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14 April 2024

No Respite From Ukraine-Russia Conflict

Editor, The Daily Messenger

Published: 02:43, 28 February 2024

No Respite From Ukraine-Russia Conflict

Photo : Collected

On the second anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, it enters into another winter and another summer. The war bleeds with tons of misery, agony, pain and suffering of millions on both sides of the border. There seems no respite from the conflict in Europe.

Two years after the start of Russia's invasion, the conflict has turned into a war of attrition along a front line in eastern Ukraine. Russian forces have made recent gains as Ukraine faces a shortage of ammunition.
The war has impacted the price of oil, food grain, the dollar crunch, maritime shipping and the Russian economy too. It has dented Bangladesh's economy, imports and food rations for Rohingya refugees.

The turbulent first year of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, despite limited frontline shifts, the war in Ukraine remains one of the world’s deadliest conflicts, according to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) Conflict Index.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky for the first time claimed 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers were killed since the Russian invasion.

Russia’s sudden walkout of the grain deal allowed Ukrainian agricultural exports by sea and began systematically bombing Ukraine’s ports and warehouses.

By September, Ukraine rerouted merchant vessels along its shore close to Romania to dissuade attacks, though grain trade revenues fell by half nonetheless.

Furthermore, the Russia-provoked collapse of the Nova Kakhovka dam across the Dnipro River in the Kherson region in June flooded both Ukraine-held and Russia-occupied areas, precluding a cross-river attack by Ukraine and allowing Russia to redeploy troops.

Since May, Ukraine has increasingly attempted to take the war back to Russia by directing attack drones to areas further away from the border, shifting from attacks on the Moscow city centre to targeting military airfields, bases and production sites, and fuel infrastructure.

Russia’s blanket targeting of Ukrainian energy infrastructure in the cold season inflicted extreme hardship on civilians across the country but failed to disrupt utilities completely.

Russia scaled up its use of Iranian-made Shahed-series drones for less-defended targets in Ukraine, which opened the eyes of the West military strategists.

An emboldened Russia is seemingly doubling down on its assault on Ukraine to force it to exchange land for a ceasefire. It is likely betting on sustaining the war for at least another year until the United States presidential election this year.

In an op-ed published in the German newspaper Bild, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock pleaded with Russian President Vladimir Putin to "end this war."

She urged Moscow to release the Ukrainian children, withdraw Russian troops and end this war. Then there would be peace tomorrow. And the whole world could finally breathe again.