Replicating the famous saying that a little aid is worth much more for the wretched, Ukrainian citizens celebrated the withdrawal of Russian forces from Kherson on Friday. Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, noted the Kremlin’s retreat from the banks of the Dnipro River as the beginning of the ‘end of war’. Earlier today at the G20 Summit in Indonesia’s Bali, most world leaders called for a ceasefire and condemned the Russia-led military offensive in the eastern European country.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy virtually addressed the G20 conclave and said that ‘now is the time’ to end Russia’s ‘destructive war’. In fact, many leaders, including British Prime Minister Narendra Modi, PM Rishi Sunak and Indonesian President Joko Widodo commenced their address with reference to the Russia-Ukraine war, calling for its end.
- PM Modi, in his address at the Summit, said the time was right to devise a ‘collective resolve’ to end the war in Ukraine. He batted for the path to resolution via diplomacy.
- “I’ve repeatedly said we have to find a way to return to the path of ceasefire and diplomacy in Ukraine. Over the past century, World War II wreaked havoc in the world. After that, leaders of that time made a serious effort to take the path of peace. Now it’s our turn,” PM Modi said.
- PM Modi mentioned the global impact of the war pertaining to the West’s caps and restrictions on energy supply owing to the Russia-Ukraine war. He said, “We should not encourage any kind of restrictions on the supply of energy. And ensure stability in the energy market”
- Since Russia’s withdrawal from Kherson, Ukrainian authorities have been working towards restoring utilities and providing basic amenities to residents.
- On Monday, Zelenskyy visited the reclaimed and war-ravaged Kherson. Residents told news agencies that Russian forces may have destroyed more than the majority of Kherson but could not kill off their faith that better things would come.
- Zelenskyy said that Ukraine has collated evidence of at least 400 war crimes committed by Kremlin forces. These include civilian killings, abductions and widespread destruction of Kherson’s infrastructure.
- Ukraine’s media reported that Russian troops blew up a television broadcasting centre and damaged heating and power infrastructure while retreating from Kherson.
- Reports suggest that Western leaders are expected to press Russia to renew a deal that allows the export of Ukrainian wheat through the Black Sea.
- On Monday, the United Nations General Assembly held an emergency special session on Ukraine. “Russia must be held accountable for its violations of international law in Ukraine,” the Ukrainian envoy to the UN noted.
The Russia-Ukraine war broke out in February 2022 and the Kremlin capitulated to Kherson by early March itself. While world leaders urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to de-escalate its military engagements in Kyiv and return to dialogue with Zelenskyy.
However, an undeterred Kremlin leader continued its attacks on the eastern European nation, with a focus on supplementing territorial gains. At the time, PM Modi’s prime concern was to safely bring back over 20,000 Indian civilians residing in Ukraine. India drew flak for not imposing sanctions on Russia, like other countries, particularly the West, did.
Eight months later, the war continues with no potential ceasefire in sight but after many emergency sessions of the UNGA.