Invasion that has changed continent’s geopolitics

If Ukraine had been a member of NATO, today’s Russian attack on its territory might not have come to life.

“This act is a serious moment for European security as a whole,” said the head of the North Atlantic Alliance. NATO keeps 100 aircraft on high alert and 120 allied ships on the water from the far north to the Mediterranean Sea.

“In response to Russia’s massive military build-up, we have all the strength we need for our collective defense on land, at sea, and in the air. In recent weeks, allies from North America and Europe have moved thousands or more troops into the eastern part of the alliance and deployed more on standby. We will continue to do whatever is necessary to defend against aggression,” said Jens Stoltenberg, head of NATO.

Tomorrow there will be an online summit of Alliance leaders in member countries, where a further plan of action will be agreed upon.

The US and other allies are now supplying Ukraine with weapons to balance, as much as possible, its forces with those of the aggressor. An arsenal worth $650 million has already been delivered.

The United Nations have urged Moscow to withdraw Russian troops from Ukraine.

US President Joe Biden condemned the “unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian armed forces” and called on world leaders to speak out against Putin’s “blatant aggression.” The decisions were taken at the G7 summit.

“We will impose sanctions that will stifle Russia’s economic growth, increase its debts, raise inflation, increase capital flight and gradually destroy its industrial base. We plan to cut off Russian industry from the technology it needs today to build the future,” said Ursula von der Leyen, head of the European Commission.

The Austrian federal chancellor was specific: the largest project of the last decade will not be able to avoid sanctions, although European interests will suffer.

“The European Union, in close coordination with Germany, has frozen the Nord Stream 2 project. And this is just one of many measures we will take to make clear to the Russian Federation that there will be no more understanding in Europe. We owe it to our history and to our children,” said Karl Nehammer, the German chancellor.

The French president added that the Russian attack would leave profound consequences in the lives of Europeans and change the geopolitics of our continent.

Injured residents of a shelled apartment building in Chuguev, Kharkiv region, where an underage boy died.
Photo: Getty Images

After the annexation of Crimea, Russia gradually shifted its focus to Asian markets and cooperation with China. But even there, there were no politicians or diplomats who would approve of a military invasion of Ukraine today.

“China is closely monitoring the latest situation in Ukraine and calls on all sides to exercise restraint,” said Hua Chunying, China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman.

Ukraine today called on Turkey to close the Bosporus and Dardanelles to Russian ships following a statement by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who condemned Russia.

“This move, in our view, contradicts international law and is a heavy blow to regional peace, harmony, and stability. I expressed this to Ukraine’s president Zelensky during a recent conversation that Turkey supports Ukraine’s fight for its territorial integrity,” said Recep Tayyip Erdogan, president of Turkey.

The side effect of the armed operation is not just the loss of life and destruction of infrastructure in Ukraine. It is the flow of refugees who are saving their lives.

Among the countries that have opened for them are Poland and Lithuania. They promise to welcome them with a social package.

“We will provide housing for Ukrainians who want to come to Lithuania, as well as employment assistance for those who need it,” said Vitaly Dmitriyev, vice-minister of the Lithuanian Interior Ministry.

The Czech Republic and Latvia announced today that they would stop issuing visas to Russian citizens.

Yuliya Tsyalpuk