The escalating conflict between the Russian Federation and Ukraine has swept the world after Russia launched a full-scale military attack on Ukraine on the orders of Russian President, Vladimir Putin.
Attacks were launched on Ukrainian military facilities before troops and tanks rolled across the borders from different directions. Graphic images have surfaced since.
In a video address on Friday, Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that 137 people, both servicemen and civilians, have been killed and hundreds more wounded, Al Jazeera reports.
South Africa has taken a strong stance against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and called on Russia to withdraw its forces.
In a statement, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) said “South Africa calls on Russia to immediately withdraw its forces from Ukraine in line with the United Nations Charter, which enjoins all member states to settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice are not endangered.”
The statement continued: “As a nation birthed through negotiation, South Africa is always appreciative of the potential dialogue has in averting a crisis and de-escalating conflict. In line with our strong commitment to the peaceful resolution of conflict, South Africa urges all parties to devote increased efforts to diplomacy and to find a solution that will help avert further escalation.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa has also called upon the United Nations Security Council to do their mediation work to resolve the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
I call upon the United Nations Security Council to do their mediation work to resolve the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/UwOdKDfLJT
— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 (@CyrilRamaphosa) February 25, 2022
South African citizens are also stranded in Ukraine and have tried to flee the country, but the Russian invasion is affecting modes of transport. The South African embassy is attempting to arrange visas to other countries for [South African] students, but transport remains an area of concern in the volatile area, Daily Maverick explains.
Meanwhile, Formula 1 also issued a statement regarding the cancellation of the Russian Grand Prix and said: “We are watching the developments in Ukraine with sadness and shock and hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to the present situation.
“On Thursday evening Formula 1, the FIA, and the teams discussed the position of our sport, and the conclusion is, including the view of all relevant stakeholders, that it is impossible to hold the Russian Grand Prix in the current circumstances.”