Russia's Invasion of Ukraine (2)
(April 2022)

Japanese Diet members attended the online address given by Ukrainian President Zelenskyy on March 23rd,2022,where I also participated as policy chief of the KOMEITO party.I keenly felt that Zelenskyy‘s facial expressions revealed his severe resolution to fight against the Russian military even at the risk of his own life.He extended his gratitude for the aid and called on Japan to continue its economic sanctions against Russia.He pointed out the dysfunction of the United Nations Security Council on the brink of crisis and in need for reform.He also asked Japan to play a major role to reform the U.N.

Due to hard resistance by the Ukrainian troops,Russian forces aiming to siege the capital Kyiv had no choice but to withdraw in late March.However,mass killings of civilians in Bucha and other Ukrainian cities near Kyiv were revealed.On April 12th,403 bodies were found in Bucha.The number of fatalities in Mariupol in the southeastern Ukraine topped 10,000 and may even exceed 20,000.There have been many civilian bodies left on the streets.Fierce urban warfare has continued night and day,and the situation is rather disadvantageous for Ukraine.

U.S. President Biden expressed his view that Russia‘s aggression against Ukraine is “Genocide“.The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)released a report on April 13th that confirmed the definite violation against international and humanitarian laws by Russian forces.The report pointed out that regarding the assaults on the hospital and theater in Mariupol,the person in charge committed war crimes since there were no effective warnings or times for evacuation.The OSCE found reliable evidence that most violations against human rights like torture,were done in the region or under the organization occupied by Russian troops.

On the other hand,Russian President Putin said,“It was fake news“.“It‘s impossible to isolate Russia“ and.“Russia couldn't avoid military aggression against Ukraine to save the people in the eastern Ukraine”.

Since early April,Russian troops have been moving to the eastern and southeastern parts of Ukraine.They have initially aimed for the surrender of Kyiv.However,due to fierce resistance by Ukraine forces and logistical problems,Russian troops seemed to change their strategy and are now focusing on suppressing the southeastern port city of Mariupol. They aim to take control of Donetsk and Luhansk in the east while Ukraine forces achieved a brilliant success in the sinking of the Russian missile cruiser,“Moscow“.

As of April 22nd,Russian troops have almost taken control of Mariupol,sieging the ironworks factory where Ukrainian forces barricaded themselves with refugees.Putin aims to complete the occupation of Donetsk and Luhansk by May 9th,the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War 2.

However,the Biden administration announced additional military aid of 800 million dollars to Ukraine and the EU decided to provide 500 million euros.

Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio announced additional sanctions over Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine,such as the freezing of assets of Russia‘s largest bank,Sberbank, a ban on Russian coal imports and the deportation of diplomats from the Russian Embassy in Japan.KISHIDA stated “ We are at a critical point to bring an end to the inhuman aggression and protect our order of peace”.

By Yuzuru Takeuchi