With fighting in eastern Ukraine still going on, Britain and its allies have decided to send more lethal aid to the region. In response, more countries have pledged money and lethal weapons such as anti-aircraft weapons. These weapons are needed by the Ukraine as they cannot counter the Russian shelling of Mariupol. They are also vital in defending the southern city of Odessa from Russian warships in the Black Sea.
In a statement, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said, “We will continue to support Ukraine and its people in the fight against Russia.” She added that Russia is not capable of sustaining more than one significant axis of advance. This is the last step towards restoring democracy and the rule of law in Ukraine.”
The IAEA has the power to influence the situation in Mariupol and must do so. IAEA chief Rafael Grossi and Kotin met Wednesday, but could not say what they discussed. The International Committee of the Red Cross is preparing to evacuate civilians from Mariupol on Friday. Ewan Watson confirmed this. The Hill has now deleted the comment section, but readers can still take part in the debate on Facebook and Twitter.
Zelenskiy has repeatedly requested military equipment from western countries, including fighter jets and sophisticated anti-missile and anti-aircraft weapons. At a Nato summit on March 31, Zelenskiy pleaded for more lethal aid without restrictions. But many Western leaders are concerned about sending military equipment to Ukraine, fearful of the reaction from Moscow.
The Biden administration has already sent about $2 billion to Ukraine since the conflict began last month. However, the new $500 million in aid could come from the $13.6 billion that Congress authorized to Ukraine as part of its spending bill. In addition, the German government has announced that it has assurances from Russia. This follows his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Biden administration has warned Russia of the severe costs and is in the process of deciding whether to allow them back into the G7. Macron has made it clear that a resolution must be reached first before Russia can return to the G7.
Russia and Ukraine have agreed to a “all for all” prisoner swap in which 76 separatists were traded for 127 Ukrainian security forces prisoners. The two countries have also agreed to conduct a second major prisoner swap in four months. According to a representative of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), this move signals the close proximity of the two nations to their respective allies.
President Biden’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on March 31 is scheduled for 10:45 ET. The call comes after Russia claimed to limit its military activity, a claim that has been met with deep skepticism in both Kyiv and Washington. Ukraine’s armed forces have been under intense shelling for several months. Ruslan Khomchak was recently removed from his position and replaced by Valery Zaluzhny, the head of the military’s northern command.