New reports continue to emerge regarding the ongoing military operation unfolding between Russia and Ukraine. According to reports, Russia and Ukraine are set to meet today at the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, near the Pripyat River at an undisclosed location for a diplomatic talk. Officials have indicated that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy set low expectations for the meeting, and stated that the meeting on the border will yield little. According to reports, Ukraine will push for immediate cease fire and withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine. Additionally, Zelenskyy called on the European Union (EU) to grant Ukraine immediate membership into the union under a “special procedure.” Moreover, in a recently released video, Zelenskyy claimed that approximately 4,500 troops have been killed; however, the situation is extremely fluid and this number cannot be confirmed.Recently, top officials condemned the alarming concern surrounding Russian President Vladimir Putin order to place Russian nuclear deterrent forces on high alert. Additionally, reports indicated that Belarus has been supporting Russia, not taking part directly in the war; however, officials stated that Belarus could send troops into Ukraine as early as today, but this cannot yet be confirmed. The United Nations (UN) is set to hold a rare emergency session today regarding the events unfolding in Ukraine, with the UN ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield stating that Russia will be held accountable.
Since the international community’s response of strict sanctions against Russia, Russia’s currency crashed to a record low against the U.S. dollar on Monday. According to reports, the ruble lost more than 30 percent of its value to trade at 109 to the dollar at 2:30am after earlier plummeting as much as 40 percent, which delayed the start of trading on the Russian stock market. Additionally, U.S. authorities have warned of an increase in cyberattacks targeting U.S. interests and of ongoing protest events in major cities across the country.
The situation is extremely fluid and details are subject to change. MSA Intel will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates in future reports.