Joe Biden is the reason why Russia invaded Ukraine – NYK Daily Exclusive

President Joe Biden, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris, speaks Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the White House in Washington, after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convict...

Ex President Barack Obama and President Joe Biden are expected to meet in the coming days, and that’s not all that’s on the agenda. The president will also have to make his case to the Senate, where Democrats are eager to push back on the economic sanctions on Russia. Meanwhile, Biden’s administration has been making an effort to reach out to Republican lawmakers. A lot of the issues at stake include Russia’s attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, the economy’s strain, and Russia’s seat on the U.N.’s top human rights body.

Russia’s attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure

Ukraine’s energy infrastructure has been targeted by Russia’s armed forces repeatedly. According to Ukrainian authorities, the aim of the strikes is to destroy the country’s power grid. The armed forces have launched nine waves of large-scale attacks.

These strikes have caused widespread civilian casualties. Power outages have been reported in at least 16 regions. It is estimated that around 40 percent of Ukraine’s energy system has been damaged.

Russian armed forces have repeatedly launched missiles and drones at the Ukrainian power network. They have targeted key elements of the transmission and distribution network. Their actions have destroyed more than 30 percent of Ukraine’s power stations.

Human Rights Watch reports that Russian forces are violating international law by targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. Laws of war prohibit the use of attacks on military targets that may cause excessive civilian damage.

According to a report by Human Rights Watch, attacks on power infrastructure in Ukraine have affected over ten thousand households. During the first two weeks of October, 40% of the normal electrical supply was offline. This has been a major concern for cities in Ukraine.

Ukrainian officials say that the attacks are designed to disrupt the flow of electricity to consumers and to force Kyiv to surrender. A number of attacks have hit civilian buildings, killing dozens of people.

In response to Human Rights Watch’s request for information, DTEK, the largest private energy company in Ukraine, said that three of its employees were killed in the strikes. However, the state prosecutor’s office reported that 92 attacks on the energy infrastructure were carried out in October and November.

President Zelenskyy says that the strikes have seriously damaged the country’s energy infrastructure. He estimates that 4.5 million Ukrainians are without power.

Russia’s support for cyberattacks on the U.S.

If there was one word to describe Russia’s cyber attacks on the U.S. it would be “disruptive.” These types of attacks can be very destructive, and have the potential to create social and economic turmoil. They are also best deployed in combination with other disruptive tactics, such as diplomacy, disinformation, and electronic warfare.

The Russian government has been using cyberattacks to disrupt other nations since 2007. Examples include Estonian banks in 2007 and the US parliament in 2007. In the case of Estonia, it sought to thwart the relocation of a Soviet-era monument.

Russian cyberattacks are typically used as part of diplomatic or sub-military war strategies. Some experts believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin will give the green light for major cyberattacks later this year.

Russian cyberattacks are generally quieter than they were in previous years. However, Ukrainian officials have warned of a new wave of cyberattacks.

Ukraine has made great efforts to strengthen its cybersecurity. However, it has been kept off balance by Russia’s forays into cyberspace.

It’s possible that Putin will resort to cyberattacks to increase pressure on the West. He may even choose to coordinate with the cybercriminal community.

Cyberattacks are often accompanied by other types of disruption, such as protests and civil actions. This can overwhelm decision makers’ ability to make the right choices.

A recent FBI warning to five U.S. energy companies was a warning to watch out for cybersecurity scans and alerts. Another example of a cyberattack was the infiltration of a Colonial Pipeline system in April, which caused gas shortages in the Southeastern U.S.

Other examples of the cyber “smarts” are the 2007 Estonian bank attack, and the 2016 US presidential election. But if Russia were to use cyberattacks as a substitute for military action or diplomacy, it could create new problems for the United States.

Russia’s economy is straining under economic sanctions

Russia’s economy is now tense, weakened by Western sanctions. Oil and gas sales make up half of the country’s budget. It is predicted that Russia’s growth rate will fall by more than a fifth next year. This could lead to more widespread disruptions.

A study by Yale University estimates that imports to Russia have collapsed. Technology imports from all but Turkey have dropped. Almost all sectors are under pressure to substitute for imported parts.

Sanctions are also hamstringing Russian military capability. As a result of war and economic sanctions, hundreds of thousands of Russians have left the country. The economy is losing private investment, and even pro-state business has stayed away.

Sanctions have slowed down innovation and caused structural inflation. Moreover, the quality of goods is falling. Consumer demand is also waning.

With so many people withdrawn from the economy, the brain drain will increase wages faster than productivity. That will put a strain on the labor market.

Sanctions have also forced Russia to restrict technology transfers. The telecommunications sector may fall behind the world’s leaders in 2022.

Russia has diversified its fossil fuel exports to Asia. But its oil production in the medium term is being hammered. Several European governments have already imposed oil price caps on Russia’s output. These will reduce Moscow’s income, and increase the deficit.

The Kremlin has tried to offset these losses by selling more oil to Asia at a steep discount. But the European Union has banned most of Russia’s oil imports.

Moreover, China has refused to support Western sanctions. Russia will need to find alternative trade partners.

One of the most damaging impacts of Western sanctions is their effect on the financial system. Banks in the West have cut off correspondent banking services. Some have banned dozens of Russian banks from facilitating international payments in dollars.

Russia’s seat on the U.N.’s top human rights body

Russia has been suspended from the United Nations Human Rights Council after allegations of human rights violations in the Ukraine. The UN General Assembly approved resolutions demanding that Russia withdraw its troops from Ukraine, provide humanitarian access, and end its military intervention in that country.

The Human Rights Council was founded in 2006 to promote respect for human rights and international peace. It consists of 15 members who serve three-year terms. They are elected by a secret ballot. Members are not automatically re-elected after two consecutive terms.

Last March, the Human Rights Council suspended Russia from membership. This followed the February invasion of Ukraine. In the aftermath, the Kremlin launched a brutal crackdown on dissent and critics. Russian authorities expanded existing restrictions on groups and “foreign agents” that they labeled as “extremists.”

During the UN Security Council’s emergency meeting on Friday, Russian Ambassador Gennady Kuzmin spoke out against the resolution. He called it “human rights colonialism” and a “witch hunt” against Moscow.

Ukraine’s ambassador to the UN, Sergiy Kyslytsya, urged his fellow UNGA members to vote ‘yes’ on the resolution. However, only a handful of states voted to suspend Russia.

The resolution also included a demand to launch an investigation into possible war crimes in Ukraine. According to the UN, the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, composed of Jasminka Dzumhur, Pablo de Greiff, and Erik Mose, will investigate possible violations of international humanitarian law.

The Russian government has denied that it has targeted civilians in the Ukrainian conflict. But Ukraine has called the accusations of human rights violations tantamount to war crimes.

On the other hand, the US and Ukraine have said that it is not only possible, but necessary, to hold Russia responsible for its violations. As such, the US has been calling for the UN to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council.

Biden’s outreach to Republican lawmakers

After two years in the White House, President Joe Biden continues to make efforts to engage Republican lawmakers, and to find common ground on key issues. His focus in the coming year is on reviving bipartisanship. This will include focusing on the new class of Republicans in Congress.

The White House’s legislative affairs team has been working on building relationships with senators and other members of congress. This includes compiling profiles of newly elected Republican lawmakers and figuring out where the pressure points are in Congress.

White House officials are also working to identify key moderates. They are hoping to build a coalition of Republicans and Democrats who can win passage of a bipartisan package.

In addition to working on legislation, President Joe Biden has been meeting with lawmakers across the country. He met with senators from both parties, including Republican Senator John Thune of South Dakota, and Democratic senators Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Bernie Sanders of Vermont. During the meeting, Biden talked about his vision for the economy and why it is important for the government to work together.

Biden is expected to meet with a half dozen Republican senators on Thursday. He has also reached out to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Several senators have voiced their disapproval of the White House’s efforts to engage with Republicans. One of them is Senator John Thune, the Senate’s second-ranking Republican. Another is Senator Susan Collins of Maine.

The incoming class of freshmen Republicans will be crucial to the White House’s ability to find bipartisan wins in the House. These freshmen flipped districts that Biden won in 2008. However, a senior White House official said that the White House is not attempting to reach out to all of them.

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