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'India has to be part of peace solution': Ukraine as war with Russia completes two years

India has always called for a peaceful resolution to the conflict and has condemned the killing of civilians, notably with PM Modi telling Putin "this is not the era of war". Meanwhile, Ukraine has invited India to the Global Peace Summit to be held in Switzerland next month.

Aveek Banerjee Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee New Delhi Published on: February 23, 2024 13:10 IST
Russia Ukraine War, Ukraine on India, Iryna Borovets
Image Source : ANI Ukraine's Deputy Foreign Minister Iryna Borovets.

New Delhi: As the second anniversary of the Russia-Ukraine war nears, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Iryna Borovets underscored India's position as a voice for the Global South and said New Delhi has to play a "crucial role" in finding a peaceful solution in the conflict. Ukraine has also been invited to the Global Peace Summit scheduled for March in Switzerland.

"India has a crucial role. First of all, India is a global leader, it is certainly a powerful voice of the Global South countries. India respects the territorial integrity of my country. So in that sense, we have full support. But, India could be more vocal on it, could take more action towards finding a peaceful solution," Borovets told news agency ANI.

Since the outbreak of the war, India has always condemned civilian killings and called for a peaceful resolution to the conflict. An important moment came when Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Russian President Vladimir Putin that "this is not the era of war" on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Uzbekistan last year.

Borovets said Ukraine is dealing with a shortage of weaponry. Despite struggling to get foreign aid from Western countries, Borovets said that over 50 countries are providing military and humanitarian assistance to Kyiv. "With India, we will talk about global and bilateral agenda, especially bilateral. We didn't have visits at the high levels be it MEA or the President of Ukraine and PM Modi, we will be talking about it as personal contacts are very important," she added.

She also pledged to talk to India about the possibilities of economic investment and expressed appreciation for New Delhi helping Kyiv in humanitarian terms. She also called PM Modi's message to Putin last year as powerful.

Russia-Ukraine war approaches two years

As the war completes two years, Russian forces recently completed their capture of the Ukrainian city of Avdiivka, after the withdrawal of Ukrainian forces as they were overwhelmed by the weight of Russian troops and their firepower. The victory was a morale boost for Russia ahead of the presidential elections in March where Putin is expected to win.

Avdiivka, which is called Avdeyevka by Russians, has endured a decade of conflict. It holds particular symbolism for Russia as it was briefly taken in 2014 by Moscow-backed separatists who seized a swathe of eastern Ukraine but was then recaptured by Ukrainian troops who built extensive fortifications. The city sits in the industrial Donbas region, 15 km (9 miles) north of the Russian-occupied city of Donetsk.

The second year of Ukraine’s fight against Russia’s full-scale invasion brought no respite for Ukrainian soldiers or civilians, as their counteroffensive failed to repel Russian forces from occupied areas in 2023. The conflict has killed more than 10,000 civilians and wounded nearly 20,000 others, the United Nations says. The cost of reconstruction is likely to run into hundreds of billions of dollars.

Among the casualties, Ukraine expects that more than 20,000 people, many of them soldiers, will have a limb amputated. Many are victims of anti-tank mines, aerial bombs, missiles and artillery shells. Kyiv officials have pleaded with Ukraine’s Western partners to accelerate the delivery of military aid so its forces can hold out against the onslaught.

Now, Russian troops are driving forward around Lyman and Kupiansk, in the Kharkiv region that borders Russia, ignoring casualties or equipment losses, according to Illia Yevlash, spokesperson for the operational group overseeing the eastern front line. “Despite the enormous losses, which the enemy does not take into consideration, it is constantly replenishing its reserves,” Yevlash said.

(with inputs from agencies)

ALSO READ | Russia eliminates last pocket of resistance in Ukraine's Avdiivka, completes city's capture

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