Day 360: Zelenskyy Urges West to Speed Up Arms Delivery
At the annual Munich Security Conference in Germany on Friday — attended by roughly 40 heads of state, as well as politicians and experts from over 100 countries — Ukrainian Pres. Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged Western allies to speed up arms deliveries to Ukraine, warning that delays would play i...
- At the annual Munich Security Conference in Germany on Friday — attended by roughly 40 heads of state, as well as politicians and experts from over 100 countries — Ukrainian Pres. Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged Western allies to speed up arms deliveries to Ukraine, warning that delays would play into Russian hands. 'There is no alternative to speed, because it’s speed that life depends on,' he said via video link.1
- The three-day conference, which typically invites leaders from states hostile or ambivalent toward the West, broke with tradition this year by not extending invites to representatives from Russia or Iran. However, China's foreign minister Wang Yi is set to give an address that will be closely watched to see how China portrays its relationship with Russia and its comments on Ukraine.2
- While Russia was excluded from the conference, it still sparred with Western counterparts at a UN Security Council meeting on Friday that was set to debate the effectiveness of the 2015 Minsk agreements following the conflict between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists in the Donbas region that began a year earlier.3
- Vassily Nebenzia, Russia's ambassador to the UN, accused France and Germany of using the agreements as a 'smoke screen' in order to 'rearm the Kyiv regime and to prepare it for war against Russia in the name of your geopolitical interest.' His comments came following earlier remarks from former Ukrainian Pres. Petro Poroshenko and former German chancellor Angela Merkel that the Minsk agreements were a tool for Ukraine to buy time and restrengthen.3
- Nebenzia added: 'We had no choice other than to defend our country — defend it from you, to defend our identity and our future.' However, his assessment was not shared by his Western counterparts. France's Nicolas De Rivière said: 'The difficulties encountered in implementing these agreements can never serve as justification or mitigating circumstances for Russia’s choice to end the dialogue with violence.'3
- On the ground, Russian attacks were recorded in the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk as well as Sumy, Chernihiv, Kherson, Kharkiv, and Zaporizhzhia over the past day. Three civilians were killed and five injured in Donetsk, while one civilian was killed and three were injured in Kherson. One civilian was killed and another was injured in Kharkiv.4
Sources: 1Associated Press (a), 2Guardian, 3Associated Press (b) and 4Ukrinform.
- Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by CNN. Putin's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine was launched on the pretext of multiple lies, including that Russian speakers in Donetsk were facing a 'genocide' and that NATO expansion was a threat to Russia. America and the West must continue to push back against these falsehoods and protect Ukraine's sovereignty from Putin's anti-democratic aspirations.
- Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Newsweek. Numerous diplomats throughout the years have warned that bringing Ukraine into the NATO sphere of influence was an unacceptable prospect for Russia and that it would lead to a conflict with disastrous consequences. Russia's concerns must be listened to if we're ever going to find a negotiated settlement to this tragic conflict.