Putin, Modi discuss plight of Indian students trapped in Ukraine | Russia-Ukraine war News


Russian president orders troopers ‘to make sure the protected exit of Indian nationals from the armed battle zone’, says Kremlin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has held talks with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the pressing evacuation of Indian college students trapped within the Ukrainian metropolis of Kharkiv, mentioned the Kremlin.

Throughout their video name on Wednesday, Putin mentioned he had ordered Russian troopers “to make sure the protected exit of Indian nationals from the armed battle zone and their return to their homeland,” in keeping with a Kremlin assertion.

Russia was attempting to organise the emergency evacuation of a gaggle of Indian college students from Kharkiv through a humanitarian hall, it added.

Indian students that fled Ukraine rest in a sports hall near Bucharest
Indian college students who fled Ukraine relaxation in a sports activities corridor close to Bucharest, Romania [Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea via Reuters]

On Wednesday, the Ukrainian authorities mentioned Russian paratroopers had landed within the jap metropolis, and that there was preventing within the streets.

India denies college students taken hostage

In the meantime, Russia’s defence ministry on Wednesday mentioned the Ukrainian authorities had been holding a gaggle of Indian college students by drive.

“They’ve virtually been taken hostage,” ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov mentioned throughout a televised briefing.

However Indian media stories on Thursday mentioned New Delhi has denied stories of its college students being held as hostages in Ukraine. India’s international ministry mentioned it was in fixed contact with Indian nationals in Ukraine, stories added.

“We’ve got not acquired stories of any hostage scenario concerning any scholar. We’ve got requested assist of the Ukrainian authorities in arranging particular trains for taking out college students from Kharkiv and neighbouring areas to the western a part of the nation,” India’s international ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi mentioned.

Russian defence ministry spokesperson Konashenkov mentioned Ukraine was providing to evacuate the Indian college students through the western border with Poland, which, he mentioned, would imply they’d be passing by means of fight zones.

“The Russian armed forces are able to take all vital measures for the protected evacuation of Indian nationals” to allow them to be flown residence from Russia, he added.

New Delhi introduced on Tuesday that an Indian scholar had been killed throughout shelling of the jap Ukrainian metropolis of Kharkiv. Russian artillery bombardment of town killed 21 folks there on Tuesday, mentioned the area’s governor.

India is attempting to rearrange the protected evacuation of some 12,000 of its residents.

Earlier than Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine final Thursday, there have been 20,000 Indians in Ukraine.

Since then, nevertheless, about 8,000 have managed to go away the nation, and about 1,400 of them have already been repatriated, mentioned Indian authorities.

India abstains from UNGA vote

Additionally on Wednesday, India abstained from voting at a landmark United Nations Normal Meeting which overwhelmingly adopted a decision asking Russia to “instantly” withdraw from Ukraine.

After greater than two days of extraordinary debate, which noticed the Ukrainian ambassador accuse Russia of genocide, 141 out of 193 UN member states voted for the non-binding decision.

India and China had been among the many 35 nations which abstained, whereas simply 5 – Eritrea, North Korea, Syria, Belarus and naturally Russia – voted towards the decision.

Interactive showing how countries voted.

World Taekwondo strips Russia’s Vladimir Putin of his honorary black belt : NPR


World Taekwondo Federation President Choue Chung-won, left, provides an honorary taekwondo black belt and uniform to Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2013.

Alexei Nikolsky/AP


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Alexei Nikolsky/AP


World Taekwondo Federation President Choue Chung-won, left, provides an honorary taekwondo black belt and uniform to Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2013.

Alexei Nikolsky/AP

Many athletic organizations are distancing themselves from Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. However now, Russian President Vladimir Putin himself is the goal.

World Taekwondo introduced it is withdrawing the honorary black belt it gave to Putin in November 2013. Moreover, the taekwondo governing physique stated no nationwide flags or anthems from Russia or its ally Belarus can be displayed or performed through the group’s occasions.

World Taekwondo and the European Taekwondo Union additionally stated no occasions can be acknowledged or held in Russia and Belarus.

“World Taekwondo strongly condemns the brutal assaults on harmless lives in Ukraine, which go towards the World Taekwondo imaginative and prescient of ‘Peace is Extra Valuable than Triumph’ and the World Taekwondo values of respect and tolerance,” World Taekwondo stated in a press release.

The transfer by World Taekwondo comes as many different companies, sporting occasions and different establishments work to sever ties with Russia, Putin, and any organizations with connections to them.

Putin is understood to be a fan of martial arts, significantly judo. The Russian president even co-wrote a ebook about it: “Judo: Historical past, Principle, Apply.”

The judo neighborhood additionally took steps to distance itself from Putin. The Worldwide Judo Federation suspended his standing because the group’s honorary president and ambassador, in line with The Related Press. The federation additionally canceled the game’s Grand Slam set to happen in Could in Kazan, Russia, in addition to all different competitions set to happen within the nation.

Main athletic organizations such because the Worldwide Olympic Committee have already made unprecedented strikes to shun Russia. Nationwide groups, together with U.S. Soccer, have refused to play any Russian groups in any circumstance.

FIFA just lately yanked worldwide competitions hosted on Russian territory “till additional discover.” The group additionally suspended Russian groups from taking part in any FIFA and UEFA competitions. That transfer will probably impression Russia’s participation within the World Cup in November.

Shoppers are even protesting the nation by boycotting Russian-made merchandise akin to vodka.



Trump Suggests Putin Just Claim He Won


PALM BEACH (The Borowitz Report)—Because the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to come across difficulties, Donald J. Trump has suggested Vladimir Putin “simply to say that he received.”

“He must get on TV and say that he’s the winner,” Trump stated. “He ought to say that he had a victory in Ukraine such as you wouldn’t consider.”

Trump stated that the Russian President ought to maintain rallies throughout the nation to inform his supporters that he received however that his victory had been stolen from him.

“I believed Putin was good, however possibly he’s not so good in spite of everything,” Trump stated. “If he doesn’t say he received, he’s some type of silly dummy.”

Trump stated that, since his calls to the Russian chief saved going straight to voice mail, he left Putin a suggestion of what he ought to inform the Russian individuals.

“All he must say is, ‘Frankly, we did win this invasion,’ ” Trump stated.

A possible explanation (not a justification) for the recent actions of Putin


(Emilio Morenatti | AP) Folks have a look at the injury following a rocket assault town of Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Feb. 25, 2022.

In his latest 17 web page (in Russian) diatribe about Ukraine and Russia, Putin makes a most telling introduction: ” I emphasize once more that Ukraine for us … shouldn’t be merely a neighboring nation. It’s an inalienable a part of our personal historical past, tradition, and religious house (italics mine). These are our comrades. These near us, amongst whom are usually not simply colleagues, buddies, previously individuals who served collectively, but additionally family members, and folks linked to us by blood and household ties.” (my translation)

Within the piece, Putin emphasizes what he sees as an aberration of historical past, promulgated by Vladimir Lenin, who instituted his model of Marxism, unusually nationalistic, to interchange Orthodoxy. Consequently, Lenin promoted an unbiased Ukraine and thus planted the seeds of separatism, an motion that Putin asserts is the supply of all the issues between Russia and Ukraine within the current day. This castigation of Lenin can be an remarkable heresy within the Soviet Union and is a sign that Putin’s mannequin is the restoration of the outdated Russian empire based mostly on Nikolai I’s tripartite components of Orthodoxy, autocracy and Russian nationalism.

Soviet students (Yuri Lotman and Gleb Uspensky) have identified that the Russian consciousness tends to suppose in binary oppositions. They attribute this tendency to Russian Orthodox dogma, which says that there’s a heaven or hell however no intermediate purgatory. Inside this set of binaries, the Russian Orthodox perception system proclaims a God that exemplifies energy by way of unity and order.

Reverse to that is individuality and freedom, which exhibit a separation from God and inevitably end in a weak spot of chaos. This “splintering” of society and nations (as Dostoevsky referred to it) is a situation that the Slavophiles of the 1840s attributed to European societies and can be the reason for “fall” and disintegration of the West.

This idea has been rekindled by Putin whose oration to the Russian folks (and the West) reveals his binary thought course of and emphasizes his perception that Orthodox unity and energy should prevail in opposition to the chaos of Western and individualism and separatism. Ukraine has fallen into the Western world and it should return to the fold and be an integral a part of the Russian “religious house” the place it traditionally belongs.

Gene Fitzgerald, Emeritus Professor of Russian Lang. Lit. And Tradition, U. of U., Salt Lake Metropolis

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How Putin Wants Russians to See the War in Ukraine


Take a stroll by way of Moscow nowadays, and you will note big, gaudy mild shows—complete galleries and pretend constructing façades composed of sunshine bulbs. You will note gleaming arrays of luxurious items, messengers scurrying with cubic backpacks, and eating places that refill late within the day and keep full effectively into the evening. A few of these eating places have big televisions, and you might even see sports activities competitions, music movies, and information channels on them, however what you’ll not see is what dominates tv screens elsewhere on the earth: the pictures of the warfare in Ukraine. You’ll not see bomb shelters within the grand Soviet-era subways, bombed-out condo buildings, or charred tanks. From most appearances, Moscow is a metropolis at peace.

Something that disrupts this look—whether or not it’s an individual standing alone with a sheet of paper that claims “No to Conflict” or the small group that gathered and stood silently in Moscow’s Pushkin Sq. on Saturday evening, or the hundreds who’ve attended antiwar marches across the nation since final Thursday, the day that Russia started its large-scale invasion of Ukraine—is intercepted by police rapidly and brutally. Sometimes in Moscow, you may see a clump of cops in riot gear and a prisoner bus parked on the aspect of the street, its engine off—which signifies that the folks inside are getting very chilly because the bus slowly fills up. Within the middle of city, police buses have been parked for days, apparently on reserve in case of a bigger operation. OVDInfo, a corporation that tracks political persecution, has documented about sixty-four hundred detentions since Thursday, in additional than 100 cities. Twenty-eight hundred of those—in fifty-six totally different cities—had been on Sunday, February twenty seventh, on the seventh anniversary of the homicide of the opposition politician Boris Nemtsov.

Final Thursday night, Grigory Yudin, a sociologist and thinker, and his spouse Anastasia Yudina, a advertising researcher, went to Pushkin Sq. to protest the invasion. They obtained off the subway after which, Yudin advised me, “One thing occurred. I noticed that I used to be falling down.” Yudina was taking an image of the swarms of police in riot gear at that second. When she rotated, her husband had disappeared. Yudin had been loaded onto a police bus, and, with many different folks, he was taken to a precinct on the outskirts of town. The following time that Yudina noticed him, about an hour and a half later, it was in an ambulance exterior the police station. “He was in a neck brace,” she advised me. “He was lined with grime—they will need to have dragged him. He was confused.” Yudin had been out and in of consciousness. After we met on Sunday, at a type of cozy and scrumptious Moscow eating places, Yudin nonetheless had a swollen eye and a noticeable scrape on his left temple.

We weren’t assembly to debate the story of Yudin’s arrest and beating—these tales are plentiful—however as a result of Yudin is without doubt one of the most insightful analysts of latest Russian politics and society. “I believe now could be a turning level,” he mentioned. We had been speaking in regards to the finish of the world as we all know it: Wouldn’t it be the top of Vladimir Putin’s lengthy reign or, effectively, the top of the world? “If they’ll’t safe a navy victory—no less than take Kyiv and Kharkiv—then Putin will shift to treating U.S. sanctions as a declaration of warfare. Will probably be the world in opposition to Putin, and Putin must elevate the stakes—by, say, threatening to lob a nuclear weapon on the middle of the world, which he believes is in New York.” We had our telephones off throughout this dialog. After I turned mine again on after about an hour, I noticed that Putin had put Russian nuclear forces on excessive alert. “So it begins,” Yudin mentioned. And but, he added, “On this new state of affairs, I can’t actually think about that he’ll be capable of keep his maintain on energy. However, now we have all the time underestimated his potential to hold on.”

Russian information channels launched a brief clip of Putin ordering his protection minister, Sergey Shoigu, and head of the final employees, Valery Gerasimov—the 2 of them sitting subsequent to one another, like two children summoned to the principal’s workplace, wanting weary and bloated—to boost Russia’s degree of nuclear readiness. State tv offered the President as assured and decisive, however it appeared obvious Putin felt that he had been misled by his navy. “He has clearly miscalculated on no less than two counts,” Yudin mentioned. It seems that the generals had promised Putin a blitzkrieg that had already failed. Putin himself, it appears, had imagined that Ukrainians would welcome the Russian navy with open arms. “It’s this idea that there isn’t any such factor as Ukraine, an insane concept on which he has based mostly a complete navy operation,” Yudin mentioned. Putin seems to have wildly underestimated Ukraine’s navy and the Ukrainians’ resolve.

Even the shrewdest dictators—which normally means essentially the most paranoid—typically come to overestimate their attain, their reputation, and their knowledge. They encompass themselves with sycophants, shut out the remainder of the world, and normally, eventually, make a misstep. Over his twenty-two years on the helm, Putin has winnowed down his circle of interlocutors. Up to now two years, concern of COVID has compelled him into near-total isolation. “It is a big issue,” Mikhail Fishman, who hosts a political-analysis present on Russia’s final unbiased tv channel, TV Rain, mentioned. “He’s alone with solely his most loyal folks, who principally dwell with him—his adjutants, his servants in a method, who make his lifestyle potential. . . . They’re in the identical pool, sharing the identical imaginative and prescient, and there’s nothing else. They, after all, assume he’s despatched by heaven to save lots of the world.”

What small methods Putin as soon as had of checking in with outer actuality have fallen away throughout the pandemic. One instance is the convention of Russian and international political scientists that he has gathered each fall since 2004. However, in 2020, he got here to the occasion solely nearly, and final yr he remoted himself from the gathering and appeared in individual solely as soon as, to permit the attendees to ask him questions; he sat on a distant stage, with a moderator who had been quarantining for 2 weeks. In line with Fishman, Putin’s closest advisers, in the event that they request a gathering, should first sequester.

As we wrapped up our late lunch on Sunday, Yudin argued for his proper to select up the tab. “I’ve to spend this anyway,” he mentioned, as a result of Russian forex would quickly grow to be nugatory. “Tomorrow, markets will collapse,” he predicted, after which Russians would start to understand the size of the disaster that the nation was dealing with. The following morning, the markets did crash; the Central Financial institution of Russia raised its rate of interest to twenty per cent and froze the opening of its inventory market. The ruble reached a historic low of ninety to a greenback, and Sberbank introduced that it could cost some forty per cent extra for precise {dollars} than it did earlier than the warfare.

Banks appeared frightened of working out of arduous forex, and, rumor had it, some financial institution machines had been working low on rubles, however by Monday there have been no observable financial institution runs within the Russian capital. Two centrally located branches of M.Video, an electronics-and-appliances chain, had been virtually utterly empty: nobody gave the impression to be dashing to put money into sturdy items. Taxis, car-share automobiles, and messengers on scooters and bicycles—all of the seen indicators of Moscow’s e-commerce and cyber comfort—had been in place, even when bank cards, each international and home, had been often failing. Within the night, an extended line of fashionably dressed younger folks had been ready for cappuccinos at a espresso store at Flacon, one in every of a number of industrial vegetation within the metropolis which have been transformed to industrial use. A barista saved cheerfully asserting that Apple Pay, Google Pay, and MasterCard weren’t working however Visa was welcome. Actually, Apple Pay and Google Pay had been restricted because the first main tranche of sanctions kicked in, however a number of the espresso store’s prospects didn’t appear to know that. Did they know that the primary Russian banks had now misplaced entry to SWIFT? Both method, nobody appeared panicked. Two of my associates went to top off on nonperishables. Each reported that the supermarkets the place they obtained their bathroom paper, espresso, and pasta had been in any other case doing regular, sluggish, daytime enterprise.

Switzerland ditches neutrality to sanction Russia and Putin


Swiss Federal President Ignazio Cassis speaks throughout a press convention in Bern, Switzerland, Monday. Switzerland, a significant hub for storing wealth that’s in style with Russian oligarchs, is breaking with its custom of neutrality to sanction Russia. (Peter Schneider, Related Press)

Estimated learn time: 1-2 minutes

GENEVA — Switzerland, a significant hub for storing wealth that’s in style with Russian oligarchs, is breaking with its custom of neutrality to sanction Russia.

The Swiss authorities will undertake EU sanctions imposed following the invasion of Ukraine and instantly freeze any property belonging to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and Overseas Minister Sergey Lavrov, it stated in a press release Monday.

“We’re in a rare state of affairs,” President Ignazio Cassis informed reporters on Monday, in line with Reuters.

The nation will shut its airspace to flights from Russia and impose entry bans in opposition to plenty of people who’ve a connection to Switzerland and are near the Russian president, the federal government stated.

“Russia’s unprecedented navy assault on a sovereign European nation was the deciding issue within the Federal Council’s determination to vary its earlier stance on sanctions,” it added.

In a retaliatory transfer, Russia’s air transport company introduced Tuesday that it had closed its airspace to Switzerland.

Switzerland had confronted rising stress to affix different Western powers and impose sanctions on Russia.

European Fee spokesman Peter Stano stated final week that the bloc anticipated Switzerland to “observe go well with in standing up for defending the ideas on which our communities and nations are primarily based.”

Switzerland has lengthy sought to take care of neutrality, and the alpine nation has hosted quite a few peace talks and negotiations between geopolitical adversaries. It additionally has a banking trade that caters to lots of the world’s wealthiest folks.

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Stand with Ukraine: Utah rallies for Ukrainians, denounces Putin


The Utah State Capitol lights up in blue and yellow to assist Ukraine in Salt Lake Metropolis on Monday. Utahns and Ukrainians confirmed their solidarity for the nation that is underneath siege from Russia’s navy throughout a rally. (Mengshin Lin, Deseret Information)

Estimated learn time: 9-10 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Because the solar set on the steps of the Utah Capitol on Monday, golden gentle filtered by dozens of blue and yellow Ukrainian flags flying over the heads of Utahns — and Ukrainians — who had come to point out their solidarity for the nation that is underneath siege from Russia’s navy.

An estimated 2,000 individuals gathered on the steps to face with Ukraine, together with state leaders together with Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson, Senate President Stuart Adams, Home Speaker Brad Wilson and Salt Lake Metropolis Mayor Erin Mendenhall.

“Our Ukrainian buddies are reminding us what it means to be American,” Cox mentioned in his speech to the gang. “They want us. They want a united us. They want the perfect of us. And we’d like them.”

He additionally had a message for Russian civilians: “We don’t maintain you chargeable for the actions of a mad man.” He urged them to push again. “We all know your lives are at risk … You are placing your individual lives in danger to face as much as a dictator, and we’d like your assist to cease him.”

Cox mentioned photographs of the horror are coming from Ukraine as harmless lives are misplaced, properties are destroyed and households are damaged aside, and Ukrainians are “assembly their second in ways in which have introduced tears to all of our eyes.”

“It’s breathtaking, and it’s inspiring. Well-known individuals. Common individuals. Ambassadors. Boxers. Faculty lecturers. Mothers. Dads. Presidents. All standing as much as a maniacal, highly effective tyrant,” Cox mentioned. “We have watched them combat. It has stirred our souls.”


Our Ukrainian buddies are reminding us what it means to be American. They want us. They want a united us. They want the perfect of us. And we’d like them.

–Gov. Spencer Cox


Nevertheless it’s greater than a “nice underdog story,” the governor added. “I imagine Ukrainians are preventing for the very issues that sit on the basis of our personal nation. … They’re preventing for all times, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Cox, whereas urging Utahns and Individuals to place their variations apart and unite for Ukraine and the combat for freedom, introduced that for the second time in Utah’s historical past, Monday night time “we’ll gentle the Capitol” with Ukraine’s blue and yellow colours. The one different time it has been completed was for the 2002 Olympic Video games in Salt Lake Metropolis.

Alexandra V. and Dima P. hold a sign during a prayer to support Ukraine at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Monday.
Alexandra V. and Dima P. maintain an indication throughout a prayer to assist Ukraine on the Capitol in Salt Lake Metropolis on Monday. (Picture: Mengshin Lin, Deseret Information)

“Tonight I ask that we observe the instance of our courageous sisters and brothers in Ukraine and recommit ourselves to self-evident reality and unalienable rights,” Cox mentioned. “Might we pledge our lives and our souls to uniting them and becoming a member of them within the combat for all times, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Wilson, Adams, Henderson and Mendenhall additionally spoke on the rally, sharing comparable messages of unity and love for Ukrainians.

Henderson, quoting Sen. Mitt Romney, referred to as Putin a “small, evil, feral-eyed man,” and mentioned he “deserves each little bit of scorn and condemnation for his evil actions.” Nevertheless, Henderson added “we have seen bravery by among the individuals in Russia who’ve taken to the streets in protest towards his lies and aggression.”

“They too will endure the results of this unprovoked warfare with Ukraine, so please preserve the Russian individuals near your coronary heart as properly,” Henderson mentioned. “We’ll stand tall with anybody who has the ethical braveness to combat for freedom, justice, and better beliefs within the face of a bitter tyrant.”

Many who got here to the rally carried indicators studying “Down with Putin” and “No Battle,” together with posters of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s face and his now world well-known quote, “I would like ammunition, not a journey.”

Dozens of Utah lawmakers additionally stood on the steps, at one level unraveling and standing underneath rolls of paper to characterize Ukraine’s flag.

Throughout the rally, a violinist performed Ukraine’s nationwide anthem. Some voices within the crowd may very well be heard singing the anthem as she performed. The gang additionally broke out into a number of chants, together with one to “cease Putin” and one other for Zelenskyy.

Earlier Monday, the Utah Legislature unanimously voted in favor of a decision to denounce “Russia’s unjustified invasion of Ukraine.” The governor additionally ordered the Ukrainian flag to fly over the Utah Capitol.

‘It is insane’

To Sergiy Gamanyuk, a person who moved from the Ukrainian metropolis of Mykolaiv about 5 years in the past, the rally in Utah’s capital of Salt Lake Metropolis was a bodily illustration of the love and assist Ukraine’s allies are sending from across the globe. Even in Utah, a western state of about 3.2 million individuals.

“It is crucial for them to listen to the assist,” he mentioned, including that he wished the U.S. may do extra, maybe by providing provides, medical assist and extra.

He, too, got here to assist his nation, his household and his buddies who are actually making an attempt to outlive “in these darkish occasions … this unprovoked and utterly fascist invasion from the federal government of Russia,” he mentioned.

“I discuss to them day-after-day,” Gamanyuk mentioned of his family and friends in Ukraine, who he mentioned are hiding in basements to remain secure as a result of the vast majority of the bunkers in his metropolis turned rusted after World Battle II.

Yevgen Kovalov holds a Ukraine flag in front of the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Monday.
Yevgen Kovalov holds a Ukraine flag in entrance of the Capitol in Salt Lake Metropolis on Monday. (Picture: Mengshin Lin, Deseret Information)

“It is very arduous … it is insane.”

He mentioned he scours the information and checks in continually on their security. “I am making an attempt to be there for them. We’ll see what is going on to occur, however I hope it is going to cease.”

He was momentarily perplexed when requested what may be completed for them.

“Someway, cease Putin,” he mentioned. “I do not know.”

However then he added Western society — “free society” — should attempt to “discuss to each doable particular person in Russia proper now and assist them perceive what’s truly happening, as a result of propaganda” from the Russian authorities is “insane.”

“There’s a number of sensible individuals, a number of good individuals over there who simply don’t perceive, have no idea what’s going on,” Gamanyuk mentioned.

A Utah man, Gary Nilsen, of Taylorsville, carried two small Ukrainian flags in his palms as he stood on the steps among the many crowd. He spoke in a quiet voice, compelled to point out his assist for a rustic on the opposite aspect of the world however near his coronary heart.

Nilsen referred to as the Russian authorities’s actions “atrocious.”

“It tears my coronary heart as much as see this occurring,” Nilsen mentioned, however he added he is “impressed” by Zelenskyy and “the military of individuals which are defending the nation. I pray for them from the depths of my coronary heart.”

Gov. Spencer J. Cox speaks to hundreds of people gathered to support Ukraine at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Monday.
Gov. Spencer J. Cox speaks to tons of of individuals gathered to assist Ukraine on the Capitol in Salt Lake Metropolis on Monday. (Picture: Mengshin Lin, Deseret Information)

Wanting round on the rally, Nilsen mentioned “the assist in Utah might be as sturdy as wherever on the planet.”

“Have a look at the individuals right here tonight. Nothing however God-fearing, patriotic, freedom-loving individuals. What an exquisite tribute,” he mentioned. “I simply hope and pray that cooler minds prevail over there. … I hope Putin sees the harm that he is doing to his nation, to his fellow males, in addition to to Ukrainians, and he’ll sue for peace.”

Is Utah going to obtain refugees from Ukraine?

The invasion of Ukraine has left tons of of 1000’s displaced.

Based on estimates from the U.N. and the Worldwide Rescue Committee, about 100,000 individuals have been internally displaced since Russian forces invaded — which means they’ve been compelled to flee their properties however are nonetheless in Ukraine — whereas as much as 520,000 made it throughout the border and are making use of for asylum in European international locations.

Within the coming weeks, the U.N. expects that quantity to shoot as much as 4 million.

On Thursday, White Home press secretary Jen Psaki mentioned the Biden Administration was “definitely ready” to absorb Ukrainian refugees, however officers “count on that the majority, if not the bulk, will need to go to Europe or neighboring international locations.”

In Utah, resettlement companies say it is too quickly to foretell whether or not any Ukrainians fleeing the disaster will find yourself within the Beehive State. In the event that they do, it will not occur quickly, because the refugees have simply begun a resettlement course of that may generally take years.

“The truth of us getting Ukrainian refugees right now might be fairly low,” mentioned Natalie El-Deiry, government director of the Worldwide Rescue Committee in Salt Lake Metropolis.

Versus the chaotic evacuation of Afghanistan, the place in a matter of days 1000’s of individuals have been granted humanitarian parolee standing and ushered by the gates of the Kabul airport, most of those refugees will undergo a much more extended course of.

Humanitarian parolees possible meet the {qualifications} for a particular immigrant visa, however within the case of Afghanistan, the U.S. Embassy didn’t have time to course of their paperwork through the evacuation.

The refugees fleeing violence in Ukraine, nevertheless, will undergo the standard vetting course of that sometimes takes between 18 to 36 months. Even then, with neighboring international locations prepared to simply accept Ukrainians, most will in all probability select to remain in Jap Europe.

“The choice of people is to nonetheless stay considerably near house,” El-Deiry mentioned.

That is assuming these fleeing violence cannot return to Ukraine — “the hope is at all times that they will return house,” El-Deiry mentioned. And given how briskly the state of affairs is unfolding, with over 500,000 individuals displaced in simply 5 days, the humanitarian disaster may spiral, opening new pathways for resettlement just like what occurred in Afghanistan.

“At present, we do not know the way the state of affairs in Ukraine will impression refugee resettlement in the USA, or particularly in Utah,” Catholic Group Companies of Utah mentioned in an announcement. “Ought to the state of affairs in Europe escalate to the purpose of resettling Ukrainian refugees in the USA, Catholic Group Companies of Utah’s Migration and Refugee Companies staff is raring and able to help nevertheless doable.”

Each the Worldwide Rescue Committee and Catholic Group Companies are at the moment working to offer humanitarian help like meals, shelter and clothes to Ukrainian refugees. Each organizations say one of the simplest ways to assist is to donate, and “educate your self, and really perceive what the battle is about,” mentioned El-Deiry.

Sophia Baikoush, left, holds a flag of Ukraine at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Monday.
Sophia Baikoush, left, holds a flag of Ukraine on the Capitol in Salt Lake Metropolis on Monday. (Picture: Mengshin Lin, Deseret Information)

The place are the Ukrainian refugees being resettled?

Most refugees are at the moment in Poland, the place officers just lately mentioned they might area as much as 1 million refugees because the invasion unfolds. Round 280,000 have been settled within the nation thus far, based on the most recent depend from the U.N. Human Rights Council.

The U.N. estimates 36,400 are at the moment in Moldova, 32,500 in Romania and 30,000 in Slovakia.

Hungary reversed course on its yearslong opposition to accepting refugees, typically coming from the Center East, Africa and Asia, and opened its borders to just about 84,500 Ukrainians as of Monday, a determine that features third-country nationals that may show Ukrainian residency.

In a joint assertion, the Salt Lake Metropolis Catholic Diocese and Catholic Group Companies urged leaders all over the world to organize to resettle refugees fleeing the violence.

“We be a part of with Pope Francis in his name for prayer and fasting for peace in Ukraine and the safety of harmless lives. We encourage our authorities leaders to welcome any Ukrainian refugees displaced by these mindless acts of aggression and urge individuals to assist our Ukrainian brothers and sisters by donating to the efforts of Catholic Reduction Companies, which is already serving individuals in want in Ukraine. Ought to the state of affairs escalate to the purpose of resettling Ukrainian refugees in the USA, Catholic Group Companies of Utah’s Migration and Refugee Companies staff is raring to help.”

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While Ukraine is resisting Putin, Belarus is becoming his puppet | Russia-Ukraine crisis


On February 27, because the struggle was raging in neighbouring Ukraine, Belarus held a referendum on constitutional adjustments. Belarusians had been speculated to vote on new provisions, which might strengthen President Alexander Lukashenko’s grip on the nation.

Later that day, the central elections fee introduced that almost all of individuals voted in favour of the amendments, successfully validating them. However whereas Lukashenko pushes to consolidate energy in Belarus, the occasions in Ukraine are displaying he’s solely rising weaker.

Fighting a weakened financial system and having no selection however to help the Russian invasion of his neighbour, the Belarusian president is nicely on his means of turning into a de facto puppet of the Kremlin, with devastating penalties for Belarus.

Growing dependence on Russia

Because the fraught elections in August 2020 and the post-election violence unleashed on widespread protests within the following months, Lukashenko’s legitimacy has collapsed. His approval ranking has plummeted to about 25 p.c and he has needed to rely upon the Kremlin’s political and financial backing to outlive.

Over the 20 months, the Belarusian president has met with Putin usually, to report back to him on the state of affairs in Belarus. In November, he signed an bold programme of financial integration below the “union state” settlement, first launched within the Nineteen Nineties, which may see the institution of a confederation between the 2 states.

One of many major issues his regime faces is the faltering Belarusian financial system, which is at present burdened with unsustainable public overseas debt. Though it quantities to solely about 30 p.c of the Belarusian gross home product (GDP), it’s virtually totally denominated in US {dollars}. The Western sanctions imposed within the aftermath of the election violence have barred Belarus from elevating cash on worldwide markets. This 12 months Belarus has to repay in extra of $3.3bn in overseas debt, and it had hoped for a Russian mortgage to do this.

Earlier this month, the Russia-led Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Growth refused a $3.5bn mortgage to Belarus, though the Kremlin promised to think about refinancing $1bn in Belarusian debt to Moscow.

The unprecedented sanctions being imposed by the West on Russia amid the struggle in Ukraine might additional cripple the Russian capability to take action. Belarus’s gold and overseas foreign money reserves of $8.5bn might present a cushion for the quick time period, however not within the longer run.

In the meantime, the impact of the post-election Western sanctions towards Belarus has turn out to be extra profound in current months, as Lithuania and Ukraine banned the transit via their ports of Belarusian potash, a fertiliser ingredient and a key Belarusian export. Though Russia promised assist, its seaports lack the additional capability to deal with Belarusian fertilisers. If Belarus doesn’t discover various logistics to ship potash, it could lose greater than $1bn a 12 months in revenues.

Commerce is extraordinarily necessary for the Belarusian export-oriented financial system. Ukraine is the second largest buying and selling accomplice for Belarus, with exports to its southern neighbour totalling $4.5bn final 12 months. Belarus will possible lose some if not all of those exports. The upcoming new sanctions in response to the navy aggression towards Ukraine will solely make issues worse for the Lukashenko regime.

Belarus dragged into struggle

The Russian assault on Ukraine from Belarus has highlighted that Lukashenko is de facto now not commander-in-chief within the nation. He might not have even been conscious of Putin’s choice to invade Ukraine till the evening earlier than.

Within the weeks previous the struggle, there have been some makes an attempt of the Belarusian authorities to manoeuvre away from the Russian place. Belarusian International Minister Vladimir Makei pledged that every one Russian troops would go away Belarus after the Russia-Belarus navy workouts “Union Resolve” concluded.

Russian troops not solely remained in place, but additionally used Belarusian territory as a launching pad for the invasion of Ukraine. Russian navy plane and helicopters attacking Ukrainian targets have continued flying to and from Belarusian airports and there have been a number of incidents of missiles fired from Belarus.

Though in the meanwhile there have been no confirmed studies of Belarusian armed forces preventing alongside Russian ones, Lukashenko lately said that: “Our troops will not be [in Ukraine] but when it turns into needed, if Belarus and Russia want them, they are going to be there.”

The Belarusian president has additionally threatened that Russian troops and weapons stationed in Belarus would stay in response to the possible reinforcement of NATO forces in Japanese Europe.

A puppet of the Kremlin

Lukashenko is now not making an attempt to cover that selections on Belarus’s defence are actually taken with out his involvement. The struggle in Ukraine has accelerated the morphing of his regime right into a puppet of the Kremlin.

As Putin doesn’t recognise the post-Soviet worldwide order, there are numerous causes to imagine that he thinks Belarus, like Ukraine, has no authentic proper to exist. In the meanwhile, it is perhaps handy for the Kremlin to maintain Lukashenko on a good leash inside the official borders of Belarus, whereas controlling its defence and home politics. But the end result of the struggle in Ukraine might have grave penalties for Belarus.

Putin is prone to push ahead for political integration below the union state between Belarus and Russia, which might successfully downgrade the Belarusian authorities and state establishments.

He may additionally determine to annex Ukraine’s breakaway Donetsk Individuals’s Republic and Luhansk Individuals’s Republic to the union state, together with Georgia’s separatist areas of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and later do the identical for Moldova’s Transnistria. If this occurs, Belarus’s standing would fall to the extent of those unrecognised statelets.

Changing into Putin’s marionette is hardly the political finale that Lukashenko had been hoping for throughout his practically three many years in energy. Solely a small minority of Belarusians would welcome such a union.

And already, there’s rising frustration inside the Belarusian public with the strain of the sanctions and compelled help for the invasion of Ukraine, which fits towards the normal Belarusian mentality of neutrality.

Anger amongst bizarre Belarusians was fairly palpable in the course of the referendum, when chants of “No to struggle!” erupted amongst individuals gathered to vote. Though in the intervening time, it’s unlikely that anybody inside the Belarusian regime will converse out towards Lukashenko, this will change, as Belarus begins to undergo from extra sanctions imposed on account of its help for the invasion of Ukraine.

The views expressed on this article are the writer’s personal and don’t essentially replicate Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.

How Vladimir Putin Miscalculated the Economic Cost of Invading Ukraine


When Vladimir Putin was a schoolboy, certainly one of his biographers tells us, he spent quite a lot of time studying the works of Marx, Engels, and Lenin, all of whom regarded economics because the driving power of historical past, and political forces as secondary. Evidently, the long run Russian chief took these classes to coronary heart. In ordering an invasion of Ukraine, he apparently assumed that the nations of Western Europe had been so depending on Russian power imports and so economically beholden to the Kremlin that their governments wouldn’t introduce sanctions that may do critical hurt to the Russian financial system. In any case, over the previous half a decade or so, Russia had constructed up greater than 600 billion {dollars} in foreign-exchange reserves to climate any overseas strain.

If Putin was certainly calculating alongside these strains, he was gravely mistaken. On Saturday, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Fee, introduced that the E.U.—in coöperation with america, the UK, and Canada—was taking steps to “cripple Putin’s capability to finance his battle machine.” The transatlantic allies moved to bar “chosen Russian banks” from the worldwide SWIFT messaging system, which monetary establishments use to facilitate cross-border transfers of cash. And, in a extra stunning step, in addition they introduced that they might impose “restrictive measures” on the Central Financial institution of Russia, with the express intention of stopping it from utilizing its massive inventory of foreign-exchange reserves to reduce the influence of the sanctions. “It will present that Russia’s supposed sanctions-proofing of its financial system is a delusion,” a senior official within the Biden Administration mentioned, in a teleconference with reporters. “The six-hundred-billion-plus battle chest of Russia’s overseas reserves is barely highly effective if Putin can use it.” The measures the allies introduced had been designed to dam Moscow’s Central Financial institution from shopping for rubles from Western monetary establishments, a step that would offset the influence of sanctions and stabilize the Russian foreign money. “The ruble will fall even additional, inflation will spike, and the Central Financial institution shall be left defenseless,” the U.S. official predicted.

In wartime, it’s clever to deal with statements from all sides skeptically. On this case, we don’t have to depend on the assessments of nameless U.S. officers. When the worldwide markets opened on Monday morning, the worth of Russia’s foreign money plunged by a 3rd. To stem the decline, the Russian Central Financial institution greater than doubled its key rate of interest, from 9.5 per cent to twenty per cent, and ordered Russian exporting firms to promote foreign currency and purchase rubles. These determined strikes helped trim losses, however on the shut of buying and selling in Moscow the ruble was nonetheless down by virtually twenty per cent—an enormous decline for any foreign money. In a briefing with reporters, Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, conceded that “financial actuality had considerably modified.”

In Washington, in the meantime, the Biden Administration intensified its financial offensive by imposing a freeze on the Central Financial institution of Russia’s belongings held in U.S. monetary establishments. The Treasury Division additionally prohibited any U.S. individual, together with American banks and companies, from partaking in transactions with Russia’s Central Financial institution, finance ministry, or sovereign wealth fund. “This motion successfully immobilizes any belongings of the Central Financial institution of the Russian Federation held in america or by U.S. individuals, wherever situated,” the Treasury mentioned, in an announcement saying the brand new coverage. In London, the U.Okay authorities has launched a coverage alongside the identical strains.

It wasn’t instantly clear simply how a lot cash the Central Financial institution of Russia nonetheless holds in New York, London, and different Western monetary facilities—and which it can not have the ability to entry. (In keeping with some estimates, about two-thirds of Russian reserves are actually blocked off in nations which have launched sanctions.) Even so, consultants on financial sanctions described the concentrating on as unprecedented and extremely efficient. “The G-7 sanctions in opposition to the Russian Central Financial institution, not the SWIFT sanctions, are the actual hammer, and so they’re displaying impact,” Jonathan Hackenbroich, a coverage fellow on the European Council on International Relations, mentioned. “Russia’s Central Financial institution may wrestle to struggle large inflation and panic even after it doubled rates of interest and launched capital controls.”

The autumn within the worth of the ruble will rapidly power Russian shoppers to pay extra for all the pieces, from French wine to iPhones. And the sanctions on the Central Financial institution may reverberate all through Russia’s monetary system, successfully reducing off massive components of it from the skin world and elevating the potential for financial institution runs. “Monetary programs want one factor to operate, they want belief,” Stefan Gerlach, a former deputy governor of Eire’s central financial institution, informed the Wall Road Journal. “Should you all of a sudden notice that they’ll’t get assist from their authorities if wanted, it turns into extremely riskier to cope with them. You simply pulled the carpet from below the monetary system.”

That such unprecedented steps have been taken in simply 5 days is outstanding. This time final week, it appeared like Putin had sound causes for being skeptical concerning the prospect of really damaging sanctions. Russia provides the European Union with about forty per cent of its natural-gas imports and a few quarter of its crude oil imports; Germany and Italy are among the many most depending on Russian pure assets for gasoline and energy. On February 18th, Mario Draghi, Italy’s Prime Minister and the previous head of the European Central Financial institution, mentioned that if the European Union had been to impose sanctions on Moscow they need to be “targeting slim sectors.” As lately as final Thursday, Olaf Scholz, the German Chancellor, expressed opposition to barring Russian banks from the SWIFT system. At that time, the thought of sanctioning the Russian Central Financial institution had been barely talked about.

Lower than every week later, Russia is an financial pariah. On Monday, the Japanese authorities introduced it can be a part of the sanctions on the Central Financial institution, saying that “Japan stands with Ukraine.” On Friday, UEFA, the governing physique of European soccer, voted to maneuver the 2022 Champions League last from St. Petersburg, the place it was scheduled to happen, to Paris. On Sunday, BP, the British power firm, introduced that it might divest a twenty-per-cent stake it holds in Rosneft, the state-owned Russian power large, despite the fact that it can entail a giant monetary loss. Then, on Monday, one other power firm, Shell, introduced that it, too, was reducing ties with Russia: the London-based agency mentioned it might exit oil-and-gas joint ventures with Gazprom, the Russian power conglomerate, and likewise finish its involvement with the Nord Stream 2 fuel pipeline from Russia to Germany. When even Europe’s oil barons abandon Russia and its huge power reserves, it’s evident that the geopolitical—and geoeconomic—map has been redrawn.

Particulars of how the G-7 nations determined to focus on Russia’s Central Financial institution have but to be revealed. Richard Nephew, a sanctions knowledgeable at Columbia College who labored within the Obama Administration on financial measures directed at Iran, informed me that he and his colleagues had lengthy been monitoring the Russian buildup of foreign-exchange reserves. “The query was, if it involves sanctioning Russia in a future disaster, is there a strategy to do it successfully?” Nephew mentioned. “Or does the nation have sufficient liquid belongings to experience issues out?” In concentrating on the Central Financial institution and freezing Russia’s overseas belongings, the Western allies discovered a strategy to make life tough for Putin and his regime regardless of their massive battle chest. “It’s a fairly powerful scenario for them,” Nephew mentioned. “There’s not likely a method round these restrictions.”

The place do issues go from right here? Within the coming days, Putin may conceivably transfer to chop off oil-and-gas exports to Western Europe. Despite the fact that the lack of revenues would exert additional strain on the Russian financial system, such a transfer may trigger larger ache in European nations, within the type of power shortages and sharply larger costs. Hackenbroich informed me that the federal government in Berlin, in agreeing to impose sanctions on Russia’s Central Financial institution, will probably have deliberate for this chance. Throughout the previous month or so, he famous, German financial officers had lined up different sources of pure fuel, from nations resembling Qatar and Azerbaijan. “It seems just like the German authorities is able to settle for the potential for a Russian power cutoff and settle for the results,” he mentioned. “I don’t suppose that we’re going there instantly, however a lot that appeared unimaginable every week in the past has already occurred, and who is aware of the place we shall be on the finish of this week.”

An ‘Unhinged’ Putin Threatens Dangerous Escalation in Ukraine War


Nonetheless, Putin—whose navy has carried out much more poorly in Ukraine than anybody anticipated and has confronted heavy, embarrassing setbacks—additionally hardly appears prone to settle for defeat or a stalemate in Ukraine. “We’re in a very harmful place; having pushed all of the chips into the pot and never succeeded to this point, he’s ratcheting up the brutality and concentrating on of civilians, and threatening nuclear penalties if all of us proceed to help Ukraine,” Schake says. “It’s a very harmful second. … I can consider a bunch of how this goes dangerous.”

Dmitri Alperovich, a cybersecurity veteran, cofounder of Crowdstrike, and now the founding father of the Silverado Coverage Accelerator, says that the breadth and velocity of financial sanctions towards Russia certainly shocked Putin. “These could have a devastating affect on Russia and its financial system,” he says. “I do worry we’re placing him able the place he has nothing to lose.”

It appears possible that Russia’s actions, each in Ukraine and probably overseas in cyber realms, will solely develop in violence and depth. “Putin escalating and escalating to stop loss is the most probably state of affairs,” Schake says. “I’ve a tough time seeing what the face-saving choice is for Russia.”

Outcomes {that a} week in the past, pre-invasion, may need appeared a attainable finish to the Russian-initiated disaster—like a tacit settlement that Ukraine wouldn’t ascend to EU or NATO membership or an development of the so-called Minsk Agreements that may acknowledge Russia’s occupation of Crimea or japanese Ukraine—appear off the desk given the punishing warfare and Western unity already underway.

As a substitute, Alperovich says that Russia could effectively transfer to escalate its personal extra wide-ranging financial struggle towards the West in response, weaponizing customary Russian commodity exports like fertilizer, aluminum, nickel, and titanium to punish Western buying and selling companions, additional foul international provide chains, and warmth up already excessive inflation. Whereas Russia’s personal reliance on oil and fuel exports makes power an unlikely lever besides as a final resort, Alperovich notes, as an illustration, that Ukraine is the world’s main exporter of the neon fuel used to fabricate semiconductors. Any Russian efforts to disrupt these exports would additional snarl chip manufacturing that’s already seen pandemic shortages freeze industries like automobile manufacturing. “These are areas the place they will inflict financial prices with out struggling massively themselves,” Alperovich says.

Whereas Russia to date has not appeared to make use of a lot of its heralded cyber capabilities as a part of its Ukraine invasion, the West’s sustained marketing campaign towards Russia will virtually definitely see cyber penalties within the days and weeks forward. “It’s all the time been my competition that if we lower them off from SWIFT, we’re going to be in for some retaliation towards our monetary sector. I feel that is virtually a certainty,” Clapper says.

Alperovich additionally says that he expects to see cyber actions by Russia aimed toward breaking Europe and NATO’s unity, however that such results would possibly effectively show restricted. “It’s actually laborious to have lasting harm with cyber,” he says. “They could have the ability to flip issues off for a couple of hours or days, however we have now loads of capability to get issues again on-line. However it may possibly trigger an escalation that requires us to reply.”