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September 26, 2023

Ukraine Gets Support of Seafarers: Russia-Ukraine Crisis

BY Shivani

According to UK intelligence, four days into a full-scale invasion by Russia, Ukrainian armed forces have managed to hold all major cities and the Russian offensive has lost momentum. Russia’s tanks, armoured personnel carriers, and truck convoys have proven vulnerable to anti-tank missile attacks from NATO, and some frontline Russian units have reportedly faced fuel and supply shortages.

Many seafarers are contributing to the war effort in their own unique ways, such as expressing solidarity, urging owners to support Ukraine, and refusing to call at Russian ports.

Capt. Luchino Alexey Olegovich, a Ukrainian master, noted in a recent video appeal that officers from his country have professionally served the international fleet for decades – and he urged shipowners to give back in this time of need.

Ordinary citizens are joining the fight in Ukraine and around the world. Citizens’ militias are assisting civil defence in Kyiv, Mariupol, Kharkiv, and dozens of other towns behind the Russian advance, and hundreds of foreign citizens, including Americans and British nationals, have signed up to join the Ukrainian armed forces. UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said on Sunday that she would support British citizens who decide to travel to Ukraine to fight the Russian Army on their own.

Commercial transactions with Russian entities are likely to become significantly more difficult once banks reopen on Monday. Sanctions against Russia’s central bank will prevent the government from accessing its $630 billion in reserves, and most (but not all) of the country’s commercial banks will be disconnected from the SWIFT financial transfer messaging system. Banking sanctions can have a devastating impact on a country’s economy, as seen in Iran since 2018, and the measure is intended to provide Russian President Vladimir Putin with an additional incentive to call a halt to the invasion.

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