Ukraine and Russia: All You Need To Know About The War
Ukraine and Russia: Touchaheat Nigeria brings to you news about the “3 world war” between Russia and Ukraine
News concerning the back and forth between these two great territories have been collated for your perusal, so do read till the end.
Russia has begun an all-out land, air, and sea invasion of Ukraine, the worst single-state offensive in Europe since World War II and confirmation of the West’s worst fears.
The attacks began on Thursday when Russian President Vladimir Putin said that a “special military operation” had been authorized in a televised address. The action came after Moscow acknowledged rebel-held areas in Luhansk and Donetsk and said they had requested its “assistance.”
The cities of Ukraine have been bombarded by Russian missiles. Columns of troops have been reported flowing across Ukraine’s borders into the eastern Chernihiv, Kharkiv, and Luhansk regions, as well as landing by water in the southern cities of Odesa and Mariupol.
According to Ukraine’s border guard service, Russian troops assaulted Ukraine from Belarus as well as Russia with Belarusian support, and an attack was also launched from occupied Crimea.
Early in the morning, explosions could be heard in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital. Gunshots rang out near the city’s main airport, as sirens blared throughout the city.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy imposed martial law and urged world leaders to impose all conceivable sanctions on Russia, particularly on Putin, whom he claimed was trying to destroy the Ukrainian state.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter that Putin had “launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine”.
“Peaceful Ukrainian cities are under strikes. This is a war of aggression. Ukraine will defend itself and will win. The world can and must stop Putin. The time to act is now,” he said.
Putin justified the attack as “a special military operation” to protect people, including Russian citizens who had been subjected to “genocide” in Ukraine, an accusation the West has long described as absurd propaganda.
“And for this, we will strive for the demilitarisation and denazification of Ukraine,” Putin said. “Russia cannot feel safe, develop, and exist with a constant threat emanating from the territory of modern Ukraine.”
Russia’s defense ministry said it had destroyed military installations and weakened Ukraine’s air defenses.
Ukraine has restricted its airspace to civilian flights due to a high danger of safety, and Russia has halted domestic flights near its Ukrainian border until March 2.
Separatists backed by Russia in the east claimed to have taken control of two towns, according to the Russian news agency RIA.
Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons, reporting from Kyiv, claimed there were explosions in the city and that power had been cut short after Putin spoke.
He described it as a “full-scale onslaught” that targeted the airport and vital facilities. He went on to say that the city center was “chaotic.”
US President Joe Biden, in a phone call with Zelenskyy, condemned the “unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces”, the White House said.
Biden said in a statement he briefed Zelenskyy on Washington and its allies’ planned next steps against Russia, including “severe sanctions”.
In an impassioned appeal, United Nations chief Antonio Guterres condemned Russia’s actions.
“In the name of humanity, bring your troops back to Russia,” he said. “In the name of humanity, do not allow a war to start in Europe which could be the worst war since the beginning of the century with consequences not only devastating for Ukraine, not only tragic for the Russian Federation but with an impact, we cannot even foresee.”
NATO called an emergency meeting with chief Jens Stoltenberg condemning what he said was a “reckless attack”.
The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said Russia faces “unprecedented isolation” over its attack on Ukraine and will be hit with the “harshest sanctions” the EU has ever imposed.
‘You declared war’
Putin’s address ordering the military action took place at the same time as the UN Security Council met for its second emergency meeting this week.
Russia’s UN ambassador Vasily Nebenzya, who is the current president of the Security Council, admitted to fellow members of the council that “special operations” were underway, insisting to the other ambassadors that the action did not amount to war and was a consequence of Ukraine’s actions.
“The operation aims to protect the people who for eight years have been suffering “genocide of the Ukrainian regime”, he said, claiming the action was justified under Article 51 of the UN Charter, which allows for individual or collective self-defense in the face of an armed attack on a UN member state.
Putin demanded Ukrainian forces lay down their arms and repeated his position that any Ukrainian membership of NATO was unacceptable to Moscow, according to state media.
In the UN council chamber, Ukraine’s UN Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya appeared lost for words. “Three minutes ago, your president declared war on my country,” he told his Russian counterpart Nebenzya.
In the second round of comments, having effectively called for Russia’s expulsion from the UN, he concluded: “There’s no purgatory for war criminals, Mr. Ambassador, they go to hell.”
The US said it was calling for an urgent resolution at the Security Council, and the call was backed by the United Kingdom, France, and Ireland who noted Russia’s utter “disdain” for the UN by its military assault. The meeting is expected within 24 hours.
As news of the assault on Ukraine filtered through, some diplomats condemned Russia.
Germany said it was a “shameless breach of international law” while the UK said the attack was “unprovoked, unjust” and it was a “dark day for Ukraine”.
Analysts said it could be that Russia was beginning with a “shock and awe” attack in the belief that it might mean it could get what it wants without having to mount a larger-scale attack.
“Putin might think that will cause such shock that the government will collapse, that there will be calls for surrender,” William Courtney, an expert at the Rand Corporation in Washington, DC, told Al Jazeera. “If so, the Kremlin has probably underestimated the resilience of Ukrainians.”
Meanwhile, Zelenskyy said the steps were implemented in response to Russia’s aggressiveness in a speech on Thursday, advising people not to worry and to stay at home.
“Dear Ukrainian citizens, this morning President Putin announced a special military operation in Donbas. Russia conducted strikes on our military infrastructure and our border guards. There were blasts heard in many cities of Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said in an address to the nation.
“We are introducing martial law on the whole territory of our country.”
Curfews, the suspension of civil law, and the application or extension of military law and justice to civilians are frequently part of the package.
What Does This Mean For Ordinary Civilians?
Military officers, not civilian leaders, formulate and apply the legislation when martial law is declared. This means that law enforcement is the responsibility of the Ukrainian army rather than the police.
As a result, if ordinary people are suspected of violating martial law, they may be tried in military tribunals rather than in normal courts.
Despite their similarities, legal scholars argue that a state of emergency has a restricted scope and duration. This is because most modern constitutions specify the circumstances under which the measure can be used.
Martial law, on the other hand, is a more vague idea that is open to interpretation by those who implement it.