It is really sad to say that this week we entered the third month of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
In some ways we are so used to hearing about the war now that it doesn't even resonate with some anymore, as it seems it will last for a lot longer than hoped. Many news programs have even stopped starting their broadcast with the news from Ukraine unless something "major" has occurred.
That's not to say that there isn't anything worth reporting, in fact hostilities have increased on many fronts, but they are not being reported to the extent that they were initially. This does make these weekly breakdowns I'm putting together a bit harder but I have still tried to keep on top of things to keep up to date with what is happening and to help everyone understand what is actually transpiring.
Here is a run down of week 9.
Day 62. Tuesday 26th April 2022
The United Nation’s Secretary General travelled to Russia to meet with Russian President Putin where it was asserted that the UN saw Russia’s actions as an invasion. Mariupol was a main topic for discussion at the meeting to which Russian President Putin declared that Russia had stopped fighting in the city so there was no reason civilians couldn’t leave. In fact he claimed that Ukrainian soldiers were keeping the civilians there as shields.
Between 25-27 April 2022, a series of attacks were reported in the breakaway state of Transnistria (officially part of Moldova). Throughout the current conflict there had been claims that some rockets fired on Ukraine by Russian forces originated form this region which is friendly to Moscow. This claim hasn’t been substantiated and Transnistria maintains it is a peaceful nation.
It is speculated that the series of recent attacks in Transnistria were perpetrated by either Russia or Transnistria under a false flag as a way to either reignite hostilities with Moldova or lay the groundwork for Russia to enter the region in a similar manner to Ukraine.
Background: In the 1920s the Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was included as part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic however during World War Two the Soviet Union included it with parts of Romania (what is today largely the rest of Moldova) to form the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic.
When the Soviet Union began to collapse the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic (today Transnistria) was established in the hope of remaining part of the Soviet Union should the rest of Moldova choose to reunite with Romania or declare independence.
In August 1991 Moldova declared independence which led to military conflict between the two parties and though a ceasefire was reached the political status of the region remains unresolved thirty years later. Approximately 700 people were killed during the short war.
The only places to recognise the status of Transnistria are three other un-recognised nations; Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Artsakh.
Today Transnistria is home to less than 350,000 people of which the majority identify as Russian and Moldovan equally (29% each). Approximately 22% of people identify as Ukrainian. To learn more about the region this is a good piece by the BBC: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-61233095
Day 63. Wednesday 27th April 2022
Russia followed through on its plans to cut off European nations from natural gas supplies after it stopped supplies to Poland and Bulgaria after they refused to pay in Russian roubles. A third European Union Nation, Hungary, came to a compromise deal with Russia.
Day 64. Thursday 28th April 2022
An odd installation appeared in St. Petersburg bearing the logos of a number of businesses that have pulled out of Russia. The logos are presented in a way to spell the word “ZAMESTIM” which translates to “we will replace”. No one knows exactly where it has come from, but it is a act of defiance in Russia against the west for sure.
Day 65. Friday 29th April 2022 and Day 66. Saturday 30th April 2022
Across the Donbas and occupied regions Russian attacks increased in their pace and power.
Day 67. Sunday 1st May 2022
The evacuation of civilians from the last Ukrainian held part of Mariupol began with around 1,000 civilians and 500 injured soldiers set to be released.
Day 68. Monday 2nd May 2022
Despite the promise of release just 100 civilians appear to have been released from the steel plant in Mariupol.
Day 69. Tuesday 3rd May 2022
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson became the first western leader to address the Ukraine parliament directly.
As we head into week 10 greater tragedy appears to be transpiring in the already devastated Mariupol. Head over to the BBC World News for up to the minute reports or if you'd like it broken down I'll be back next week with a run down on this week's events.
Further Reading (A selection):
*This blog has been put together with multiple current news sources such as the BBC World News Podcast, local nightly news and media outlets such as News.com
Articles and Websites:
"Ukraine War in Maps: Tracking the Russian Invasion", BBC News (23 March 2022), <https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-60506682>
"War in Ukraine", BBC World News (multiple articles), <https://www.bbc.com/news/world-60525350>
War in Ukraine (website of the War in Ukraine hosted by Ukraine), <www.war.ukraine.ua>
"Global Conflict Tracker", Council on Foreign Relations (Updated 18 March 2022), <https://www.cfr.org/global-conflict-tracker/conflict/conflict-ukraine>
Disclaimer: The observations and comments made in this blog are made after reflecting on the news stories and histories I read. History plays a big part in how I understand the present so my comments largely take into account history and the role it has in the present. After all, those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it.