As world leaders arrived in Brussels last night, the city skies were alive with helicopters and police were out in full force. Today, not only President Biden but also premiers of the UK, Canada, and France (among others) convene in the capital for an emergency summit about Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
One month has now passed since Russian military moved in on Ukraine, a grim milestone that the WHO estimates has seen a quarter of Ukrainians forcibly displaced and casualties number in the thousands. However, despite the brutal intensity of the offensive, the spirit and resolve of the Ukrainian defence has surprised onlookers and invading forces themselves, one Russian general admitting that they had considerably "underestimated" their target.
NATO estimates that Russian military casualties could number up to 15,000 – a figure that far exceeds official Kremlin reports. This has seen morale among the invading forces plummet while Western sanctions have hit home in Russia, sending the currency into freefall and seeing long queues for basic goods.
Yet with the attack not turning out to be the walk-over they had expected, Russian tactics are becoming increasingly destructive, deploying weapons never before used in modern warfare. Putin is also strongly suspected of turning to chemical weapons – a major concern that NATO will discuss today.
In a recorded address from the deserted streets of Kyiv, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy cast the allied response as a test of friendship. As leaders talk the talk in Brussels today, the world waits to see if they will walk the walk.
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