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Ukraine crisis update: Putin is incriminated by the International Court, as Russia gains territory and China starts to act as mediator

The ongoing war in Ukraine has been a source of tension between the European Union (EU) and Russia in recent months. Despite efforts from China to broker peace talks, the conflict shows no signs of ending. Tensions between the US and Russia are escalating, with both presidents publicly appearing on the issue. In this article, we summarise the main events from February 21 to today. To read about previous events, please follow our link below. On February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that the West was responsible for "fueling the Ukrainian conflict" and announced that Russia would suspend its participation in the New START nuclear weapons treaty. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg responded by accusing Putin of starting the war. Tensions continued to intensify at the United Nations (UN) as the 193-member UN General Assembly called for an end to the conflict. On February 24, the UN council voted on a resolution against Russia and Putin. On the same day, China released an individual initiative for conflict resolution with a proposal of 12 points, including respecting the sovereignty of all countries, abandoning the Cold War mentality, ceasing hostilities, resolving the humanitarian crisis, stopping unilateral sanctions, and keeping industrial and supply chains stable. On February 28, clashes between protesters and police erupted in Moldova's capital, Chisinau, and there were fears of a possible Russian plan to subvert the democratic order of the country and organize a coup d'état. Russia also accused the Ukrainian army of attempting to target civilian infrastructure through drone attacks on the northeastern Black Sea coast. Tensions were confirmed at the G20 meeting of Foreign Ministers, which took place from March 2 to March 4 in New Delhi. A panel of the Group of 20 on March 4 ended without a consensus on the Ukraine war as China joined Russia in refusing to support a demand for Moscow to cease hostilities. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz spoke about the conflict in a speech to the German Parliament, asking China not to help Russia with weapons.

On March 6, the head of Russia's Wagner private army complained about not getting the ammunition it needed from Moscow while Russian troops continued to try to seize the eastern city of Bakhmut from Ukraine. On March 9, Russia pounded Ukraine with missiles and endangered the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant by isolating it from the power grid. In weeks, the most significant Russian strikes on Ukraine killed at least six people and caused power outages nationwide. On March 17, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against Putin over war crimes, focusing on the unlawful deportation of children from Ukraine to Russia since Moscow's invasion in 2022. The ICC cannot arrest suspects without cooperating with a country's government, but Mr Putin could now be stopped if he sets foot in any of the court's 123 member states. He is only the third president to be issued with an ICC arrest warrant. On March 20, China's President Xi Jinping visited Putin in Moscow to follow up on its previously declared role as a mediator in resolving the Ukraine crisis. The two leaders discussed China's 12-point position paper on the Ukraine conflict, which includes a call for dialogue and respect for all countries' territorial sovereignty. However, Western nations criticized China's proposals, saying they were heavy on grand principles but light on practical solutions.

In conclusion, the situation in Ukraine remains tense, with no clear resolution in sight. The conflict has not only affected Ukraine but has also strained relationships between major world powers. While some efforts to broker peace talks have been made, they have failed. The ongoing war in Ukraine is a significant international relations issue and is closely watched by the world community.