Russian President Vladimir Putin
The UK declare that "Putin has shown that he is not serious about any peace". SPUTNIK via AFP / Mikhail METZEL

In recent months, Russia pulled out of the Black Sea grain initiative that allowed Ukraine to export grain through the Black Sea without fear of a Russian attack.

The food products, like wheat and sunflower oil, were transferred to countries in Africa and the Middle East that are already experiencing acute food shortages.

Since the collapse of the Black Sea grain agreement, the Russian Army have been attacking ports and grain stores in Ukraine, in an attempt to damage and destroy the largest remaining sector in the Ukrainian economy.

According to Russian officials, today (18 August 2023), a huge fire broke out at a Russian port in Moscow. As a result of the blaze, the city's airspace has been closed.

Sean Bell, a Military Analyst, said that the Ukrainian attacks on Moscow are not tactically positive, but they are "sending a powerful message" to President Vladimir Putin.

The drone would have caused millions of people in the capital to become "increasingly concerned" and will inherently "raise questions about Putin's ability to protect the population" – says the Military Analyst.

At the most recent UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine, Deputy Political Coordinator Tom Phipps spoke of the Russian missiles that targeted hotels in Pokrovsk and Zaporizhzhia in Ukraine.

Tom Phipps said: "As people nearby rushed to rescue the wounded from the rubble, further missiles hit both locations – a 'double tap' strike timed deliberately to kill first responders."

The Deputy Political Coordinator further revealed: "On Sunday, a baby just 22 days old, her 12-year-old brother and their parents were among seven people killed by Russian shells in Kherson."

Tom Phipps also recalled the brutal Russian missile that ripped through a children's playground and school in Lviv.

The aftermath of the Russian missile on a children's playground and building in Lviv.

Lviv is located near the western border with Poland and is more than 500 kilometres from the frontlines of the war in eastern and southern Ukraine.

"Ukraine wants peace; indeed, the whole world wants peace. But President Putin has shown he is not serious about any peace that respects international law," Tom Phipps declared.

The Deputy Political Coordinator also recognised that Russia has been "targeting the world's food supply".

Addressing President Putin, Tom Phipps said: "President, Russian authorities estimate up to a million people left the country in 2022. Many have spoken of their concerns about the war and its impact, others have fled to avoid being conscripted to fight."

"Let me be clear. An unstable Russia is in none of our interests, and we have the highest respect for the Russian people. President Putin can end the suffering of the Ukrainian people, and of Russia's own soldiers, tomorrow by withdrawing all Russian forces from within Ukraine's internationally recognised territory," Tom Phipps concluded.

According to US intelligence documents that were posted online, more than 354,000 Russian and Ukrainian soldiers have been killed or injured in the war in Ukraine.

Mediazona, a Russian webpage that focuses on the judicial and law enforcement system in Russia, estimates that since February 2022, around 47,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in the conflict.

A recent video that depicted a desperate Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Wagner Chief, recruiting serial murderers to take to the frontlines in Ukraine also emerged on social media. Yevgeny Prigozhin also declared in March 2023 that he wished to recruit 30,000 fighters by May.

So far, it has been recorded that Wagner has recruited 49,000 prisoners from Russian jails.

Using propaganda advertisements, the Wagner group are also encouraging new fighters to work alongside Russian troops in Ukraine. A series of posters that depict the Wagner logo and read "Join the winning team!", have been pasted onto high-rise buildings in Moscow.