Ukraine, Briefly

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  • China called for an investigation into the killings in the Ukrainian town of Bucha, describing the images of civilian deaths as “deeply disturbing,” according to the Associated Press. But Beijing refused to name perpetrators despite Ukrainian officials blaming invading Russian troops for the massacre.
  • NATO foreign ministers met on Wednesday to consider ways to aid Ukraine, with the meeting to include Pacific partner nations on Thursday, the Washington Post reported. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the meetings would also focus on a resolution to the conflict that will ensure Russia does not mount similar attacks in the future. “We have to do things to make sure that this can’t happen again, that Russia is deterred, that Ukraine is defended,” he said.
  • The Czech Republic has sent old Soviet-designed tanks into Ukraine, delivering desperately needed heavy weaponry to outgunned Ukrainian soldiers fighting a far better-equipped Russian invading force, the Wall Street Journal reported. Meanwhile, the United States is sending up to $100 million in additional military aid to Ukraine, the Hill added, even as NATO considers supplying the country with weapons.
  • Russia came one step closer to a potential foreign currency debt default Wednesday when the country’s finance ministry announced it was required to make payments in rubles to holders of its dollar-denominated bonds, the Financial Times noted. The ruble payment comes after the US Treasury Department barred American banks from accepting dollar payments from Russia, thus blocking $649 million in interest and principal payments due on Monday.
  • Ukrainian officials warned this week that Russian mobile crematoria had been operating in Mariupol in an apparent attempt to conceal the death toll amid the city’s fierce fighting, the Moscow Times wrote. At least 5,000 have died in the siege including 200 children. Aid workers are still unable to access the city.

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