Ukraine, Briefly

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  • Russia’s state-controlled gas firm cut off natural gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria on Wednesday, signaling a dramatic escalation in tensions between Moscow and the West over the Ukraine crisis, the Washington Post reported. Gazprom said the move was prompted by the failure of Poland’s PGNiG gas company and Bulgaria’s Bulgargaz to comply with the demand to pay in Russian currency.
  • Russian officials warned Tuesday that if the United States and its Western allies continue to arm Ukraine as it battles Moscow’s invading forces, the risk of the war escalating into a nuclear conflict “should not be underestimated,” CBS News wrote. The warning came as Poland and Germany said they will deliver armaments to Kyiv, including anti-aircraft tanks.
  • A series of “strange” explosions in Moldova have raised the prospect of Russia’s conflict in Ukraine escalating into new territory, with unforeseeable repercussions, according to the Guardian. The blasts occurred in the eastern region of Transnistria, a disputed territory along the Ukrainian border controlled by Russian-backed separatists. Authorities in Transnistria blamed the explosions on Ukrainian infiltrators but Ukraine countered that the incident was a false-flag operation to deploy more Russian troops to the disputed region.
  • A third mass grave was discovered outside Mariupol, the besieged port city in southeast Ukraine that has been bombarded by Russian forces for weeks, Axios noted. Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko said satellite footage of the graves backs up Ukrainian officials’ claims that Russian soldiers “used mass graves to bury civilians killed” during the city’s shelling. Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged independent investigations into “possible war crimes” in Ukraine following a Tuesday meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, France 24 added. Guterres also met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a meeting that resulted in little progress, CBS News reported.
  • The 193 members of the United Nations General Assembly approved a proposal on Tuesday that would automatically force a meeting of the General Assembly after the use of a veto by one of the Security Council’s five permanent members, the UN said. The meeting would discuss and allow for comment on the veto itself. An old idea aimed at making Security Council permanent members cut back the use of their veto powers, it has been revived by Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine because many members see Moscow’s veto power as having allowed it to paralyze action in the Security Council, which is supposed to intervene in such conflicts, France24 noted.

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