Ukrainians remain determined as war enters 2nd month

U.S.

Neighbours try to extinguish the fire of a house, destroyed after a Russian attack in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

(NewsNation) — As the war heads into its second month, Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelenskyy is not showing any signs of giving up, speaking of hope and determination in a video address to the Ukrainian people late Thursday.

“It is already night. But we are working,” he said in a quiet voice. “The country must move toward peace, move forward. With every day of our defense, we are getting closer to the peace that we need so much. We are getting closer to victory. … We can’t stop even for a minute. For every minute determines our fate, our future, whether we will live.”

Zelenskyy’s address comes as President Joe Biden and other world leaders gathered in Brussels for a trio of summits in response to the Russian invasion. The western allies are discussing new ways to limit the economic and security fallout from the conflict.

Biden said NATO was more united than ever over the Russian invasion of Ukraine as the allies introduced expanded sanctions on Russia.

The Ukrainian president thanked EU leaders for working together to increase the pressure on Putin but expressed his disappointment that some measures were not taken earlier, suggesting that they may have prevented the war entirely.

The second month of war comes amid reports that Ukrainian forces are regaining lost territory, even launching counteroffensives near the capital of Kyiv.

Putin’s initial plan to take Ukraine quickly appears to have failed as Russian troops suffered from logistical setbacks. On Thursday, Ukraine’s navy said it sank a large Russian landing ship near the port city of Berdyansk.

Now, some military experts believe the war could be turning against Russia.

“The force levels on the Russian side are nowhere near what they would need to fully occupy and pacify Ukraine,” Lt. Col. Dakota Wood told “NewsNation Prime” on Thursday.

But as the Russian advance stalls, concerns that Russian President Vladimir Putin could escalate the conflict with chemical or nuclear weapons have increased.

Ukraine accused Moscow on Thursday of forcibly taking hundreds of thousands of civilians from shattered Ukrainian cities to Russia, where some may be used as “hostages” to pressure Kyiv to give up.

Others believe Putin is preparing for a much longer, drawn out conflict.

“He knows that wars take time; his Chechen war lasted almost a decade, so he’s bracing himself for a campaign that will last quite some time,” said Dmitri Alperovitch, a cybersecurity expert and NATO advisor.

The war could have vast implications for the world’s economy, even in countries that are neutral. In addition to the humanitarian crisis from refugees fleeing Ukraine, Russia’s attack on the Eastern European nation is causing a global wheat shortage.

That could push the tens of millions of people over the edge who were already teetering on the edge of famine.

“Hunger always follow conflict,” said Jordan Teague with Bread for the World.

With the war in Ukraine disrupting agricultural production, Teague said more than 44 million people could soon be facing famine.

The war is “exacerbating what was already the worst global hunger this century,” Teague said.

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