine has led to multiple European and U.S.-led economic sanctions against the Russian Federation, resulting in profound damage to the Russian economy, reports Al Jazeera. According to ABC News, Russia is facing the sharp devaluation of the ruble, increasing inflation, heightened interest rates, and a frozen stock market. To further disrupt the Russian economy, The Wall Street Journal reports that Western countries have removed several Russian banking entities from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT.

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Russia Takes Chernobyl and Holds Staff Hostage as Radiation Levels Increase

On February 24, Russian troops captured the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and its exclusion zone, the 30 kilometer area around the site of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, reports Radio Free Europe. The situation escalated when it was reported by CNN that soldiers were holding power plant staff hostage. On February 25, Reuters said that both the Ukrainian nuclear agency and interior ministry had reported increased radiation levels coming from the plant.

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