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Sunday, June 26, 2022

Russia-Ukraine war shows no signs of winding down despite Moscow’s advance in the east

The Russia-Ukraine war shows no signs of winding down, with Moscow insisting that its military operation will continue till its war objectives are met. The United States, is in turn encouraging the Ukrainians to fight on. On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden pledged to release a fresh tranche of $1 billion as military aid to Ukraine.

“I informed Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky that the United States is providing another $1 billion in security assistance for Ukraine,” Biden said. “Today, I am also announcing an additional $225 million in humanitarian assistance to help people inside Ukraine, including by supplying safe drinking water, critical medical supplies and health care, food, shelter, and cash for families to purchase essential items,” he added.

Overall, since the war began in late February, the US has committed about $5.6 billion in military assistance to Ukraine, including the latest package, AP reported. Regarding the latest tranche, the news agency quoted officials as saying that around one-third of the latest $1 billion will be taken out from Pentagon’s own stocks, and will be shipped to Ukraine. The remaining two-thirds would be bought from the industry by the US and then dispatched to Ukraine.

On its part, Russia also hammered the point that its military operation will continue till Moscow’s war goals are met. Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said during a television programme on Wednesday that Russia’s operation will end only when Moscow decides it is appropriate to do so.

“Our reaction is to prove that these plans (to make Russia suffer a defeat) will collapse, that they will fail, that we will put an end to it there where we deem right, and not where some strategists, ideologists or military planners in Washington or other capitals imagine.

“We must prove this by our willpower, by the force of arms, and by our readiness to stand firm, to adhere to the aims that were declared by our leadership, and to ensure their achievement,” Ryabkov said, while answering a question about whether Russia had a response to the Americans’ indifference to Moscow’s statements.

“If [Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky) and his team are not ready for negotiations, if those behind him are determined to continue their mindless, or rather, insane pumping of Ukraine with weapons, it is their choice, it is sad, it is tragic, but we cannot retreat,” Ryabkov added.

Russia has in the past declared that its goal in Ukraine is not to accomplish “regime change”. Instead, it is to disarm Ukraine. Besides, Moscow wants to ensure that Kiev verifiably declares “political neutrality” — in other words shun NATO, the US-led western military alliance. Besides, it wants to de-Nazify Ukraine, that is remove the influence of ideologically trenchant anti-Russia groups which hold an implacable anti-Russian grudge, because Moscow played a key role in defeating the Nazis during the second world war. Neo-Nazis form the core of Azov brigade which draws neo-Nazis from 22 nations.

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