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Eastern Express 18.11

Russia’s aggression against Ukraine dominated this year’s G20 summit held on the Indonesian island of Bali between November 15 and 16.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo inaugurated the event by calling for joint efforts to end the ongoing war. He also appealed to heads of states and governments ahead of the meeting to live up to their responsibility and work to end the war.

The majority of the group’s member states strongly condemned the Russian aggression in a joint declaration.

The document, signed on Wednesday, stresses that the war is causing immense human suffering and is exacerbating the existing weaknesses in the global economy. Ukraine is one of the world’s largest grain producers but its exports have been hit hard.

Vladimir Putin was notably absent from the summit, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov ended up leaving the event after the first day.

To shed more light on the issue, we were joined by Andreas Umland, analyst at the Stockholm Centre for Eastern European Studies.

What’s more…

-A Dutch court has sentenced three men to life in prison for their involvement in the shootdown of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17. The airliner was destroyed with an anti-aircraft missile over eastern Ukraine back in 2014, leading to the deaths of nearly 300 people.

-U.S. women’s basketball player Brittney Griner has begun serving her 9 year-sentence in a Russian penitentiary. She was convicted for possession of marijuana in a case which attracted widespread media attention.

-The war in Ukraine has seen the re-emergence of a century old weapon: anti-personnel mines. Significant efforts have been made to eliminate them from use in recent decades, as they pose a threat not only to soldiers, but to civilians as well.

-Russian outlet Novaya Gazeta, one of the few still outside Kremlin’s control, is seeing further restrictions. Its website was blocked by the Russian authorities, months after the print version was withdrawn.

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