By Elizabeth Chukwuma
Given the high level of destructions of Ukrainian major cities and military assets including industries and with the support of the North American country of the United States, US, European Union, EU, United Kingdom, UK, and Canada, may have encouraged Volodymyr Zelenskyy, of Ukraine appear set to dare Vladimir Putin, who have agreed to scale down Russian military operations in order to deescalate the Ukraine crisis’’.
The Ukrainian President has told those that cares to listen that ‘’Russia is consolidating and preparing ‘’powerful strikes’’, in the country’s eastern and southern regions’’, including the besieged Kherson and Mariupol, where a new attempt are being made to evacuate the citizens from the devastated city.
Even Ge.. Jens Stoltenberg, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, NATO, Chief, has collaborated Zelenskyy’s views that Russian forces are not ‘’withdrawing but regrouping ‘’. Gen. Stoltenberg, who could not hide his feelings had said that that the security alliance had yet ‘’to be convinced Russia was Negotiating in good faith in the peace talks with Ukraine in Istanbul, the Turkish Capital, being midwifed by Recep Erdogan Tayyip, the country’s President. The NATO Chief had said that ‘’ Russia’s military objective since launching its invasion of Ukraine had not changed’’.
The British military intelligence had said on Friday, April, 1st, 2022, that Russia is deploying elements of its forces in Georgia, one of the break-away countries from the old Union of Soviet Socialist Republic, USSR, to enforce its invasion.
An aggrieved Zelensky had said that trigger-hungry Russian forces had blocked 45 buses that had been sent by the Red Cross, to deliver humanitarian supplies and to evacuate civilians from the besieged port city of Mariupol, stressing that only 631 people were able to get out of the city on private cars.
As the Ukraine war drags on, the west has continued to Putin, the Russian President, stressing that ‘’he is no longer a force he used to be’’. Ben Walllace, UK, Defense Secretary may have spoken the mind of the western Leaders ‘when he said, ‘’he is now a man in a cage he built himself’’. The UK Defense Secretary had said that that ‘’he is isolated and his army have exhausted’’, noting that he has ‘’suffered significant loses as the reputation of the great Army of Russia has been trashed’’.
Flying at low altitude after crossing the Russian border on Friday, April, 1st, 2022, that it cannot be dictated by the Russian, radar, two of Ukraine’s military helicopters gunship that was said to have been delivered by the US, was said to have struck a fuel storage facility in the Russian city of Belgorod, allegedly injuring two workers from the resulting blaze. That much was confirmed by Vyacheslav Gladkov, the Regional governor. The governor had said that the Ukrainian Pilots may have taken advantage of the evacuation of people close to the Ukrainian border to launch the attack on the Russian city.
With the Ukrainian helicopters dropping of bobs in Belgorod, a Russian city close to the Ukraine border, Zelenskyy has sent a signal to Russian Counterpart, who had agreed to down the war,that it would no longer be fought in their land alone but would be extended to Russian for the people to feel the pain also.
At present, UK , has agreed to join the US , in sending more lethal military weapons to Ukraine to fight Russia. Wallace, the UK. Defense Secretary had aid that ‘’armoured vehicle and long-range artillery will be sent’’.
Scott Morrison,the Australian Prime Minister, was said to have also agreed ‘’to send armoured bushmaster vehicles to Ukraine’’ after the Ukrainian President specifically asked for them during a video appeal to the country Lawmakers. Zelenskky had asked for the Australian -made four-wheel drive vehicles on Thursday, March 31, 2022, from the Australian Lawmakers, who in turn had asked Morrison, the Prime Mininister to grant the requests. He had said that the Bushmaster vehicles will be flown over on Boeing C-17 Globemaster transport planes but did not specify how many would be sent to the country or when .
The Australian Prime Minister, assurance to supply the Bush master vehicles to Ukraine may have informed why Zelenskyy could beat his chest that that ‘’his forces are preparing for Russian attacks on the Donebas region in the south east part of the country after the they had repelled Russia’s assault on the Capital, Kyiv’’ There are indications that the Russian forces have left the Chernobyl Nuclear power plant which it had occupied over a month ago. The Russian troops were said to have handed over control of the Chernobyl power plant back to the Ukrainians and left the heavily contaminated site. Ukraine’s power company, Energoatom, had said that the pullout at Chernobyl Nuclear plant came after the Russian forces received ‘’significant doses’’ of radiation from digging trenches in the forest in the exclusion zone around the plant.
Officials of Energoatom, the Ukrainian power company noted that the Russian troops who could no longer find it funny staying around the Chernobyl power plant site to control its operations had handed over the control of the Nuclear power plant back to the Ukrainians and left on Friday, April 2022, as fighting raged on the outskirts of Kyiv, capital of Ukraine and other fronts.
The Ukrainian government was said to have also alerted the United Nations, UN, International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, that Russian forces which had been control of the Chernobyl Nuclear plant since January 24, 2022, have in writing , transferred control of the NPP, to Ukrainian personnel and moved their convoy of troops .
Worried by the effects of the West economic sanctions and trade embargo against Russian over its invasion of Ukraine more than a month ago may have informed why ‘’the Russian President had said that’’ it would not remain unanswered’’. He had signed a decree on Thursday, March 31, 2022, indicating that foreign buyers of its oil and gas must pay in its currency local currency, rubles, from Friday, April 1, 2022’’.
He had said that contracts for supply of oil and gas to the European customers would be halted if they fail to comply with the new payment system. Olaf Scholz, Germany Chancellor and Emmanuel Macron, President of France , may not have found it funny as they were said to have said that Putin’s demands amounted ‘’to blackmail’’.
But Russian gas was still flowing to Europe despite the deadline set by Putin to cut off unless the customers start paying rubles, being Russian’s strongest threat to retaliate for the sanctions impose over its invasion of Ukraine.
Perhaps, to cushion the effect of not buying Russian oil and gas on the people, due to the trade embargo, may have forced the Joe Biden Administration to approve the drawdown and Sale of Petroleum Products from the country’s strategic Petroleum Reserve, SPR.
Biden had in a published memorandum, had confirmed that Russian invasion on Ukraine has had profound impact on global oil markets, thus prompting the International Energy Agency, IEA, governing board to agree to a collective release of petroleum reserves. He had aid that the US, is committed to drawdown and sale of 30 million barrels of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Member states of the IEA, have agreed to convne an extra-ordinary meeting to discuss the destabilizing global oil markets roiled by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including a coordinated stocks release.
In a related development, Daleep Sigh, US, Deputy National Security Adviser, NSA, had aid that ‘’the no limits partnership between Russia and China would not save India’’ , noting that the country should not expect Russia to come to its defence in case China violates ‘’the Line of Actual Control, LAC. The US government on Thursday, March 31, 2022, that ‘’there will be consequences for countries actively attempting ‘’to circumvent or backfill’’ NATO. Countries sanctions against Russia.
This may have informed why China and Indian, Leadership have gone gone back to the drawing board to restrategise. S. Jaishankar, Indian’s Foreign Affairs minister and Srgei Larrov, his Russian Counterpart, were said to have met, a day after Biden warned of the consequences for countries attempting to ‘’circumvent‘’ US’s sanctions against Russia.
The high level talks took place in the backdrop of indications that India could buy greater volumes of discounted Russian oil and both sides were said to be keen on having a trouble –rupee arrangement for the bilateral trade. India may have opted to still buy Russia and gas on the grounds that ‘’every country has their own relationship’’. The EU, Leadership have held a Summit Chinese Authorities in Brussels, Belgium, aimed at ensuring in a way ‘’the neutrality of China in the Ukraine war so that they don’t help Russia’’. Te EU’s relationship with China has been bumpy in recent years.