The Russian military operation in Ukraine is close to completing its second month, and the war is still not over yet, as no sound rises above the sounds of battles, explosions and sirens that ring every day, or even every few hours, in the various eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, and no sound is louder than the sound of war.
The Russian forces moved forward towards achieving specific goals, which is the "disarmament" of Ukraine, the imposition of sovereignty over the Crimea region, as well as the support and securing of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions after declaring their secession from Ukraine, while the Ukrainian forces are struggling to defend their country and protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity, denouncing the Russian excuses for launching the war, and accusing the Russian forces of committing "atrocities" against Ukrainian civilians.
The negotiation rounds that took place between Moscow and Kyiv so far have not yielded any tangible results, and it does not appear that there is a diplomatic solution on the horizon that can stop the war and its ugliness on civilians and innocents.
Various countries of the world are making efforts to try to stop the war or alleviate the suffering of civilian and innocent victims. There are European and Western countries that have followed the sanctions approach and imposed severe sanctions on Russia to force it to end the war and have also supported the Ukrainian forces with weapons and military equipment. There are other countries that offered to mediate in the negotiations, and there are those who announced the provision of humanitarian aid to Ukrainian refugees, such as the State of Qatar, which announced last week the allocation of USD 5 million to support Ukrainian refugees and displaced persons, based on its moral responsibility.
In exclusive statements to Qatar News Agency (QNA), Deputy Minister of Economy of Ukraine Taras Kachka expressed his great appreciation for the Qatari support, saying that there are more than 4 million Ukrainians living abroad now, and more than 7 million are internally displaced, so "the State of Qatar's support is of great importance to us." In his remarks made over the phone, Kachka added: "For us, we would like to see the participation of the Gulf states and the entire Arab world in resolving the crisis that is happening to us now. It is important for the whole world to shed light on the Ukrainian crisis; help solve it and resume our normal activities. This will only happen if the Russian aggression stops." Kachka stressed that the participation of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and other officials of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry in the Doha Forum, which was held in Doha on March, had a positive resonance in presenting and talking about the Ukrainian issue, explaining that President Zelensky's participation contributed a lot to introducing people in the Middle East and the Arab world to the Ukrainian crisis.
He pointed out that for Ukraine, strengthening cooperation with the State of Qatar and the Gulf states in general was already gaining great importance even before the Russian aggression.
On the current situation in Ukraine, the Deputy Minister of Economy of Ukraine stressed that the Russian military operation had greatly damaged not only the Ukrainian economy, but the economy of the region, and even the economy of Russia itself.
In his interview with QNA, Taras Kachka said that the economic assessments are volatile and change all the time, but they are "gloomy and negative" now, pointing out that in the secured areas in Ukraine, in the center and west of the country, the economy is resilient to some extent, and the planting work there has almost begun, which is good for the harvest in the future. The logistics services on the western border are improving, which is also a good thing, he added.
Kachka expressed his belief that Western sanctions will have significant effects on the Russian economy in the long run, calling for the sanctions to be expanded to include all sectors in Russia, especially the oil and gas sector.
"We believe that the only way to tighten sanctions is to target the Russian oil and gas sector, because this sector constitutes about 30% of the revenues of the Russian economy. These revenues go to support the army, that is why we believe that it is necessary to go immediately to target the oil and gas sector in Russia, and then we can talk about any mediation efforts to resolve the conflict," he said.
The Deputy Minister of Economy of Ukraine stressed that his country receives great support from the European Union as well as from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for its financial systems, explaining that Ukraine also needs a lot of support to help it overcome the negative economic effects of the war on future generations and for the coming years.
He added that there is also a lot of support at the humanitarian level that Ukraine receives from national governments and civil organizations to help refugees and internally displaced persons, which is much appreciated.
He pointed out that the Ukrainian authorities are now trying to mitigate the economic repercussions, reduce the damage of the war, return some sectors to work and encourage citizens to return to work and control the widespread state of panic and fear, saying: "We encourage the return of our economy to work in cooperation with our international partners, and we will continue to work on exporting our products. We would like that to be at a high rate. Now we see a lot of foreigners who want to help us and our government, and we realize that our economy is going through difficulties, but we want to avoid entering a prolonged stagnation."
For his part, President of the Kyiv School of Economics and former Minister of Economic Development of Ukraine Dr. Tymofiy Mylovanov described the current situation in Ukraine as "tragic." In exclusive statements to QNA, Mylovanov said, "The killings and extrajudicial executions committed by the Russian forces in Ukraine amount to war crimes," stressing that the situation is very difficult on the humanitarian front, psychologically and morally.
He added that the situation in the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine is very difficult, especially in the city of "Mariupol" and other besieged areas, pointing out that the Russian forces are expanding in the northern regions as well, and although the situation in the north is relatively better, many are suffering.
About the economic situation, he stressed that the war has a huge economic cost to Ukraine, and that the country will need many years to return its economy to normal.
In his interview with QNA over the phone, Mylovanov explained that the direct losses in the infrastructure are estimated at USD100 billion, in addition to corporate and human capital losses, which will need huge funds, noting that the return of things to normal will depend on when the funds will be available, and the amount of support that will be provided to Ukraine in this regard.
He also pointed out that the recovery process will depend on the return of migrants and refugees to their country, underlying that 80 percent of those who have been displaced and migrated inside and outside the country will return at the first opportunity available to them.
He noted that the situation in the rest of the cities far from the front lines and direct conflict, is resilient to a large extent and the government is carrying out its work, but of course the war has an economic cost to the entire country.
Regarding the negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv, Mylovanov said, "It would be good to stop war crimes until the negotiations achieve their goal." He expressed skepticism about the possibility of achieving progress through negotiations, but added, "We must continue negotiations in the hope that something good will happen."
In turn, Ukrainian Parliament member and Secretary of the Foreign Affairs Committee Bobrovska Solomiia said that despite the withdrawal of Russian forces from the Kyiv, what they left behind after weeks of war are "hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths, and many who were subjected to assaults, especially women." In exclusive statements to QNA, Bobrovska added that the atrocities and killings carried out by the Russian forces amounted to "genocide" against the Ukrainians. "We expect the International Court of Justice to punish the Russians for their violations and atrocities committed against Ukrainian civilians," she said.
She pointed out that the situation in the besieged city of Mariupol is very tragic, explaining, "If you look at the city about two months ago and look at it now, you will almost not recognize it. The infrastructure has been destroyed, and the city has become one of the hottest spots in Ukraine." She pointed out that the battles were intense and harsh in Mariupol between the Ukrainian armed forces and the Russian forces, expressing fear about the presence of some civilians who are still stuck there.
Regarding the negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv, Bobrovska said, "Unfortunately, we are not optimistic about reaching agreements during the next rounds of negotiations," calling on Russia to withdraw its forces from Ukraine immediately.
Bobrovska expressed her hope that the allied countries will continue their military aid to Ukraine, as well as support through sanctions against Russia, noting that there are European countries that still provide Kyiv with equipment and weapons and provide it with support, such as Germany, France, the Netherlands and others, and there are other countries preferred to remain neutral.
For her part, Ukrainian Parliament member and leader of the Golos party Kira Rudik said that despite the success of the Ukrainian forces in repelling the Russian forces and pushing them out of the Kyiv region, however, what was found during the inspection of the areas there is "the scattered bodies of the dead and the destroyed houses." In exclusive statements to Qatar News Agency, Rudik stressed, "We will do everything in our power to ensure that everyone responsible for these acts is held accountable." She added that the Russian forces are mobilizing in the eastern part of Ukraine, and the city of Mariupol is still under siege, noting that what happened in the regions that were occupied is now happening in other regions of the country, something that "must stop and be put to an end." Regarding the negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv, she said, "Every time we follow a round of negotiations, we find that the Russian forces are attacking more and more. That is why I personally do not expect the negotiations to produce any results. The first step in any peaceful negotiations should be the presence of security guarantees from different countries." She pointed out that Ukraine has been at war with Russia for eight years, and what can be expected is that there will be countries that give security guarantees, and then "we can talk to President Putin." On the humanitarian situation, Kira Rudik stressed that Ukraine receives a lot of humanitarian aid from various countries of the world, expressing her gratitude for that.
She added that she expected Ukraine's allies to continue supplying it with military equipment, including heavy weapons, fighter jets, tanks and missiles, and all supplies that would enable it to confront the Russian forces. She also expects Ukraine's allies to tighten sanctions on Russia and stop buying Russian oil and gas.
The Ukrainian parliamentarian also called for increasing the flow of humanitarian supplies and aid and ensuring that everyone in Ukraine gets enough to alleviate human suffering. She also called for Russia to be expelled from all international organizations with influence to isolate it, saying, "We need to ensure that this never happens (what is happening in Ukraine) again in the world. This must not be repeated."