Turkey’s Erdogan performs balancing act as Russia-Ukraine mediator
17 March 2022 | 7:26 am
Turkey is one of the many countries calling for calm in Ukraine. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his government will relentlessly try to find a long-lasting ceasefire and Turkey has already hosted the first high-level peace talks between the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers. But Ankara is walking something of a tightrope because it's traditionally a friend of Ukraine and has been supplying drones to Kyiv. Yet it also depends on Russia for gas. Our Turkey correspondent Jasper Mortimer tells us more.
Ukraine has accused Russia of bombing a children’s hospital and maternity ward in the besieged port city of Mariupol, wounding 17 people and trapping children and others under the rubble in what it called “a war crime without justification”.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told the Polish minister of defense that the US does not support the transfer of MiG-29 fighter jets to the Ukrainian air force "at this time," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said, either by Poland transferring them to Ukraine with the US backfilling Poland's fleet or by Poland transferring the MiG-29s to the US to then give to Ukraine.
In an interview with FRANCE 24, Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Olha Stefanishyna confirmed an attack from Russian forces on a children's hospital in the city of Mariupol, saying "there is no doubt this has been a targeted attack". She also warned that Russia had shut off the Chernobyl nuclear plant and claimed that this was part of a series of reckless actions that increase the threat of a nuclear accident.
Medical student Bisola Ehi Ogolowa from Nigeria has managed to flee Ukraine to neighboring Hungary. She might be safe from Russian bombs, but she feels alone and without help.
While Western leaders hope China will play a more active role in mediating between Russia and Ukraine, experts say it's unlikely that Beijing will jeopardize its warming ties with Moscow.
The White House is warning that Russia could be planning a chemical or biological weapon attack in Ukraine. Washington says it's "very concerned" about the potential for the war to escalate and the possibility that Moscow may deploy non-conventional weapons. To discuss this and more, we're joined for Perspective by Edward Arnold, a research fellow for European security at the Royal United Services Institute think tank in London.
Just over two weeks on from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Catherine Nicholson is joined by Polish MEP Roza Thun und Hohenstein and German MEP Helmut Scholz to discuss the European response to the crisis. The reception of refugees in the EU is a pressing issue; earlier this week the bloc's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell announced €100 million for immediate humanitarian help. MEP Scholz calls for a "clear answer" from the EU on how to help people in need, while questioning the militarisation of the response. To what extent should Europe help the Ukrainian military against the Russian army? And how can escalation be avoided as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky continues to plead for more help?
Open-source intelligence (or OSINT) has grown up. Digging up the truth about criminals, conflicts and cartels using only what's available online used to be the obscure realm of hobbyists. Now with the war in Ukraine, OSINT enthusiasts and professionals alike have been thrust into the spotlight and hundreds of thousands of people are poring over their work. They have a new, global audience and new responsibilities, as we explore in this week's Tech 24.
Russia's attack on Ukraine is putting Russian speakers in Estonia under pressure to decide which side of history they are on. The Estonian government is under pressure to help them feel more at home in the Baltic state.
Towns and villages in the Kherson region, under occupation by Russian troops since the first days of the war, have been completely isolated. The behavior of the Russian soldiers has left many citizens puzzled.
The growing exodus of Western firms has upset Russian consumers, while authorities are weighing up the possibility of temporarily taking over firms with large shares of foreign ownership. We take a closer look. Also, the IMF warns that rising commodity prices due to the war in Ukraine could hurt developing nations in particular, and investors grapple with market volatility.
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