Ukraine, Briefly

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This week, in a rare display of public discord, Ukraine and its Western allies are openly clashing over who launched the missile that killed two people in NATO member Poland, NBC News reported. On Tuesday, Russia launched a barrage of missiles hitting a number of Ukrainian energy facilities. Both NATO and Poland said it was likely a Ukrainian-launched air defense missile, intended to shoot down one Russian cruise missile, caused the incident. But Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that “it was not our missile” that hit Polish farmland. Even so, the United States and its allies condemned Russia in the United Nations Security Council for launching as many as 100 missiles across Ukraine this week, France 24 added.

In other developments:

  • A diplomatic accord that reopened Ukraine’s maritime food shipments will last at least four months, keeping the country’s economic lifeline open as it faces its first full winter at war with Russia, Politico wrote. But the grain deal’s extension came as Russia launched new airstrikes on Ukraine’s energy facilities Thursday, the Associated Press noted.
  • Russia’s international isolation grew Wednesday, as world leaders issued a joint declaration during the G-20 summit in Indonesia strongly condemning Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, CNN reported. Earlier in the week, Russia reacted angrily to international calls for Moscow to pay war damages for the destruction it has caused in Ukraine, according to the BBC. This follows a United Nations General Assembly vote on a resolution demanding that Russia face repercussions for its actions in Ukraine, including reparations.
  • At the same time, the European Union sanctioned the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, its air force, and a business that manufactures drones used by Russia in its conflict with Ukraine on Monday, Agence France-Presse reported. Russia is accused of deploying waves of Iranian-made drones over Ukraine to strike at power plants and other key infrastructure.
  • The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has said that both Russia and Ukraine have mistreated prisoners of war during the Ukrainian conflict, citing incidents of beatings, the use of electric shocks and forced nudity, according to Al Jazeera.
  • A Swiss nationalist group launched an initiative last week to safeguard Switzerland’s neutrality and prevent it from joining in future sanctions and defense alliances, the Singapore-based publication Today wrote. Pro Schweiz, a new group with ties to politicians from the country’s right-wing Swiss People’s party, initiated the referendum campaign in response to Switzerland’s decision to abandon its tradition of neutrality and impose severe sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

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