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Why is Russia invading Ukraine?

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By air, land, and sea, Russia has launched a devastating attack on Ukraine, a European democracy of 44 million people. For months President Vladimir Putin had denied he would invade his neighbour, but then he tore up a peace deal, sending forces across borders in Ukraine’s north, east and south.
As the number of dead climbs, he is now accused of shattering peace in Europe and what happens next could jeopardise the continent’s entire security structure.

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Where have Russian troops attacked and why?

Airports and military headquarters were hit first, near cities across Ukraine, including the main Boryspil international airport in Kyiv.
Then tanks and troops rolled into Ukraine in the north-east, near Kharkiv, a city of 1.4 million people; in the east near Luhansk, from neighbouring Belarus in the north and Crimea in the south. Paratroops seized a key airbase just outside Kyiv and Russian troops landed in Ukraine’s big port cities of Odesa and Mariupol too.

Moments before the invasion began, President Putin went on TV declaring that Russia could not feel “safe, develop and exist” because of what he called a constant threat from modern Ukraine.

 

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Many of his arguments were false or irrational. He claimed his goal was to protect people subjected to bullying and genocide and aim for the “demilitarisation and de-Nazification” of Ukraine. There has been no genocide in Ukraine – it is a vibrant democracy led by a president who is Jewish. “How could I be a Nazi?” said Volodymr Zelensky, who likened Russia’s onslaught to Nazi Germany’s invasion in World War Two.

President Putin has frequently accused Ukraine of being taken over by extremists, ever since its pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, was ousted in 2014 after months of protests against his rule. Russia then retaliated by seizing the southern region of Crimea and triggering a rebellion in the east, backing separatists who have fought Ukrainian forces in a war that has claimed 14,000 lives.

Late in 2021 he began deploying big numbers of Russian troops close to Ukraine’s borders. Then this week he scrapped a 2015 peace deal for the east and recognised areas under rebel control as independent.

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Russia has long resisted Ukraine’s move towards the European Union and the West’s defensive military alliance Nato. Announcing Russia’s invasion, he accused Nato of threatening “our historic future as a nation”.

How far will Russia go?

Russia has refused to say if it seeks to overthrow Ukraine’s democratically elected government, although it believes that ideally Ukraine should be “freed, cleansed of the Nazis”. Mr Putin spoke of bringing to court “those who committed numerous bloody crimes against civilians”.

It was a thinly veiled hint and by invading from Belarus and seizing Antonov airport close to the outskirts of Kyiv, there is little doubt that the capital is well within his sights.

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In the days before the invasion, when up to 200,000 troops were within reach of Ukraine’s borders, he had focused his attention on the east.

By recognising the Russian proxy separatist areasof Luhansk and Donetsk as independent, he had already decided they were no longer part of Ukraine. Then he revealed that he supported their claims to far more Ukrainian territory. The self-styled people’s republics cover little more than a third of the whole of Ukraine’s Luhansk and Donetsk regions but the rebels covet the rest, too.

How dangerous is this invasion for Europe?

These are terrifying times for the people of Ukraine and horrifying for the rest of the continent, witnessing a major power invading a European neighbour for the first time since World War Two.
Dozens have died already in what Germany has dubbed “Putin’s war”, both civilians and soldiers. And for Europe’s leaders this invasion has brought some of the darkest hours since the 1940s. It was, said France’s Emmanuel Macron, a turning point in Europe’s history. Recalling the Cold War days of the Soviet Union, Volodymyr Zelensky spoke of Ukraine’s bid to avoid a new iron curtain closing Russia off from the civilised world.

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For the families of both armed forces there will be anxious days ahead. Ukrainians have already suffered a gruelling eight-year war with Russian proxies. The military has called up all reservists aged 18 to 60 years old. Top US military official Mark Milley said the scale of Russian forces would mean a “horrific” scenario with conflict in dense urban areas.

The invasion has knock-on effects for many other countries bordering both Russia and Ukraine. Latvia, Poland and Moldova say they are preparing for a big influx of refugees. A state of emergency has been declared in Lithuania and Moldova, where thousands of women and children have already entered.
This is not a war that Russia’s population was prepared for either, as the invasion was rubber-stamped by a largely unrepresentative upper house of parliament.

What can the West do?

Nato has put warplanes on alert but the Western alliance has made clear there are no plans to send combat troops to Ukraine itself. Instead they have offered advisers, weapons and field hospitals. Meanwhile, 5,000 Nato troops have been deployed in the Baltic states and Poland. Another 4,000 could be sent to Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia.
Instead, the West is targeting Russia’s economy, industry and individuals.
The EU has promised to restrict Russian access to capital markets and cut off its industry from latest technology. It has already imposed sanctions on 351 MPs who backed Russia’s recognition of the rebel-held regions

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Germany has halted approval on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, a major investment by both Russia and European companies

The US says it will cut off Russia’s government from Western financial institutions and target high-ranking “elites”

The UK says all major Russian banks would have their assets frozen, with 100 individuals and entities targeted; and Russia’s national airline Aeroflot will also be banned from landing in the UK.

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Ukraine has urged its allies to stop buying Russian oil and gas. The three Baltic states have called on the whole international community to disconnect Russia’s banking system from the international Swift payment system. That could badly impact the US and European economies.
The Russian city of St Petersburg will no longer be able to host this year’s Champions League final for security reasons. Europe’s football governing body Uefa is also planning further measures.

By Paul Kirby
BBC News

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Nominations Opened for 2022 Top 50 Young CEOs in Ghana Ranking

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Leading African PR & Rating firm, Avance Media in partnership with TheYCEO.com have opened nominations for the ranking of the 2022 Top 50 Young CEOs in Ghana. The ranking, which was launched in 2018, has become a notable list of the top-performing CEOs under 40 excelling in their roles in various organizations across the country.

Nominations that are supposed to be submitted before 10th June 2022 can be done via the online portal www.avancemedia.org/nominate

Prince Akpah, MD of Avance Media also announced the addition of a special award known as the Young CEO of the Year Award to the annual ranking of the Top 50 Young CEOs in Ghana. The selection of the winner will be from the 50 and will be decided by the public in a 100% voting exercise.

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READ ALSO:Avance Media Releases 2021 List For 50 Most Influential Young Ghanaians

As part of the celebration of the 5th edition of the ranking, Avance Media and TheYCEO.com in partnership with various institutions will be hosting the first Young CEOs in Ghana summit which would become an annual event and confab for young CEOs in Ghana to network and learn from each other.

The Young CEOs in Ghana Summit will also be used to honour young Ghanaian CEOS for their contribution to the development of the entrepreneurship and innovation space in Ghana.

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Source: Sintim Media

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