What has happened?
- Some 90 tonnes of US “lethal aid” has arrived in Ukraine, amid tensions over Russia’s troop build-up on the border.
- It was the first shipment of a recently approved package of US military aid for Ukraine, and included ammunition for “front-line defenders”.
- US President Joe Biden approved the $200m security support package in December.
- The US embassy in Kyiv said the shipment demonstrated its “firm commitment to Ukraine’s sovereign right to self-defense“.
- “The United States will continue providing such assistance to support Ukraine’s Armed Forces in their ongoing effort to defend Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity against Russian aggression,” it wrote on Facebook.
- Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov thanked the US for the aid.
Military support from NATO allies
- Meanwhile, the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will send US-made anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine,
- In a move that Blinken said Washington was fully endorsing.
- Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, earlier this week described Western arms supplies to Ukraine as extremely dangerous and said they “do nothing to reduce tensions”.
Tensions rising on border
- Tension is mounting along the border of Ukraine, where Russia has deployed over 100,000 troops at striking distance, sparking fears of a possible invasion.
- While Russian President Vladimir Putin has insisted that his country is not on the warpath, the United States and its allies have threatened fresh sanctions in response to one wrong move.
- But Russia blames the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) for endangering and undermining its regional security by upping its military presence in Eastern Europe.
- In a series of talks between top US, NATO and Russian officials, the Kremlin has listed out several big demands, most of which have already been turned down as “non-starters”.
- On Friday, in a bid to keep diplomacy alive and to avert a possible Russian invasion in Ukraine, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov held a 90-minute meeting in Geneva.
- There were no major breakthroughs, but both diplomats said they planned to speak again and left the door open for another round of dialogue between US President Joe Biden and Putin.
- In an ominous press conference on Thursday, Biden warned that “Russia will pay a heavy price” if it chooses to invade Ukraine.
Why Russia is threatening Ukraine?
- Russia has long been opposed to Ukraine’s growing closeness with European institutions, particularly NATO.
- The former Soviet republic shares borders with Russia on one side, and the European Union on the other.
- The current military buildup along the Russia-Ukraine border is reminiscent of 2014, when Russia annexed Ukraine’s southern Crimean peninsula and backed separatists who were able to capture much of eastern Ukraine.
- While Russia has insisted that it has no plans of invading Ukraine this time around,
- Putin seems to be using the threat of war as a bargaining chip to force the West to reassess its position in eastern Europe.
- Moscow has accused the West of flooding Ukraine with weapons and stoking tensions in the region.
- In December last year, Putin demanded that no former Soviet states, such as Ukraine, be added to NATO.
- He also called for the military alliance to withdraw its presence in Eastern Europe.
- This would mean that NATO countries would have to pull out all their combat units from Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania.
How US & its allies responded?
- The US and its allies have roundly rejected Putin’s demands.
- Endorsing such an agreement would go against the NATO’s founding treaty, under which the organisation can invite any willing European country that can help ensure security in the North Atlantic area, and fulfill the obligations of membership.
- But Russia is refusing to budge and has asked the US and NATO to provide a written response at the earliest so that they can decide on their next steps.
- While Blinken and Lavrov made no major breakthrough on Friday, they agreed to keep talking to try to resolve the crisis.
Q) Print Culture led to which among the following revolution?
- French revolution
- Russian revolution
- American revolution
- Glorious revolution