20:28 / 12.03.2022.

Author: Domagoj Ferenčić

Russian forces continue to move towards Kiev

Kiev on Saturday

Kiev on Saturday

Foto: ABACA / ABACA

On the 17th day of its incursion into Ukraine, Russian forces bombed a number of Ukrainian cities. The two sides clashed to northwest of Kiev, as Russian forces are now 25 kilometers away from the capital. Mariupol remains under siege, without electricity, heating, food and water.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called for stronger support from Europe and the West, while Russia has said that Western arms shipments to Ukraine would be treated as military targets. And while the German Chancellor and French President, Olaf Sholz and Emmanuel Macron respectively, have held talks with Vladimir Putin in which they called for an immediate end to hostilities, US President Joe Biden made it clear that while Washington is planning on introducing new, even harsher sanctions against Russia, it will not get directly involved in the conflict, noting that this would lead to World War Three. International relations expert, professor John Mearsheimer, and others have said that direct US involvement is unlikely, noting that the US will fight Russia “to the last Ukrainian.” Jack F. Matlock, a historian, retired diplomat and the former US Ambassador to the USSR, has also been outspoken against America’s role in Ukraine since the demise of the Soviet Union.


The United Nations High Commission for Refugees has reported that nearly 2 million and 600 thousand people have fled Ukraine. Ukraine's neighboring countries are reporting a smaller influx of refugees. So far, Poland has taken in 1.6 million Ukrainians, with refugees from Ukraine making up more than ten percent of the population of the capital Warsaw, a city of 1.8 million. Currently Croatia has taken in a little more than five thousand Ukrainian refugees.


Meanwhile, Western sanctions against Moscow, appear to have further compounded the economic woes of national economies and citizens that are already dealing with spiraling inflation. This has now laid bare the long standing problem in Croatia of insufficient food production. Apart from cereals, oil-seeds, poultry, eggs, mandarins and apples, Croatia produces less food than it needs. And while Croatia is expected far exceed in wheat needs this year, the price of wheat is sky-rocketing, jumping by 55% this week alone when compared to prices prior to the outbreak of war in Ukraine. This has prompted some to call for a ban on exports until domestic demand has been met.


According to the Croatian Ambassador to Ukraine, Anica Djamić, there are still some Croatian nationals in Ukraine: “There are about 20 Croatian nationals in Ukraine. Many of them are journalists. At that moment when they entered Ukraine, they were placed on our list.”


Source: HRT

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