On April 20, 2023, the war had been raging for 422 days and the situation was far from stable. Here are some of the main developments that had occurred:
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine continued to escalate, with a Russian fighter jet accidentally firing on the Russian city of Belgorod near the border with Ukraine. The explosion caused significant damage to buildings in the area. The Russian defence ministry confirmed the incident and stated that it was an accident.
Meanwhile, a Ukrainian major warned that a counteroffensive against Russian forces could begin at any time and could be a “sudden attack”. This statement indicated that the Ukrainian military was preparing for a possible offensive against Russian forces.
In an attempt to boost its military strength, the Russian military launched a video advertising campaign to encourage men to sign up for the war. Reports suggested that Moscow was seeking to recruit as many as 400,000 volunteer professional soldiers.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg visited Kyiv for the first time since Russia launched its full-scale invasion and met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. During the meeting, Stoltenberg reiterated that Ukraine’s rightful place was in the military alliance and that membership and security guarantees for Ukraine would be high on the agenda of NATO’s July summit.
However, the Kremlin made it clear that preventing Ukraine from ever joining NATO was a key war aim. This statement indicated that Russia was not willing to back down from its aggressive stance towards Ukraine.
Zelenskyy called on Mexican legislators to support his country’s fight against invading Russian forces, chastising those he accused of denying Ukraine’s pursuit of peace. However, Mexico’s government has said that it wants to remain neutral in the war.
French President Emmanuel Macron spoke on the phone with United States President Joe Biden to discuss Ukraine as well as China and Sudan. The conversation highlighted the international community’s concern about the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko announced that the city had terminated the Russian Embassy’s deal to lease land in the capital and wanted the property to be returned to the Ukrainian state. This move was seen as a symbolic gesture of Ukraine’s determination to resist Russian aggression.
Denmark and the Netherlands agreed to buy and donate 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. The tanks were expected to be delivered to Ukraine in early 2024. This move was seen as a significant boost to Ukraine’s military capabilities and a sign of international support for Ukraine’s fight against Russian aggression.
Overall, the situation in Ukraine remained tense, with no clear end in sight to the conflict. The international community continued to express its support for Ukraine, but Russia remained determined to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO and to maintain its aggressive stance towards its neighbor.