There is no firm number of Russian troops – The Ukrainian prime minister estimated 110,000.
- In 2014, Russia “annexed” or took Crimea ~ a territorial part of Ukraine ~ and an armed conflict between Ukraine and Russia ensued. More than 14,000 people have died in the last 7 years.
- During an EU meeting of foreign ministers on April 19th, Borrell said the troops including military hospitals and “all kinds of warfare.”
- also receiving international attention – a Russian opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, who has been outspoken critique against President Putin, remains in a Russian prison on a hunger strike and according to his team, is in grave condition.
- The United States and others have warned Russia: _“What happens to Mr. Navalny in their custody is their responsibility and they will be held accountable by the international community” _White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.
- Russia’s take: “Of course he will not be allowed to die in prison, but I can say that Mr. Navalny, he behaves like a hooligan, absolutely. His purpose for all of that is to attract attention for him, also by saying that today his left hand is sick and tomorrow his leg is sick and all of that stuff so the journalists pay attention.” Russian ambassador to the U.K.
- Why It Matters: While many, including the EU’s 27 nation group, have spoken out against Russia’s recent actions, countries have not addressed these concerns directly through action. Some have discussed sanctions but as of yet, no moves have been made, and questions remain about what leverage ANY country has to diplomatically change Russia’s behavior, or what’s next.