On the sixth day of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the Russian forces are very close to the Ukrainian capital city Kyiv. Ukraine’s actor-turned-politician President Volodymyr Zelenskyy calls for a no-fly zone to stop Russian bombardment, but the White House says the US is not considering such a move, saying implementing a no-fly zone could draw the US into war with Russia. However, President Joe Biden has signed $350 million military aid to Ukraine while Australia has also announced $50 million military aid. Turkey has barred warships from passing through the key straits of Bosphorus and Dardanelles in a bid to de-escalate the crisis over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The move on Monday came after Kyiv asked Ankara to activate a 90-year-old international pact and prevent the transit of Russian warships from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea. The 1936 Montreux Convention gives Turkey the right to bar warships from using the Dardanelles and the Bosporus during wartime. Facebook’s parent company Meta has announced plans to restrict access to Russian state media outlets RT and Sputnik across the European Union. Meta’s head of global affairs, Nick Clegg, tweeted on Monday afternoon that the social media company had received requests “from a number of Governments and the EU to take further steps in relation to Russian state-controlled media”. The world is no more bipolar but consists of two blocs of countries controlling the resources. The United States, United Kingdom, European Union and Canada announced new sanctions on Monday, this time targeting Russia’s central bank and national wealth fund. The US Treasury Department said that it was limiting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ability to use the country’s $630bn in foreign reserves. Just a few days back, the US has announced to use of $7bn of Afghanistan’s frozen money for the victims of 9/11. The move came just a day after the US and its allies cut off some Russian banks from SWIFT (the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication), a secure messaging network used for the transactions worth trillions of dollars. Russia’s economy was already reeling on Monday. The ruble plunged to an all-time low, the central bank raised its key interest rate to 20 per cent, and the stock exchange stayed closed. Enforcing sanctions requires the ability to track transactions – typically through the banking system. Iran and North Korea have both used cryptocurrencies, which operate outside the confines of the financial system, to get around sanctions. Being eighty per cent of Russia’s daily foreign exchange transactions and half of its international trade are conducted in dollars, the experts believe that cryptocurrency alone will not allow Russia to skirt a barrage of sanctions. The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor has announced plans to launch an investigation into the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, saying that there is a “reasonable basis” to believe that war crimes have occurred during the conflict. FIFA and UEFA have suspended Russia’s national and club teams from all international football competitions. Seemingly, Russia alone has to face the entire West, the sanctions imposed by Nato and the US. Some Asian countries too have joined the larger camp against Russia. No doubt, Ukraine is down with a shattered economy, destruction of infrastructure, at least 352 deaths, about 600,000 Ukrainian have fled to bordering countries, mostly to Poland. The war will further weaken Russia. The only objective of the entire West and the US. Three weeks back, I wrote in my piece that the West is all out to build up a situation for Russia to attack Ukraine to get the US, the Nato and the EU to impose more stringent sanctions on Russia. Unfortunately, Russia is trapped once again in the haywire. On the other hand, Russia-Ukraine talks at the Belarus border could not pave a path to any win-win conclusion so far. The situation is getting worse for both countries. The only solution for both countries is to understand the situation and the ultimate beneficiary of the crisis. Ukraine’s actor-turned-politician President Volodymyr Zelenskyy might have understood by now the actualities of the US promises and its international political gimmicks. The West had to have another base against Russia, and Ukraine has provided a shoulder for the US and the Nato success for sanctions on Russia. The eastern countries have to realize and understand that the world has been divided into two parts now, the East and the West. The West is united for their interests after the USSR disintegration. They would take every step to restrict any country or a bloc emerging from the East as an economic power. Any country could be made a scapegoat like Ukraine for promises only. The world is no more bipolar in terms of two countries, Russia and the US, but two blocs of countries controlling the resources. Russia and Ukraine have to be more vigilant about their bilateral cooperation and collaboration based on their centuries-old traditional values. Whatever the hot pursuit would end on. The entire loss is of the region and its people, and damage to the peace and prosperity of the East. Former ISI chief Lt. General (Retd) Asad Durrani says: “Developments in Ukraine are best explained by two US establishment hands.” In 2014, George Friedman, the founder of Stratfor, described Ukraine as Russia’s “strategic depth.”Zbigniew Brzezinski in his magnum opus, The Grand Chessboard, explained: “why NATO’s expansion would offer Russia a chance to undo the mistakes of the past, and why it would not miss this opportunity.” The chess analogy is actually a good one to understand how the big countries move their pawns around before going for the kill. We also know which nation has traditionally been good at this game in which dominating the centre of the board was the key to success. The writer is an Islamabad-based policy advocacy, strategic communication and outreach expert. He can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.