The Ukraine crisis continues with the massive destruction of critical infrastructure, civilian buildings, and government buildings. From global condemnation, the U.S, EU, and other countries' sanctions on Russia, questions emerge about whether more can be done to stop the Russian invasion. Russia's progress and success in Ukraine would encourage Russia to attack other sovereign countries in Europe in their quest to rebuild the Soviet Union. The concern emerged after U.S General Mark Milley, the top-ranking military officer in the U.S, told congress that the Ukraine crisis may last years, if not a decade.
Former Canadian ambassador to Ukraine, Roman Waschuk, proposed that diplomats worldwide should reach out to Russian officials and oligarchs to persuade them to stop the invasion. The war between Russia and Ukraine has seen massive shelling of Ukrainian cities, with millions fleeing to European Union. But despite being outgunned and outmanned, Ukrainian forces have managed to stay in the fight, repelling many attacks and maintaining control over the capital Kyiv. When Russian troops fired several missiles setting an oil terminal ablaze in Vasylkiv city in February, Natalia Balasinovich stated that the enemy wanted to destroy everything.
On 8th April 2022, UK intelligence reported that Russia had withdrawn its forces from North Ukraine back to Belarus and Russia. Despite the intense attacks in Ukraine that included missiles being launched in cities, Russia had failed to make any significant gains notwithstanding its technological and numerical edge. For the first time, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov admitted that Russia had suffered a substantial loss on the ground in the Moscow-Kyiv conflict. The Russian spokesperson termed the Russian troop's causalities a colossal tragedy. Speaking to Sky News, Dimitry Pskov stated that there is no chance of President Vladimir Putin being tried for war crimes after allegations of war crimes and genocide in Bucha.
Despite the withdrawal reports and Russian statements about scaling down operations, live updates on 8th April 2022, indicated that more than 30 people died and over 100 were injured after two rockets were fired on the train station in east Ukraine. The strikes came after Russia was kicked out of the United Nations Human Rights Council by the United Nations General Assembly. 94 countries voted for the decision while 58 abstained, with 24 other countries, including China, voting against the motion. European Commission President Ursula von de Leyen will travel to Kyiv to show Europe's unwavering support for Ukraine in its fight against Russia. The situation in Ukraine needs a scaling up of measures to end the crisis.
Impose Sanctions on Russian Allies
India and China are still buying oil from Russia, helping the collapsing economy survive and giving Russia a source of funds for the war. Sanctions should be imposed on China and India to cut off the oil trade between the countries and Russia, which would further hurt the economy. Without the funding from the oil trade, the economy would collapse and weaken the Russian ability to fight. General Mark Milley had earlier stated that Russians have been unable to establish air superiority in Ukraine which would likely be impossible with no more funding from the oil trade. When the west imposed tough sanctions on Russian banks that included being removed from SWIFT, China failed to join the sanctions against China and continued engaging in transactions with Russia.
China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission stated that China and its financial institutions will maintain regular economic exchanges and that sanctions will not impact China. India has continued buying oil from Russia and is currently Moscow's biggest arms buyer, with a 2018 deal worth $5.43 billion to purchase Russia's S-400 missile defense system. The same sanctions issued to Russia should be imposed on the two countries supporting Russians in their war crimes in Russia. However, diplomatic pressure can be utilized against the two countries, and failure would be an imposition of sanctions. Retired Major General David Fraser CTV News that anyone supporting Russia must be held accountable and sanctioned.
More Sanctions on Russia
President Zelenskyy called for more courageous sanctions on Russians to slow their aggression and force them out of Ukraine. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised the sanctions imposed by President Biden but called for more sanctions targeting President Putin, family members, and allies. Clinton noted that more could be done to hurt Putin. There have been increased calls to target Russian gas and oil with sanctions to stop the carnage in Ukraine. UN Humanitarian Aid chief Martin Griffiths told the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday that the Russian war has forced a quarter of the Ukrainian population to flee.
Vicky Pryce, the chief economic advisor at the Centre for Economics and Business Research, told Euro news that EU sanctions on Russia would only become real once the country's gas and oil sectors are targeted. Pyrce argued that Moscow had introduced capital controls to strengthen its currency after the first round of sanctions. Ukraine Foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba addressed NATO and the EU today told them that Kyiv continues insisting ‘'on a full oil and gas embargo''. An embargo on Oil and Gas would take real sacrifice from the EU, with several of their member countries being highly dependent on Russian gas. The European Union is the largest importer of natural gas globally, with more than 40% coming from Russia.
Friday 8th attacks by Russian who fired two rockets at a train station are evidence that Russia is still in the war and will continue to attack Ukraine cities. More can be done by increasing sanctions and sanctioning countries supporting, specifically Indian and China. New sanctions should target Russia's oil and gas to cripple the economy and deny Moscow the resources they need to fund the war. Economic sanctions are not enough, and Russia has imposed capital measures to counter the sanctions. For example, after the Ruble value decreased, Moscow required all oil and gas sales to be paid in Russian Ruble, strengthening the currency.
Geofrey Robert is an experienced freelance researcher and writer with over five years of experience. He holds a Bachelor of law. His research interests are International law, Peace & Security, Conflict, humanitarian issues, and climate change. He worked as a peace and security news writer for Peacehumanity.org. and also contributed to their periodic PEACE MONITOR MAGAZINE as a peace researcher and writer focusing on the Israel-Palestine conflict.
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