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Thursday, August 18, 2022

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EXPLAINER: This is why Russia is invading the Ukraine

Activists hold placards and shout slogans during the rally called "Empire must die" outside the Russian embassy Photo by Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP

Activists hold placards and shout slogans during the rally called "Empire must die" outside the Russian embassy Photo by Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP

Published Feb 24, 2022

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Durban - The world woke up to news of Russia's full-scale invasion of the Ukraine.

This comes after a series of threats issued by Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

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Interfax Ukraine reported rocket attacks on military facilities throughout Ukraine and that Russian troops had landed in the southern port cities of Odessa and Mariupol. It also reported staff and passengers evacuating Kyiv's Boryspil International Airport.

According to The Guardian, Russia is targeting Ukraine's military infrastructure as it has struck Ukrainian airfields, military headquarters and military warehouses.

The BBC reported that around 200 000 troops were deployed near Ukraine's borders.

Putin is targeting Ukraine because he claims the country is a puppet of the West.

He wants Ukraine to guarantee that it will not join Nato, to demilitarise and become a neutral state.

There has always been tension between the two countries but it escalated last year when President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wanted to join Nato.

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In retaliation, Russia deployed troops to the Ukraine border for 'training exercises'.

According to Reuters, the invasion has impacted dollar, gold and oil prices. The Euro Stoxx 50 futures and German DAX futures were down more than 3.5% in early deals, while FTSE futures were 2% lower.

World leaders have called on Putin to pull back his troops.

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In South Africa, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, expressed concerns about the invasion.

She said all parties have much to gain from a negotiated outcome and much to lose from an unnecessary and violent conflict.

"South Africa further calls on the UN Security Council to play a central role in the search for peace. The UNSC is the body given the mandate for maintenance of international peace and security and it must exercise its role fully. As South Africa, we believe all the issues of concern to any of the parties must be addressed in inclusive talks led by the UNSG," she said.

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Pandor added that the world does not need another war as that will result in death and destruction.

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