War Update #9 – Russia Doubles Down on Attack on Ukraine Capital

Ukraine Soldier

Russia continues to face fierce resistance as Ukraine soldiers defend their country. There is a column of Russian military vehicles that yesterday were reported as 20 kilometres long now being reported as 65 kilometres long headed to the Ukraine capital city.

An airstrike against Kharkiv’s central square caused major destruction and injured at least 20 people. In a national address, Ukraine President Zelensky is calling the the attack a “war crime” and an act of “state terrorism” by Russia.

Also, the investigative news outlet Bellingcat published research arguing that Russia is using cluster bombs (a type of weapon that deploys a large number of smaller sub-munitions over a target) in civilian areas, including around schools and hospitals. The Russian military denies these allegations.

Russian People Protesting Putin’s War

Russian Orthodox Church priests has published an open letter in which they are calling an immediate end to the war. Russian officials are, for the record calling the Russian action in Ukraine a “Special Military Operation”.

The letter says that the authors “mourn the ordeal” to which Ukraine was “undeservedly” subjected and argue that the Ukrainian people “should make their own choice independently, not at gunpoint, without pressure from the West or the East.”

26 clergy members so far have signed the letter. They also express concern over the recent arrests across the country of hundreds of peaceful anti-war protesters.

Also, hundreds of students and faculty at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations have signed another open letter protesting the war in Ukraine.

Economic Sanctions Impacting Russia

Visa and Mastercard are now blocking Russia from its network.

Interest rates in Russia have been doubled, and companies banned from transferring currency to foreign banks.

Dmitry Medvedev is Tweeting what can only been seen as a threat to France.

Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov says, “Rising prices and shortages of goods have provoked a hyperemotional reaction from consumers that will subside eventually. When asked about the 102 civilians killed and 300 noncombatants injured in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began (according to the United Nations), Peskov blamed “nationalist groups” for allegedly using civilians as human shields and firing at residential buildings. At the same time, the Press Secretary says “The Kremlin still considers Volodymyr Zelenskyy to be Ukraine’s legitimate president”.

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