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Russian forces launch a full invasion of Ukraine

Putin approves a “special military operation” as Russia conducts a land, air, and sea invasion of Ukraine.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin stated in a pre-dawn television broadcast that Russia had no plans to seize Ukraine and asked that its military lay down its arms. Attacks on Ukrainian military targets were reported moments afterward.

“Putin has launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine,” Ukraine declared.

Russia’s troops broke the border in a number of locations, including Belarus, a long-time Russian ally, in the north, south, and east.

At least seven individuals have been killed, including civilians, but according to a Ukrainian presidential adviser, more than 40 soldiers have perished and scores more have been injured.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine declared martial law across the country and broke all diplomatic ties with Russia.

Warning sirens sounded throughout the capital, which has a population of about three million people.

According to Mr. Zelensky, Russia first targeted Ukraine’s military infrastructure and border guard troops. Ukrainian forces then claimed that Russian military vehicles had crossed the border at Kharkiv in the north; Luhansk in the east; the Russian-annexed Crimea in the south; and Belarus. Belarus’ autocratic leader, Alexander Lukashenko, stated that his country’s military was not involved, but could be if necessary.

Later, Russian tanks were observed on the outskirts of Kharkiv, a 1.4 million-person metropolis. The Russian military is also said to have arrived by water in Ukraine’s key port cities of Odesa on the Black Sea and Mariupol on the Azov Sea.

The Ukrainian army reported the Boryspil international airport in Kyiv, as well as military headquarters and stockpiles in the major cities of Kyiv, Dnipro, Kharkiv, and Mariupol, had been bombarded.

Mr. Zelensky claimed that Russia has deployed about 200,000 troops and tens of thousands of military vehicles to Ukraine’s borders.

This image from the Russian defense ministry dated February 4 shows rocket launchers firing on a snow-covered field during joint exercises with Belarus (Photo by Handout/Russian defense ministry/AFP)

Why Russia invades Ukraine?

Russia’s president said earlier this week that he would recognize the independence of two self-proclaimed people’s republics in eastern Ukraine, Donetsk and Luhansk.

After Russia invaded Crimea in 2014, Russian-backed separatists seized the breakaway territories. Mr. Putin initiated the attack in response to the ouster of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych by major street protests in Ukraine.

Since then, over 14,000 people have died in eastern Ukraine as a result of fighting between insurgents and Ukrainian authorities. A tenuous ceasefire had been maintained, but there had been a recent spike in violations.

The military operation’s goal, according to Mr. Putin, is to protect the people in the separatist districts.

Mr. Putin’s accusations that Ukraine is ruled by neo-Nazis have been consistently dismissed by Kyiv and its Western supporters, pointing out that, unlike totalitarian Russia, Ukraine is now a nation with rising democratic institutions.

For months, there have been growing fears of a Russian attack.

Mr. Putin has accused the US and its allies of neglecting Russia’s demands to prevent Ukraine from joining Nato and to provide Moscow with security guarantees.

RV Cuarto is the founder and editor-in-chief of EveryTechEver, a startup team of writers and researchers. He started in tech journalism in the early days of 2012 as the founder of the successful tech site Nokia Revolution. His belt of experience spans across the industry, from consumer electronics, data operations, and cloud computing, with several brands including Dell, Nokia, Realme, and Huawei. He is also an HIV advocate and a public speaker. He spends his free time singing, playing mobile games, and experimenting with new recipes in his kitchen. Follow him on Tiktok.

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Trade

U.S. blacklists a dozen more Chinese tech firms

US wants to prevent its technologies from being used to benefit China’s military.

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The Biden administration is putting more pressure on Chinese firms it believes are threatening US national security. The US Commerce Department put a dozen Chinese companies on a trade blacklist on Wednesday, claiming that some of the companies have backed China’s army development.

The measure is part of a US effort to prevent developing US technologies from being used for quantum computing activities that would benefit China’s military, such as “counter-stealth and counter-submarine applications,” according to US officials.

Concerns about China’s “ability to break encryption or develop unbreakable encryption” were also raised by the Commerce Department, which added several Chinese and Pakistani entities to the list for assisting Pakistan’s nuclear or ballistic missile programs. Tensions between the US and China escalated under former President Donald Trump and have continued to simmer under President Joe Biden. Despite a recent first virtual conference with President Xi Jinping, as well as coordination on the climate problem and oil reserves, his government has done little to relieve Beijing’s pressure.

The Biden administration added seven Chinese corporations with military ties to a list that prevents US companies from doing business with them in April. The Commerce Department said at the time that the companies worked in the field of supercomputing and had aided the Chinese government in modernizing its military or working on weapons of mass destruction programs.

Tensions between the US and China, which had risen under former President Donald Trump, have remained low under President Joe Biden. Despite a recent first virtual conference with President Xi Jinping, as well as coordination on the climate problem and oil reserves, his government has done little to relieve Beijing’s pressure.

The Biden administration added seven Chinese corporations with military ties to a list that prevents US companies from doing business with them in April. The Commerce Department said at the time that the companies worked in the field of supercomputing and had aided the Chinese government in modernizing its military or working on weapons of mass destruction programs.

China’s Foreign Ministry slammed the latest penalties on Thursday, vowing to “take all necessary steps to fiercely safeguard the lawful rights and interests of Chinese firms.”
Zhao Lijian, a Chinese government spokesman, accused the US of “repeatedly generalizing national security” and “abusing state power” to restrict Chinese businesses.

The US Commerce Department has added 27 foreign businesses and persons to its trade blacklist. Other targets were headquartered in Pakistan, Japan, and Singapore, in addition to the Chinese enterprises.
In a statement, US Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo said, “Global trade and commerce should foster peace, prosperity, and good-paying jobs, not national security risks.”

Photo credit: Aly Song | Reuters

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