Moscow Annoyed after Putin-Macron Call:
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that an air alert was announced over almost the entirety of Ukraine last night, raising civilian anxiety. Meanwhile in Russia, the Parliament has given its initial approval to measures that put Russia’s economy on a war footing.
Sloviansk, a city in Donetsk that has found itself on the front line as Russian forces advance, has become the focus of Russian aggression in recent days. The British Defense Ministry said the battle for the city will be the “next key contest” for Ukraine.
The city’s mayor has urged civilians to evacuate as quickly as they can as Russian forces approach the city. Yesterday, a market in the center of the city was shelled, killing two people and injuring seven others.
Russia has turned its attention to capturing more parts of the Donetsk region of the Donbas, having already seized the neighboring Luhansk province. Donetsk is now experiencing heavy shelling, the same strategy that Russian forces used in Luhansk. Sloviansk, Kramatorsk, and Bakhmut are now Russia’s key targets.
Moreover, Estonia welcomes Sweden and Finland into NATO following Ratification.
Estonia’s Minister of Defense Kalle Laanet welcomed the decision of the Estonian Parliament to ratify Finland and Sweden’s ascension protocols to the NATO alliance, a crucial step that brings the two countries closer to joining the military group.
Estonia, which is about twice the size of New Jersey, sits on the Baltic Sea and shares a border with Russia and NATO ally Latvia.
“It is important to note that Finland and Sweden joining NATO will certainly strengthen the security of the Baltic Sea region,” Laanet wrote in a statement.
“NATO’s military posture on land, sea, and air will increase significantly and NATO’s intelligence, cyber and other capabilities will be strengthened in our region,” he added.
Lastly, More than 150 cultural sites in Ukraine have been partially or totally destroyed as a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine, according to a tally compiled by UNESCO.
The United Nations experts identified 152 cultural sites, including 70 religious buildings, 30 historical buildings, 18 cultural centers, 15 monuments, 12 museums as well as seven libraries.
The majority of the damaged cultural sites are located in Donetsk, Kharkiv, and Kyiv.
“These repeated attacks on Ukrainian cultural sites must stop. Cultural heritage, in all its forms, should not be targeted under any circumstances,” wrote Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO in a statement.
Source: CNBC, Amanda Macias