Ukraine Capital, Kyiv, Continues to Hold On
Updated: Mar 12, 2022
March 12, 2022: Check LINKS at bottom of Page
Russia is being isolated by much of the world. England, France and Germany are leading the way.
Shipping companies are refusing to dock at Russian ports, airspace is being restricted banning Russian flights, international sporting and entertainment are banning Russian involvement, international banking systems are tightening restrictions on Russia.
Putin remains defiant, says nuclear arsenal is on alert. Meanwhile Russian troops slowly tighten their grip on Ukraine.
Shelling of Ukrainian cities continues. Escape corridors for fleeing civilians have been established.
The Ukrainian military, backed by private citizens shows no sign of capitulation.
The Ukraine government has been arming civilians. At first, weapons were only being handed out to retired soldiers.
But, as Russian troops advance, the Ukraine defense ministry has been arming more of its citizens, even those under 18 years old.
Tens of thousands of Kalashnikov AK-47 style weapons have been distributed to the Ukrainian population. Molotov cocktails are also legal now in Ukrainian, another sign of how desperate the situation is.
Ukrainian people are determined to fight. Resistance fighters have been promised the Hero of Ukraine award if they are killed.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has remained in Kyiv.
According to Zelenskyy, he is Russian President Putin's "target number one", the Russians' leader's goal being to destroy the Ukraine government. Zelenskyy continues to plead to the international community for more sanctions on Russia and for offensive and defensive weapons.
According to reports, US intelligence agencies believe the Russian force's strategy in its multipronged attack was to surround Kyiv, take the airport and airlift in thousands of trooper. .
The airport was taken by Russian troops but retaken by Ukrainian forces.
Fueling fears the situation could escalate beyond Ukraine, Turkey, a NATO member, reported one of their ships was hit by a bomb while near Odesa, raising concerns the NATO alliance could get drawn into the fighting escalating the conflict.
NATO countries like Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania border the western part of Ukraine.
Turkey is just across the Black Sea
Article 5 of the North Atlantic treaty states basically "an attack on one is an attack on all", what level of attack would trigger a response is not immediately clear.
There are 30 NATO member states.
Thursday (Feb. 24), US president Biden said
"no one expected sanctions to prevent invasion",
a statement interpreted by his critics as an admission diplomacy could never have worked.
The movement of 7000 US troops into Germany by Biden as a show of force is seen as a good deterrent, as was Germany halting approval of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany.
But, as the Daily Beast reports there is some dissension from several NATO members regarding continuing sanctions
A recent poll by a US network asking US registered voters how Biden was doing on Russia reported:
-56% thought POTIS was not tough enough
-29% just right
-8% being too tough
The same poll found only 44% of Americans are confident in President Biden's ability to handle a crisis.
Bidens controversial withdrawal from Afghanistan is thought to play a part in the lack of confidence by US citizens as well as the timing of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Biden also refused to exclude Russia from the international payment system known as SWIFT, he also refused to sanction Russian oil and gas companies, or even Putin himself.
Sanctioning SWIFT, oil, and gas would hurt the Russian economy.
Critics of Biden say those sanctions were not introduced because of a desperate need for Russian oil by many European countries.
The result is a US president and NATO alliance that looks weak.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has refused offers from NATO to evacuate him from Ukraine.
House to house fighting is ecspectd as Kyiv fights to remain free.
Oil prices have risen sharply in the US and Canada as a result of the Russian/Ukraine conflict.
President Biden has authorized the release of strategic oil reserves in the US.
One of the first acts Biden made as president was to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline that would bring crude into the US from Canada.
The 2000km pipeline was expected to carry 830,000 barrels per day of Alberta oil sands crude to Nebraska
Threats of a cyberwar are also present. There are indications companies are hiring cybersecurity firms to harden their online assets.
As well as oil, Russia exports other vital products to the world market. For example, Russia is an exporter of Palladium, an element used in semiconductor manufacturing.
Around the world people have taken to the streets, including in Russia, protesting Russia's aggressions.
Russian anti-war protestors have been warned they could face treason charges.
The international hacking collective known as Anonymous has declared war against Russia.
Russian state media says President Putin "wants to restore a fallen empire he has never accepted"
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- More than 2.6 MILLION Ukrainians have fled their country