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Current Affairs search results for tag: russia-ukraine
By admin: Aug. 20, 2022

Putin, agree to allow UN officials to visit and inspect Zaporizhzhia nuclear power complex in Ukraine

Tags: Russia-Ukraine International News

The Russian Government has agreed to allow the United Nations officials to visit and inspect the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power complex located in South-Eastern Ukraine. The site has been under Russian occupation since early March but Ukrainian technicians still operate it under Russian direction.

The Kremlin made the announcement after a call between the Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron. The Kremlin is a place in Moscow which symbolically refers to the Russian government.

Ukrainian officials said Russia had turned the complex into an army base - deploying military equipment, weapons and about 500 troops who were using the site as a shield to attack towns across the Dnieper River.

Risk at the Zaporizhzhia site

  • The 6000 MW Zaporizhzhia nuclear power complex is the largest European nuclear power complex which has been occupied by the invading Russian forces. .
  • The Russian has militarily fortified the area and there is an increasing risk of counterattack by the Ukrainian forces.
  • Many people fear that the complex may come under artillery fire or rockets which can damage the nuclear reactor.
  • A potentially more serious hazard could come if the power supply to the nuclear reactors and back-up generators was lost and led to a loss of coolant. With no electricity to power the pumps around the hot reactor core, the fuel would start to melt. It will lead to nuclear catastrophe.
  • Head of Russia's nuclear protection corps Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov said the plant's support systems had already been damaged by shelling, and that kind of pump and generator failure could lead to the reactor core overheating and the plant's facilities being destroyed.
  • If it happens then the risk of nuclear disaster is real which will greatly affect Central Europe including Russia.
By admin: Aug. 3, 2022

First grain ship to depart from Ukraine arrives at Turkey's Bosphorus strait

Tags: Russia-Ukraine International News

The first grain ship to depart from Ukraine after the Russian attack on Ukraine on 24 February 2022, has arrived at Turkey's Bosphorus strait.

The commencement of the grain shipment started after a landmark agreement brokered by the United Nations and Turkiye on 22 July 2022in Istanbul, Turkiye to unblock Ukraine’s grain exports from its black sea ports.

Under the terms of a deal, Russia and Ukraine have agreed that shipments can resume from Ukraine’s Odessa port.

The Razoni cargo ship registered in Sierra Leone set sail from Odessa port of Ukraine on 1 August 2022 with 26,000 tonnes of corn.

The ship will go to Lebanon and it has docked in Turkiye for quality inspection.

Ukraine in a statement said that its naval vessels will guide cargo ships through waters which have been mined.

For details kindly also see 23 July 2022 post.

By admin: July 23, 2022

Russian missile attack on Odessa jeopardizes the Landmark grain export deal

Tags: Russia-Ukraine International News

In a blow to the grain accord signed by Russia, Ukraine, Turkiye and the United Nation on 22 July 2022, Russian missiles hit the infrastructure in Odesa in southern Ukraine on 23 July 2022.

This has raised the uncertainty over the implementation of the grain accord which seeks to resume grain export from the Black sea port including Odesa. 

According to the Ukrainian military, the Odesa sea trade port was hit with the Russian Kalibr cruise missiles on 23 July.

Grain accord 

  • Ukraine, Russia, Turkiye and the United Nation (UN) signed an agreement on 22 July 2022 in Istanbul, Turkiye to unblock Ukraine’s Black Sea grain exports.
  • The deal agreed through UN and Turkish mediation establishes safe corridors along which Ukrainian ships can come in and out of three designated Black Sea ports in and around Odessa.
  • The grains are to be exported from the three key Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea: Odessa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny."
  • Under the deal, Ukrainian officials would guide ships through safe channels across mined waters to three ports, including Odesa, where they would be loaded with grain.
  • Russia will not attack the region and will guarantee its safety.
  • The United Nation expects the deal to be fully operational in a few weeks and would restore grain shipments from the three reopened ports to pre-war levels of 5 million tonnes a month.

Background to the issue 

  • A blockade of Ukrainian ports by Russia's Black Sea fleet since Moscow's Feb. 24 invasion of its neighbour and the landmines Ukraine has laid to avert a feared amphibious assault of Russia, has trapped tens of millions of tonnes of grain and stranded many ships. 
  • Russia and Ukraine which are a major grain supplier to the world  and the blockade has led to a sharp increase in food prices across the world and sparking fear of famine in parts of Africa.
  • This deal seeks to avert famine among tens of millions of people in poorer nations by injecting more wheat, sunflower oil, fertilizer and other products into world markets including for humanitarian needs, partly at lower prices.
By admin: May 3, 2022

EU Energy Ministers hold emergency meeting to discuss Russian oil imports and gas cut

Tags: Russia-Ukraine Summits

European Union Energy Ministers gathered in the Belgium capital of Brussels on 2 May 2022, for an emergency meeting to discuss energy  imports from Russia and seek a common response to Moscow cutting gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria.

Russia halted gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland last week after they refused to meet its demand to effectively pay in Russian currency roubles.

In the biggest shift, Germany announced it would no longer oppose an immediate ban on Russian oil imports.

Russia supplies the EU with 26 percent of its oil imports and 40% of its gas imports . Several countries including Germany, are heavily reliant on Russia  for their energy requirement .

European Union

The European Union is an international Organisation of 27 European countries. 

The United Kingdom which was the founding member of the European Union  has left the organisation.

It was founded on 1 November 1993 

Headquarters :Brussels, Belgium

By admin: April 27, 2022

U.S. host weapons summit to arm Ukraine

Tags: Russia-Ukraine

The United States Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin hosted an emergency meeting at Ramstein Air Base, in Germany that sought to speed and synchronise the delivery of arms to Ukraine. 

  • This meeting of 40 countries  was hosted by the United States  after States Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin visited Ukraine on 25 April 2022  along with the US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to Ukraine where he pledged additional military support to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's war effort.

  • Western countries do not want to directly intervene in the war between Russia and Ukraine but they want to arm Ukrainian forces with weapons so that the Ukrainian force can defeat Russia .

  • Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022. Russia says the  "special military operation" in Ukraine is necessary because the United States was using Ukraine to threaten Russia and Ukraine was guilty of the genocide of Russian-speaking people.

  • Ukraine says it is fighting a land grab by Russia and that Putin's accusations of genocide are nonsense.

By admin: April 22, 2022

Tata Steel to stop doing business with Russia

Tags: Russia-Ukraine Economics/Business

India’s largest steel company by revenue ,Tata Steel has announced that it will stop doing business with Russia .

Tata Steel does not have any business or operation in Russia but it imports coal from Russia for its steel plants in India .

  • Tata Steel has manufacturing plants in the Netherlands and United Kingdom and they will also stop their Russian operations .

  •  A number of Western countries have imposed harsh economic sanctions on Russia and its companies for its invasion of Ukraine. 

  • Though the Government of India has not imposed any sanctions on Russia, few Indian companies like Infosys have announced closure of their Russian operations .

TATA Steel 

It is an Indian multinational steel company operating in 26 countries 

It was founded by JRD Tata in 1907 as Tata Steel as Tata Iron and Steel Companies (TISCO) which was later renamed as Tata Steel.

It set  up its first steel plant in Jamshedpur , Jharkhand.

Headquarter of Tata Steel : Mumbai, Maharashtra 

Chairperson : N. Chandrasekaran  

By admin: April 22, 2022

Western Countries boycotts Russia at the G-20 Finance Ministers meet

Tags: Russia-Ukraine Summits

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and her Canadian and European counterparts led a walkout of a meeting of Group of 20 Finance Ministers  and Central Bank Governors held in Washington D.C ,  when the Russian Finance Minister  Anton Siluanov started speaking .

  • The United States and its allies  took this step to protest the Russian invasion of Ukraine .

  • The United States wants Russia to be expelled from G-20 but it can be done only when there is unanimous support of the member countries . China and India and other  non-European countries are not in favour of this U.S move.

  • The G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governor meeting was held under the chairmanship of the  Indonesian Finance Minister  Sri Mulyani Indrawati. Indonesia is the current chairman of G-20.

  • The Indian side was led by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das also participated in the meeting  .

G-20 Group 

  • Group of 20 or G-20 is a multilateral organisation which was set up in 1999.

  • It consists of the world's major developed and developing countries.

  • It consists of 19 countries and the European Union. The member countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States.

  • The presidency of the G20 rotates every year among its members, with the country that holds the presidency working together with its predecessor and successor, also known as Troika, to ensure the continuity of the agenda. Currently Italy, Indonesia, and India are the Troika countries.

  • Italy was the President of the G-20 in 2021. Indonesia is the President for 2022 and India will be the President in 2023. 

  • The first Summit meeting of the leaders of the G-20 was held in 2008 at Washington, United States.

  • The G20 has no permanent secretariat.

  • G-20 members constitute 60% of the world population, 80% of World economy and 75% of world trade. 

By admin: April 21, 2022

Russian and Belarussian players banned at Wimbledon 2022

Tags: Russia-Ukraine Sports

The All England Lawn Tennis Club's which organises the Wimbledon Grand Slam Tennis tournament has announced that the Russian and the Belarussian tennis players will not be allowed to play at this year's events due to the  Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Belarus support to Russia on this .

  • It is for the first time the two countries' players have been banned in any tennis tournament .

  • It means that men's world number two Daniil Medvedev from Russia and women's fourth-ranked Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus will  not be able to participate in the tournament ,to be held  from June 27-July 10  ,2022.

  • The All England club move has been criticized by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and the Women Tennis Professionals (WTP).

Wimbledon 

  •  It is the world’s oldest  tennis tournament which started in 1877. It is held  every year in London and played on grass courts.

  • Wimbledon is one of the four Grand Slam tournaments of tennis . The others are the Australian Open , French Open and U.S open  

Current Champions (2021)

  • Female singles titles : Ashleigh Barty of Australia 

  • Male singles titles: Novak Djokovic of Serbia .
By admin: April 8, 2022

Russia suspended from UN Human Rights Council

Tags: Russia-Ukraine International Relations

The United Nations General Assembly on 7 April 2022, suspended Russia from the U.N. Human Rights Council over reports of "gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights" in Ukraine.

  • The United States moved this resolution after Ukraine accused Russian troops of killing dozens of civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha.

  • In Retaliation Russia announced that it was quitting the United Nation Human Rights Council. 

  • The United States led resolution in the United Nations General Assembly needed two-thirds majority of voting members in the 193-member General Assembly. The resolution was passed with 93 Votes in favour, 24 countries voted against the resolution and 58 countries including India abstained.  

  • The United Nation Human Rights Council has 47 members and Russia was in its second year of a three-year term. The United Nation General Assembly has the power to end the suspension but that cannot happen now as Russia has quit the council.

  • In 2018 the United States also quit the Human Rights Council alleging that the council was biased against Israel and a lack of reform. It was later re-elected to the council last year. 

  • Libya was suspended in 2011 because of violence against protesters by forces loyal to then-leader Muammar Gaddafi.

  • The Human Rights Council does not have the power to make legally binding decisions . It can at best authorize investigation into cases of alleged Human Rights violation in the member countries .

  • In the month of February 2022, it  opened an investigation into allegations of rights violations including possible war crimes, in Ukraine.

  • The Russian government has warned that countries which voted in favour of the resolution or abstained will be seen as an unfriendly gesture" with consequences for bilateral ties.

What is United Nations Human Rights Council

 The United Nations Human Rights Council was set up by the United Nation General Assembly in 2006. It replaced the United Nations Commission  Human Rights which was set up in 1946.

Main Functions 

As it names suggest it was set up to ;

  • Strengthen  the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe;

  •  for addressing situations of human rights violations and makes recommendations on them.;

  • It discusses human rights issues and situations around the world .

Members 

It has 47 members who are elected for three years by the United National General Assembly. The membership is distributed among regions. 13 members come from Asia and 13 from Africa , 6 come from East Europe, 7 from Western Europe and other groups  and 8 from South America and Caribbean countries.

Headquarters : Geneva, Switzerland 

President : Federico Villegras  of Argentina.

By admin: April 2, 2022

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov hold talks with Indian leadership

Tags: Russia-Ukraine International News

The Russian foreign minister and a close ally of  Russian President Vladimir Putin met top Indian leadership including the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, foreign minister S. Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval during his two day visit ( 31 March, 1 April 2022) to India.

  • The Russian foreign minister came to India after visiting China where he participated in the Extended Troika in Afghanistan meeting (See 1 April 2022 post). 

  • Sergei Lavrov visited India to  seek Indian support and strengthen close ties with traditional ally India after U.S. and British officials pressed India to avoid undermining the dollar-based financial system and sanctions imposed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.(Kindly see 1 April 2022 post).

  • Russia is the biggest supplier of defence equipment to India and Lavrov said the two countries would use a rupee-rouble mechanism to trade oil, military hardware and other goods.

  • The US deputy national security adviser, Daleep Singh  who visited India recently had warned that there will be consequences for countries that attempt to circumvent the Western sanctions imposed on Russia.

  • Lavrov offered to sell premium grade Russian Ural oil to India at a discount of $35 per barrel.  

  • India has bought millions of barrels of crude oil from Russia at a discount since the war erupted and has also bought  sunflower oil from Russia at a record high price after supplies from Ukraine stopped. (Also see 29 March 2022 post).

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his meeting with Lavrov called for a ceasefire in Ukraine  and expressed willingness to contribute in any way to peace efforts. 

  • Lavrov said Russia would be open to India mediating between Ukraine and Russia. 

Important for Exam 

Currency of Russia : Rouble 

Capital :Moscow 

President : Vladimir Putin

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