Proxy war, human rights violations, immigration and nuclear threats
The war between Russia and Ukraine continues to progress. Russia has committed various human rights violations as they continue to bomb Ukraine cities and threaten nuclear warfare. Since the conflict was first initiated by Russia invading Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, there have been at least 47,000 deaths.
Professor Thomas Ambrosio explained that there have been two phases of the war in Ukraine and Russia. The first phase consisted of a lightning attack on Ukraine, which targeted cities and multiple fronts. This failed because “it was poorly planned, disorganized, was far too many fronts for a country like Russia to manage logistically,” said Ambrosio.
Currently, the second phase of the war is beginning which “is a scaling back of the Russian war aid,” said Ambrosio. Russia is currently working to create a land bridge between the Donbas region and Crimea. Forces will be fighting in East Ukraine as Russia tries to take control of these territories. Russia is “settling for a medium option,” said Ambrosio.
Russia has accused NATO of a proxy war in Ukraine. On Monday, the Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said, “We want to see Russia weakened.” Ambrosio explains that United States leaders may not want this war to end, so that Russia can be weakened.
“So there is going to be people in our country at very high levels who don’t really have an interest in ending this war and the Ukrainians could become pawns in a larger power game between us and Russia,” said Ambrosio.
President Biden continues to send financial and military aid to Ukraine. The United States is sending $800 million in military and security aid to Ukraine. “As Russia prepares to intensify its attack in the Donbas region, the United States will continue to provide Ukraine with the capabilities to defend itself,” said the White House.
Human rights violations
Russian Forces have been accused of Human Rights Abuses as Russian troops are facing War Crime charges. According to the Human Rights Watch, they have “documented several cases of Russian military forces committing laws-of-war violations against civilians in occupied areas of the Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Kyiv regions of Ukraine.” These crimes have included murder, rape, unlawful violence and threats against civilians.
To learn more about Human Rights Crimes click here.
In addition, Kyiv is preparing to charge three russian pilots of bombing civilian buildings in Kharkiv and Sumy regions, according to Rueters. Multiple countries have been looking for the United Nations to help create a special court in which Russia could be prosecuted for the crime of aggression. According to the New York Times, it is rare for national leaders to be charged with these crimes; however, “the war in Ukraine may prove different, some experts say, and momentum has been building to hold the Kremlin leadership responsible.”
Investigators also found that Ukrainian forces have been guilty of some abuses, “particularly in the treatment of prisoners of war,” according to the New York Times.
Some of the large acts of violence have included the Russian bombing of a theater, a railway station and the shelling of a maternity hospital in Maripol, which left three dead and 17 injured.
Russia has also been said to be committing genocide. According to Rueters, “That is real genocide, what you have seen here,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said from Bucha, where at lease 500 people have been found dead since the Russians left. The Baltic states and Poland have agreed that Russia’s actions are genocide.
The United States Department of Homeland Security announced Temporary Protected Status for Ukraine, which will allow Ukrainian refugees to work in the United States. The USCIS is estimating that “59,600 currently in the United States individuals may be eligible for TPS under the designation of Ukraine.”
According to the New York Times, “78% of adults in the United States approve of allowing up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees into the country.” The amount of public support for Ukrainian refugees is higher than any other refugee situation since 1939.
Biden announced a new immigration plan titled “Uniting for Ukraine,” in which the U.S. will welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees. The program will work quickly to get refugees into the U.S. through a sponsorship. According to CNBC, “until now, thousands of Ukrainians have been illegally crossing the Mexican border in hopes of claiming asylum once they touch U.S. soil.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that nuclear weapons could be on the horizon for the war. Lavrov explained that nuclear war is very significant and the threat should not be underestimated, according to CNBC.
Lavrov said that, “all the countries have to be worried,” about a nuclear threat. He told a reporter, “don’t be afraid, be ready.” Other world powers disagree that nuclear weapons will be used.
United Kingdom Parliament Member James Heappey said underplayed the threat. According to Reuters, Heappey said he thought there was a “vanishingly small” possibility of that sort of escalation.
Ambrosio stated that Russia is likely using this as a signal to not intervene in Ukraine, stressing the seriousness of the situation. They “are willing to use nuclear weapons to force the other side to back down,” said Ambrosio.