Ukraine, Briefly

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  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in Bali, Indonesia, for a meeting of G20 foreign ministers that is expected to be overshadowed by Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and profound disagreements inside the group over how to respond to the situation, the Guardian reported. The gathering will also be attended by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Concern among Western governments is growing over the war’s impact on the cost of food and fuel. The steep rise in costs and also shortages of grain have prompted the UN to warn of an “unprecedented wave of hunger and destitution.”
  • Russia may be momentarily halting its onslaught in Ukraine as it tries to gather its forces for a new assault, the Associated Press noted. The Institute for the Study of Conflict said that Russian forces made no claimed or assessed territorial gains in Ukraine on Wednesday, “for the first time in 133 days of war.” According to the Washington-based think tank, Moscow may be taking an “operational pause” but this does not imply a “complete cessation of active hostilities.”
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hailed British Prime Minister Boris Johnson as a “true friend of Ukraine,” saying that despite Johnson’s resignation, Britain’s assistance for Ukraine will not change anytime soon, CNN wrote. Meanwhile, the Kremlin said Johnson’s resignation was of little concern, remarking that “he doesn’t like us, we don’t like him either,” according to the Independent.
  • Brittney Griner pleaded guilty to drug charges in a Russian court Thursday, admitting to bringing cannabis into the country but claiming she had packed in a hurry and had no intention of breaking the law, NPR added. If convicted, the Phoenix Mercury center and Olympic medalist may face up to 10 years in jail.

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