September 16, 2019

Situation in Ukraine

United Nations Security Council

Topic: Situation in Ukraine

On February 24, 2022 a “special military operation” was enacted by the Russian Federation against the nation of Ukraine. The special operation saw mass missile and artillery strikes across the country followed by a ground invasion. The operation is the largest operation conducted against Ukraine since the annexation of Crimea in 2014. Separatists backed by Russian assets have waged war against Ukraine in the Donbas region ever since, attempting to claim independence. These forces continue to fight alongside Russian forces. The invasion was initiated under the claim that the Ukrainian government consists of neo-Nazis that have oppressed an ethnic Russian minority. These claims have not been substantiated to the satisfaction of much of the international community.

The conflict has contributed to the global refugee crisis, food shortages, and general shortages in resources and goods for global commerce. The conflict has also yielded significant civilian casualties. Members of the international community have supplied aid to both sides of the conflict – members of NATO have supplied arms and munitions to Ukrainian forces while China and North Korea have provided ammunition and economic aid to Russia. The conflict is largely undecided as each side has launched attacks and counter-attacks. Certain regions offer special concerns to the international community, such as Chernobyl and the Zaporzhzhia nuclear power plant. These two locations offer the threat of nuclear catastrophe should conflict erupt at either location. Russian forces have largely vacated Chernobyl, however the Zaporzhzhia plant remains a significant risk as it has been at the center of a crisis as it has been held by Russian forces and attacked by Ukrainian forces. One of three operational nuclear power plants in Ukraine, a disruption of the control systems, generators that operate coolant pumps, or the containment facilities may lead to a nuclear disaster that would span most of continental Europe.

The situation in Ukraine is a global one. Shipments of grain threaten the global food supply if not carried out and the supply of grains will likely be severely diminished next year as the fields of the world’s bread basket are torn apart by war. Parties on both sides of the conflict are providing arms and supplies that extend the battles and reduce the likelihood of peace talks. How can the Security Council reduce the civilian casualties in this conflict? How can the safety of refugees fleeing active combat zones be guaranteed? Is there a way to continue supplying grains to the rest of the world while maintaining neutrality? How can the parties in this conflict be brought to peace talks? Is there reason for the international community to consider the independence of the Donbas region?

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