Amidst ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine, the United States government has called for stricter punishment against Russia for their involvement in the war. This comes as reports from a top leader of the Wagner Group, a Russian mercenary organization, claim that Ukrainian city Bakhmut is “practically surrounded” by Russian forces.
As the conflict continues to escalate, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with his counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, for the first time since the start of the Ukraine war. In the meeting, Blinken demanded an end to the conflict, while Lavrov reiterated Russia’s assertion that they are “trying to stop a war imposed on us by the West.”
The tensions between the two nations have been ongoing since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, and the situation has only escalated since then. The meeting between Blinken and Lavrov was seen as a crucial step towards potentially resolving the conflict, but many remain skeptical that a peaceful resolution can be achieved.
The international community continues to monitor the situation closely, with the BBC reporting that Blinken and Lavrov’s meeting was closely watched by world leaders, including those in NATO. As the conflict in Ukraine continues, it remains to be seen whether Russia and Ukraine can find a way to peacefully coexist or whether the situation will continue to escalate.