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100 Days Of An Uncalled For War

World leaders must intervene to mediate a solution and put an end to the unprovoked war that is disrupting global peace.

Ukrainian protestors holding "stop killing Ukrainians sign"
Credit: Getty Images

It has been a hundred days since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his "special military operation" into Ukraine to "denazify" the country. According to the UNHCR, close to 7 million Ukrainians fled the country between February 24 and May 29, 2022. Another 8 million are considered internally displaced.

Though 20% of Ukrainian territory is now in Russian hands, the country did not fold as the Kremlin expected. Under the plain-speaking and brave leadership of President Volodymyr Zelensky, every able-bodied citizen took up arms with grit and determination to defend the country. Despite intense fighting, Kyiv, the capital, did not fall into enemy hands.

The European Union came together in support of Kyiv, and the U.S. delivered on its promise to arm Ukraine against Russian attack. The West, led by the U.S., imposed a slew of sanctions to cripple its economy and drain its war chest. Piqued by the resistance and the massive support for Kyiv, President Putin reminded the world that Russia is a nuclear power and it was up to the rest of the world not to escalate the crisis. Just days ago, the E.U. agreed to cut Russian oil imports, putting some European nations under tremendous pressure to find alternate energy sources and rein in rising gasoline prices.

The war which President Putin claims Russia was "forced into" to thwart NATO's eastern expansion is putting developing nations in Africa and other parts of the world in peril. Everywhere, people are faced with rising fuel prices and the genuine threat of severe food scarcity. Reeling from the pandemic, skyrocketing fuel, food, and fertilizer prices could cause drastic upheavals in impoverished nations and marginal communities.

Ceasefire talks between Kyiv and Moscow have yielded no results. President Zelensky's offers to remain neutral (not seek NATO membership) and concede territory in Donbas did not appease the Russian autocrat. This has raised questions as to what precisely the Kremlin's motives are.

Reports have emerged that there is little support for the war, even among President Putin's loyalists. Unconfirmed reports suggest that a coup attempt to overthrow the Russian leader was thwarted recently. His support base is said to be eroding, but none of these factors seems to have any influence on the attack on Ukraine.

Whatever Moscow's motives may be, the cost of war, in terms of lives already lost and in peril, has risen with each passing day. Questions about how long the U.S. and Europe can continue to fund the war and at what cost are slowly being raised. France, Germany, and Italy have expressed support for finding a settlement. There have been calls for Russian allies such as India and China to mediate a truce.

Peace has been broken on the continent for the first time since WWII. With nuclear weapons at their disposal, the threat of a continent on the brink of war only makes the situation direr. As long as the "breadbasket of Europe" is under siege and the world's largest energy supplier uses fuel as a bargaining chip, no one can breathe easily.

The course of the aggression has made it apparent that a breakthrough must be sought; else, the conflict will drag on and embroil nations far and wide. The war, at this point, seems to be a matter of pride and prestige, of a person and not a country. For world peace, pride must take a backseat, and the world must clear a path to a mutually acceptable settlement to draw curtains on the Ukraine war without further delay.

Map showing refugee influx from Ukraine in Neighboring countries February 24th to May 30th

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