The Latest in Russia and Ukraine News
In recent days, Russia has made a number of accusations about the U.S. government’s actions in Ukraine. One of these is that members of President Putin’s military committed war crimes in the country. Another is that the Russian military tried to sabotage the energy grid of the Ukrainian state. Several articles have been written about the topic in the news. This article addresses a few of them.
Russian military hackers allegedly sought to shut down Ukraine’s energy grid.
A new report suggests that Russian military hackers were working to shut down Ukraine’s energy grid. Researchers are not sure who is behind the malware, but they do know it was part of a larger campaign against industrial control systems in the country.
The Russians are known to carry out disruptive cyber attacks, and this may be one of their latest. But the Kremlin prefers to avoid escalation with NATO. It’s also possible they are trying to gather cyberintelligence.
An attack on the energy grid would have caused blackouts for two million people in the country. However, Ukrainian authorities thwarted the hacking attempt. They worked with the antivirus company ESET to block the malware. Some equipment required physical access to restore.
This malware is called Industroyer, and it is thought to be the work of the Russian GRU, a military intelligence agency. It was programmed to execute at 6:10 a.m. EST, and it knocked electricity substations in Kyiv offline for an hour.
The U.S. government concludes that members of Putin’s army have committed war crimes in Ukraine.
Russia’s armed forces have committed numerous war crimes in Ukraine, according to a report released by the United Nations’ International Crimes Commission. A team of investigators has launched an initial investigation in Kyiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, and Chernihiv and has interviewed 150 victims of the attacks. The commission’s report will provide a basis for prosecutions in international courts.
The report found that the Russian armed forces carried out an indiscriminate campaign against civilians, including children. It was also found that they used illegal weapons. They shelled schools, hospitals, and other buildings.
One of the victims interviewed by the commission was Yuliia “Taira” Paievska, a Ukrainian woman who was detained in Mariupol. She described horrific living conditions as well as psychological manipulation and daily torture.
According to the report, Russian soldiers have committed gender-based violence and sexual violence against women and children. There have been reports of women being raped before being killed by Russian soldiers.
Sino-US relations are undermined by Scott’s visit to Taiwan.
The recent visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan has had a profound negative impact on the relationship between the two countries. Rather than a simple courtesy visit, the trip was seen by Beijing as a provocative ploy that violates China’s sovereignty and the one-China principle. It also raises tensions in the region.
During her stay, Pelosi received high-profile protocol from authorities of the Democratic Progressive Party in Taiwan. Her travel on a US government jet has also contributed to the perception that the United States is trying to contain China rather than engage in an ongoing dialogue.
While the United States has taken some meaningful steps to support Taiwan’s participation in international organizations, the country has failed to make clear its commitments to the one-China principle. For instance, its efforts to denigrate democratic freedoms in Hong Kong have exacerbated Taiwan’s resistance to Beijing.
As a result, Beijing has made it a point to counter any US attempts to promote or strengthen relations with Taiwan. In particular, the Chinese government has issued a series of warnings to the US.
Biden has “no plans” to visit Ukraine.
There has been a lot of talk about whether or not US President Joe Biden will be visiting Ukraine. After all, several world leaders have been making visits to the capital city in the past week, including the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The White House, however, is not planning a visit by the president of the United States to Ukraine during his trip to Europe. On Sunday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the president has “no plans” to travel to Ukraine during his upcoming trip.
While some are wondering why the administration is not sending President Biden to Ukraine, others have pointed out the security challenges that could result from his visit. In particular, the US has been the largest supplier of military aid to Ukraine, and a visit would put the president in direct conflict with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
According to the White House, Biden is “ready” to visit Kyiv, but security issues have stopped him from traveling. He has also cited a desire to make contact with the Ukrainian government and have diplomats on site.