"NATO gave green light to bombing Ukraine": President Zelensky
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has criticized NATO for rejecting his proposal for a no-fly zone above Ukraine. He said that NATO's decision had given Russia a "green signal" to continue attacking Ukrainian cities and villages. "All the people who die from this day forward will also die because of you, because of your weakness, because of your lack of unity," Zelensky added.
Why does this story matter?
Ukraine, a former Soviet republic, aspires to join the European Union (EU) and NATO, a US-led military alliance, which Moscow sees as a danger to its security and influence. While the West chastised Russia, members of NATO are moving cautiously to prevent its engagement in a conflict with the nuclear-armed country. Russia has bombarded residential areas in Ukraine and seized two nuclear installations.
NATO is defensive, not looking for a fight
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday stated that NATO will defend "every inch" of its members' land, but stressed that the alliance is defensive so that there is no further escalation. "Ours is a defensive partnership. We are not looking for a fight," he said. Blinken further stated that if violence arises, NATO won't stay away. "We will be prepared," he added.
What is no-fly zone?
A no-fly zone is an area set apart by armed forces where certain aircraft are prohibited from flying. No-fly zones are established during conflicts or wars to prevent adversaries from assaulting the country that is protected within the zone. A no-fly zone isn't the same as closing airspace to only allow commercial planes to operate. Notably, the Russia-Ukraine crisis had already affected commercial flights.
Russia facing strict global sanctions as it intensifies attack
Ukraine has received support in the shape of the toughest international economic sanctions on Russia to date, as well as arms from NATO members. The G7 countries also stated they will hold Russia accountable and won't recognize any of its territorial gains. Following the escalation, EU ceased numerous Russian lenders from the SWIFT financial system and is considering limiting Russia's access to European markets.
Only Putin can end Ukraine-Russia Crisis: EU official
"It's Putin's war, and only Putin can end it," Josep Borrell, EU Foreign Policy Chief, said. "If someone expects that sanctions can stop the war tomorrow, they don't know what they're talking about," the official added.
UN condemns Russia's invasion on Ukraine, India abstains
A resolution condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine was passed by the UN General Assembly by a vote of 141 to five. Russia, Belarus, North Korea, Syria, and Eritrea were among the countries who voted against the resolution. In the meanwhile, 35 countries abstained, including India, China, and Pakistan. Belarus, who joined Russia in the war, is facing economic penalties from the West.Share this timeline