Ukraine soldiers train with US-made weapons, Blinken holds talks: 10 points

Published on Feb 05, 2022 01:48 PM IST

Russia has deployed around one lakh troops along Ukrainian border, vehemently asking the former Soviet republic to refrain from joining the Nato. The West has denied Russia's claims, and has been trying to defuse the situation.

Members of the Ukrainian forces participate in an urban combat training exercise(Bloomberg)
Members of the Ukrainian forces participate in an urban combat training exercise(Bloomberg)
By | Written by Aryan Prakash

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have kept the world on tenterhooks, amidst fears of a full-scale war. The western powers are going all out to ensure de-escalation, with French President Emmanuel Macron and German chancellor Olaf Scholz set to visit Moscow and Kiev in upcoming weeks. But Putin is defiant, bolstered by an open support from Chinese president Xi Jinping.

Putin has levelled a serious allegation on Nato, accusing it of providing arms and ammunitions to the Ukrainians. The Russian President has even claimed that the western alliance has been training the Eastern European army.

Officially the Kremlin has denied that it has plans to attack Ukraine, but about 100,000 Russian troops are stationed near the Ukrainian border.

Watch: How Russia, Ukraine troops are getting battle ready

Here are the 10 big developments on the simmering Ukraine-Russia standoff:

• US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba on Friday about Russia's military buildup along Ukraine's borders. Blinken spoke to Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov last week and made clear US willingness to impose severe consequences on Russia if it chose to escalate the situation, according to the State Department.

• Ukraine has, meanwhile, deployed its forces in Chernobyl, as it fears  that Russian troops will cross the border from there. These troops conducted training drills on Friday, firing at abandoned buildings and launching grenades and mortars in the town of Pripyat. They also used anti-tank missiles and other military hardware delivered by the United States as part of a $200 million security package.

• The bone of contention is Russia's claims that the West is putting pressure on Ukraine to join Nato. Russia claims that Nato, the American-led alliance that has on its hands the biggest European crisis in decades, must never offer membership to Ukraine, which gained independence as the Soviet Union broke apart about 30 years ago.

• Russia claims that an eastward expansion of Nato poses a security threat to it. The charge has been vehemently denied by the West, affirming that the coalition has no plans to use any force against Russia.

• The United States has raised concerns that Putin might fabricate an attack by Ukraine to invade the eastern European country. This has resulted in the US sending 2,000 troops to Poland and Germany, while shifting 1,000 troops from Germany to Romania as a show of Nato's commitment to protect its future allies. 

Also Read: How the Ukraine crisis affects India

• China-backed Russia's opposition to what it calls a Nato effort to expand in eastern Europe by including countries like Ukraine. Putin and Chinese president Xi Jinping met at the opening ceremony of Beijing Winter Olympics. Both the leaders in a joint statement asked Nato to shun its ideological Cold War approach.

• The Nato, meanwhile, hit out at Putin-Xi joint statement accusing the alliance of expansionist moves, reasserting that European nations have the right to choose their own paths.

• Putin has been vehemently opposing Nato buildup in Eastern Europe, which include military exercises in countries like Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The trio split from the Soviet Union in the 90s. As of now, there are no US troops permanently based in these countries.

• The European Union giants France and Germany are leaving no stone unturned to broker truce between Russia and Ukraine. French president Macron is heading to Moscow and Kiev for talks. Also, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will visit Russia and Ukraine in mid-February to strengthen efforts to resolve crisis arising due to Putin's mass mobilisation of troops along Ukrainian borders.

India abstained from the procedural vote at the United Nations Security Council. India’s permanent representative to the United Nations (UN), TS Tirumurti said,"India’s interest is in finding a solution that can provide for immediate de-escalation of tensions, taking into account the legitimate security interests of all countries and aimed towards securing long-term peace and stability in the region and beyond.”

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