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Russian Nuclear Forces On Alert

Putin previously referenced his nuclear weapons in a speech announcing the start of the invasion on Thursday, saying Russia’s reaction to any country that sought to obstruct it would be quick and have “consequences that you have never seen in your history”.

President Vladimir Putin ordered his military leadership to put Russia’s nuclear deterrent on high alert on Sunday in the face of a strong Western response to his attack on Ukraine, which reported it had resisted Russian ground forces reaching its main cities.
The United States has declared that Putin was escalating the conflict in a “totally unacceptable” fashion. Even though Russia has launched the greatest offensive on a European state since World War II, it was not generating swift combat successes for Russia.
The Ukrainian president’s office stated negotiations with Moscow without preconditions will be held at the Belarusian-Ukrainian border. The Kremlin announced conversations had started.

As missiles poured down on Ukrainian towns, approximately 400,000 Ukrainian citizens, primarily women and children, have fled into neighbouring nations. Hundreds were delayed in Kyiv on Sunday waiting for trains to transport them west, away from the violence.

The capital remains in Ukrainian government control, with President Volodymyr Zelensky rallying his people despite the Russian bombing of civilian facilities.

Medical oxygen supplies were running short, the WHO reported. A blood bank was crowded with donors, despite coming under fire that injured two people a day earlier, a doctor said.

Putin, who has termed the invasion as a “special military operation”, threw a worrisome new element into play when he placed Russia’s deterrent forces — units that contain nuclear weapons — into high alert.

He noted harsh remarks by NATO leaders and the onslaught of economic sanctions put on Russia by the West. “As you can see, not only do Western countries take unfriendly measures against our country in the economic dimension — I mean the illegal sanctions that everyone knows about very well — but also the top officials of leading Nato countries allow themselves to make aggressive statements regarding our country,” Putin said on state television.

Putin previously referenced his nuclear weapons in a speech announcing the start of the invasion on Thursday, saying Russia’s reaction to any country that sought to obstruct it would be quick and have “consequences that you have never seen in your history”.

France’s foreign minister answered the same day that Putin should remember that NATO too was a nuclear alliance.

‘Not deterrence but threat’

In the words of Patricia Lewis, head of the Chatham House think tank’s international security department, “Putin’s ‘deterrence’ is a menace.”

Putin’s command will not intimidate Kyiv, according to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

“President Putin is continuing to escalate this conflict in a manner that is utterly unacceptable, and we have to continue to resist his actions in the strongest possible way.”

Washington is attempting to figure out what Putin’s declaration means in concrete terms, but any miscalculation increases the risk. From the United States and other Western nations, Ukraine is receiving military aid.

After Western nations expanded their restrictions on Russian flights accessing their airspace, Russian planes now have an almost westward departure option.

On Saturday, the US and Europe unveiled the harshest economic penalties yet against Moscow, including the exclusion of Russia’s largest banks from SWIFT and other steps to limit Moscow’s use of a $630 billion war fund.

A wave of anti-invasion protests has been going on around the world recently. One country that has clamped down the hardest is Russia, where 1,700 more protestors were arrested Sunday, bringing the country’s total arrests to 4,000.

On Sunday, over 100,000 people demonstrated in Berlin to support Ukraine.

The Siege of Kharkiv Began

Russian forces blew up a natural gas pipeline in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, before dawn, causing a flaming haze to rise into the sky, according to a Ukrainian state agency.

Witnesses reported hearing gunfire and explosions as Russian soldiers and armoured vehicles pushed into the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, in the country’s northwest. However, officials in the city said that Ukrainian soldiers had repulsed the offensive.

“The city of Kharkiv is ours!” According to Regional Governor Oleh Sinegubov, “the city is being cleansed of the enemy by the armed forces, the police, and the defence forces”. “There is no way for us to verify this,” a Reuters source said.

In addition, Ukrainian forces were fending off Russian advances on the Ukrainian capital.

Ukrainian President reported that “withstanding and repelling the enemy’s onslaught, we have prevailed”. Video messages from the streets of Kyiv from Volodymyr Zelenskiy show that “the violence continues,” he claimed. His refusal to leave the city has resulted in many citizens fleeing to subterranean train stations for safety.

Over 368,000 refugees have entered neighbouring nations, according to a UN humanitarian organisation, jamming trains, roads, and borders.

According to Ukraine’s health minister, 198 people, including three children, were murdered in the invasion. Over 3,500 Russian servicemen have been killed or injured in the conflict, according to a Ukrainian presidential adviser.

On Sunday, Russia’s military stated that its forces in Ukraine had been “killed and injured,” but did not say how many Russians were killed or injured.

“As part of the special military operation, Russian service members are displaying daring and heroism in the face of extreme odds”. Russian army spokesperson Igor Konashenkov said on state television that some of our colleagues have been killed and injured in the conflict in Ukraine.

There isn’t any other option

To assist Ukraine in a conflict that threatens to upend Europe’s post-Cold War order, the United States and its allies have authorised more arms deliveries.

Amid frenzied diplomacy and sanctions threats from the West, Putin has justified the invasion by claiming that Ukraine is ruled by “neo-Nazis,” who pose a threat to Russia’s security. Both Kyiv and the West deny this claim as false propaganda.

While Kyiv and its Western supporters regard Putin’s claims of genocide against Russian-speaking ethnic Ukrainians in eastern Ukraine as a hoax, he has insisted that he must eradicate the danger posed by his smaller neighbour.

Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Ukraine has sought to join NATO and the European Union, which Russia adamantly opposes, despite the country’s democratic status and 44 million citizens.

Aimen Bukhari
Written By

Works at The Truth International Magazine. My area of interest includes international relations, peace & conflict studies, qualitative & quantitative research in social sciences, and world politics. Reach@ aimen.bukhari@tti.org.pk

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