Russia’s war vs Ukraine will give more misery to Filipino drivers
This early Thursday morning (Manila time), President Vladimir Putin of Russia has announced on Russian state TV that his country will be launching a “special military operation” in neighboring Ukraine.
Almost immediately, Russian armed forces as well as their allied separatists began striking targets across Ukraine. According to the United States-based media outlet NPR, “missile strikes and military barrages struck Ukrainian targets from the country’s northern, eastern and southern borders.”
In response to this blitzkrieg, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine has placed the entire country under martial law. He also announced the end of diplomatic relations with Russia. With Russia not likely to back down anytime soon, the crisis has already been described as the worst military conflict in Europe since World War II.
The Philippines may be almost 10,000 kilometers away from Ukraine, but it does not mean that Russian aggression there will not have any impact on the country. For one, President Rodrigo Duterte has long sought a closer relationship with Putin, who he has described as his “idol” – even visiting Moscow twice.
Despite Duterte’s previous expressions of admiration for Putin, his spokesperson Karlo Nograles has reiterated that the government’s priority is the safety of the 300 Filipinos working in Ukraine. The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration or OWWA for its part said that it is ready to repatriate these Ukraine-based Filipinos if necessary.