September 23: As Ukraine’s southern counteroffensive now gains steam, Russia has announced that it will send 300,000 more of its soldiers into Ukraine. In addition, referendums on joining Russia are taking place in areas still under Moscow’s control. In regions like Luhansk, Ukrainian citizens are accompanied by armed Russian fighters as they cast their votes. Meanwhile, on September 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that the Kremlin will “certainly use all the means at [its] disposal to protect Russia and [its] people,” sending shivers down Western spines, “It is not a bluff.” This was later echoed by Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who included strategic nuclear weapons as a possibility. With Ukraine’s current referendums, what constitutes Russian territory in Moscow’s eyes remains to be seen.
September 15: Ukraine’s counteroffensive in the northeast continues. In the past week, Kyiv has reclaimed thousands of square miles of territory in the Kharkiv region, stretching until the key city of Izium. This rail hub now grants Ukrainian troops increased mobility between regions, all while depriving Moscow’s forces of a salient supply route. This is Ukraine’s greatest success since the beginning of the war. Meanwhile, at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Uzbekistan on September 14, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, both of whom expressed waning support for Putin’s war in Ukraine.
September 9: “In total, more than a thousand square kilometers of the territory of Ukraine have been liberated since the beginning of September,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in last night’s national address, as Ukrainian officials claim to have made significant advances in the northeastern Kharkiv region this week. Meanwhile, the United Nations continues to denounce the shelling around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, seemingly to no avail. Today, in Brussels, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is proposing policies to support the households that are facing crippling energy bills, due to Russia’s gas stoppage last week.
September 2: The region of Kherson has been occupied by Russia since February. This week, Ukraine’s counteroffensive has been making gains, conquering small towns in their path towards the main port city. However, Ukrainian officials are dreading the upcoming winter. On August 31, the Kremlin halted gas flows of its “Nord Stream 1” pipeline to Germany, citing maintenance issues. Now, Western European concerns on Russian dependency resurface, as European officials suspect the stoppage was politically motivated.
August 27: With a now stabilized ruble, Russia continues to shell Ukraine. On August 24 – Ukraine’s independence day – the Kremlin bombed a train station in southeastern Ukraine, killing 25 Ukrainians. Now, the back-and-forth accusations of shelling the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant have prompted the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency to visit the facility, hoping to avoid nuclear disaster. Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky formed the “Kyiv Initiative,” an organization meant to strengthen cooperation and collective security in Eastern Europe and the Baltics. As of now, the Kyiv Initiative includes Ukraine, Poland, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, and Slovakia.
August 18: After suffering many losses to Russian artillery, Ukraine has shifted its military strategy. Aided by local “partisans,” Kyiv’s forces are striking behind enemy lines, slowing Russia’s advances. Despite this, Moscow continues to display its strength in numbers, assuring experts that it possesses the offensive capabilities to keep moving forward. Meanwhile – while the Zaporizhzhia issue remains unsolved – United Nations Secretary General António Guterres is in the port city of Odesa, witnessing the first grain shipment to leave Ukraine, as per the deal signed by the warring parties in Istanbul last month.
August 11: Satellite imagery shows that Russia has lost about eight warplanes in an airbase in Crimea. However, after more than five and a half months of war, Moscow is imposing its dominance on many parts of southern and eastern Ukraine. In the city of Kherson, Russian forces have blocked all access to western-owned social media, and censored Ukrainian news. Russian news media is also documenting how its troops are building cages in the Mariupol Chamber Philharmonic, setting the building up for trials. Today, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres expressed his “grave concern” about the situation at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, as both parties continue blaming each other for the explosions.
August 5: The Kremlin has redeployed many of its troops to the Kherson region, sacrificing its advance on Slovyansk and Siversk to stop Ukraine’s counter-attack. Recently, explosions around Zaporizhzhia – Europe’s largest nuclear power complex – have raised safety concerns. Both sides are blaming each other for the incident. Meanwhile, in Sochi, Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan are meeting face-to-face. Before talks started, Putin revealed he was open to discuss “security issues in the region, primarily the Syrian crisis.”
July 28: As Russian bombs hit Kharkhiv, Ukrainian forces are preparing for a counter-offensive in the Kherson region, in what national television describes as “a very powerful movement of their troops.” Moscow’s troops are fighting this with heavy artillery, although their resupply lines in the region were recently cut down by Ukrainian strikes. Meanwhile, after signing off on last week’s grain deal, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a deal in Tehran, Iran, with President Ebrahim Raisi agreeing to supply Russia with aircraft parts.
July 21: Critical victories around the Dnipro river – partly thanks to Western-supplied long-range weaponry – have given Ukraine’s military a relative boost in confidence. “Russia can definitely be defeated and Ukraine has already shown how,” states Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov. In Istanbul, Turkey, a deal between the warring countries is set to be signed, with Moscow allowing grain to be exported through the Black Sea. Russia’s blockade has exacerbated food crises in Africa, where some countries relied on Ukraine for bread. Today, concerns of economic manipulation rose in Western Europe, as Kremlin-owned energy company Gazprom restarted the flow of gas to Germany.
July 14: Today, Russian bombs hit the west-central city of Vinnytsia, killing at least 23 Ukrainian citizens. “This day once again proved that Russia must be recognized as a terrorist state,” states Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, as officials search for missing bodies. The city had not been attacked since March, and did not pose any direct military threat to Moscow. Zelensky’s calls are heard in The Hague, where members of the International Criminal Court have agreed to pledge $20 million towards a collective investigation.
July 7: Ukraine is taking heavy losses in the Donbas. After occupying the Luhansk region, Russian troops have moved westward to the Donetsk region. Today, Russia intensified shelling in said region, resulting in seven civilian casualties in the city of Kramatorsk. Ukrainian Defense Minister Andriy Zagorodnyuk recently stated that his country’s military is facing a “moment of vulnerability.” Meanwhile, in Kyiv, US Senators Lindsey Graham and Richard Blumenthal finished their meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and are willing to push their Congress to send more weapons to Ukraine.
June 30: Over the weekend, Sievierodonetsk was captured by Moscow, while Russian bombs hit cities outside the Donbas region, including Kyiv. This last move came as a surprise to the capital’s citizens, as the city had not been attacked in weeks. In the west, after sustained attacks, Ukrainian forces have taken back control of Snake Island. Meanwhile, NATO has expressed concern for their citizens’ weariness regarding the war. In Madrid, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde stated “You can already see in the media that interest is going down, and that is also affecting the public, and the public is affecting the politicians.”
June 23: As Ukrainian forces continue to hold out in Sievierodonetsk’s ammonia plant, more and more Russian troops are encircling the city. In fact, Moscow is making steady advances in the Donbas region as a whole. Meanwhile, in Kyiv, Ukrainian flags fly alongside EU flags. Today, Brussels has given Ukraine and Moldova official candidate status, “mark[ing] a crucial step on [their] path towards the EU,” according to European Council President Charles Michel. This process can take up to 10 years, and is expected to irritate the Kremlin, which views Ukraine as part of its sphere of influence.
June 16: This past week, Ukrainian soldiers in Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk have been struggling, with Russian troops continuing to make steady advances in the Donbas. While the eastern cities seem to be on their last legs, 1,200 Ukrainians have taken refuge at the Azov ammonia plant in Sievierodonetsk. Meanwhile, today, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi arrived in Kyiv, as Ukraine grows skeptical of the European Union’s support. In Madrid, NATO has solidified its stance against Russia, excluding it as a future partner.
June 9: As Russian shelling continues to kill Ukrainians in and around Kharkiv, military fighting has focused in on Sievierodonetsk. Though better armed, Russian troops have just suffered a Ukrainian counter-attack in the eastern city. Analysts proclaim that the Kremlin’s goal has shrunk, as Russia’s resources are funneled into the resource-rich Donbas region. Meanwhile, the United States’ Treasury has barred its citizens from buying Russian bonds or stocks, and the European Parliament has suggested that Ukraine be given candidate status in the European Union.
June 2: Local officials say Moscow controls most of Sievierodonetsk, though Ukrainian soldiers still fight on the streets. This brings Russia one step closer to seizing the entire Luhansk region. Meanwhile, the European Union has passed a ban on Russian oil imports arriving by sea, compromising with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. This deal allows Russia to continue exporting oil to Hungary via pipeline, while the EU applies “maximum pressure on Russia to end the war,” as European Council President Charles Michel tweeted on May 31. Yesterday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov denounced the United States for sending advanced rocket systems to Ukraine, describing it as “deliberately and painstakingly pouring gasoline on the fire” that is this conflict.
May 26: The military conflict is now focused on the Donbas. Moscow has redirected troops from northern Ukraine to the region, closing in on the key city of Sievierodonetsk. Experts expect Russian troops to seize Sievierodonetsk in similar fashion to Mariupol. In Brussels, hopes fade of an EU embargo on Russian oil, as Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán sticks to his decision. Meanwhile, negotiations for Finland and Sweden’s accession into NATO continue in Turkey, where President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan demands that Sweden cease its support for the separatist Kurdistan Worker’s Party.
May 19: As Ukrainian citizens return to a relatively quiet Kharkiv, the Kremlin tightens its grip on southern Ukraine, fortifying its defenses. Today, the Red Cross announced that Mariupol’s steel plant has fallen to Moscow. Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is blocking Finland and Sweden’s swift accession into NATO, demanding the organization resolve Kurdish security concerns in Turkey first. Similarly, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is stopping the EU from proceeding with its collective embargo on Russian oil, citing concern for potential economic repercussions on his country.
May 12: After failing to capture Kharkhiv, Russian troops are being re-routed to the southeastern province of Zaporiz’ka. There, the Kremlin has already taken the critical port of Berdyansk, while Ukraine still holds Zaporizhzhia, the province’s main city. Meanwhile, Finland has announced its decision to “apply for NATO membership without delay,” with Sweden soon to follow suit. Though accession could take more than a year, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to defend Finland in case of any attack during this process. Moscow stated that it would “take necessary measures” to protect itself.
May 9: Today, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a patriotic speech at the annual “Victory Day” parade – which commemorates Russia’s victory in the Second World War – denouncing Ukrainians as “Nazis.” In Ukraine, most of occupied Mariupol held a similar parade, while local troops pushed Russian soldiers out of Kharkiv in the northeast. Meanwhile, the European Union’s planned embargo on Russian oil is delayed, as Hungary refuses to sign off on the pact.
May 2: Despite Russian shelling, the civilian evacuation of Mariupol is still underway. As hundreds of Ukrainians flee the nearly taken city, British intelligence suggests that Russia has suffered more losses than originally speculated, with 25% of invasion units being “rendered combat ineffective.” General Valery Gerasimov – Russia’s top uniformed officer – recently paid a visit to the eastern front-line to try to reverse this. Meanwhile, a month after Russia’s retreat from the area, citizens of Kyiv are starting to repopulate their streets, now accustomed to dealing with the occasional Russian missile strike.
April 29: Last night, Russian missiles struck Kyiv hours after a meeting between United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. While Russian troops make slow territorial gains in the eastern provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk, Ukraine’s military is sending more soldiers to Transnistria, the Kremlin-backed breakaway region in Moldova. Today, Britain has announced it will send 8,000 of its troops to support Ukraine, and United States President Joe Biden has asked Congress to approve the sending of a $33 billion aid package.
April 26: Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed to maintain humanitarian corridors in besieged Mariupol, as United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres urged in their Moscow meeting. As western allies group together to send Ukraine more weapons, Russian and Ukrainian authorities blame each other for the bombing of Transnistria (internationally recognized as part of Moldova, but contested by the Kremlin as a breakaway region). Meanwhile, Russian gas giant Gazprom has announced that “unfriendly countries must pay gas in roubles,” targeting Poland and Bulgaria. While heavily dependent on Russian gas imports, both countries have refused.
April 23: Today, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made a confident speech, celebrating the arrival of heavy artillery from sympathetic countries. He proclaimed “we will be able to show the occupiers that the day when they will be forced to leave Ukraine is approaching.” While missiles damage the southern city of Odesa, neither side has made any significant advances in the eastern front. In the meantime, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres is on his way from Kyiv to Moscow. Having already spoken to Zelensky, Guterres is traveling in an effort to broker a peace deal.
April 20: As Russian artillery keeps raining down on eastern Ukraine, the Kremlin has successfully test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile. Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that this would help Russia’s enemies “think twice” before interfering in the conflict. Ukrainian soldiers are still holding the southeastern port of Mariupol, where a deal was reached to evacuate women and children. Any readers looking to donate to Ukrainian businesses and charities can do so through this link.
April 17: As Ukrainians celebrate the sinking of Russian cruiser Moskva, Russian soldiers prepare to capture the strategic port city of Mariupol. Despite this, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has encouraged his troops not to surrender, and warned that he will end peace talks if Russian forces continue to “deliberately [try] to destroy everyone who is there.” Meanwhile, in a national effort to reduce dependence on Russian fuel, Germany’s energy minister has rallied citizens to lower their home temperatures.
April 14: After seven weeks of fighting in besieged Mariupol, Russian troops have moved into the city center, dividing Ukrainian soldiers. As the Kremlin hopes to build a “land bridge” to Crimea by capturing the city, outnumbered Ukrainians still hold the peripheries. Moscow has also accused Ukraine of bombing Russian towns near the border, which Kyiv denies. Meanwhile, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer comes back from Moscow with “no optimistic impression[s],” and EU officials are drafting a potential collective embargo on Russian oil products.
April 11: In the past two days, 13,400 Ukrainian civilians have evacuated Eastern Ukraine. As Russian troops prepared to attack the region, President Volodymyr Zelensky declared “We will respond.” Today, eastern cities like Kharkiv and Kramatorsk are updating their death tolls, in the wake of Russian missile strikes. Meanwhile, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer is set to be the first European leader to visit Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow since the start of the war.
April 8: Yesterday, a two-thirds majority vote suspended Russia from the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, partly in reaction to the civilian massacre in Bucha. As Russia’s troops withdraw from the north to focus on the east, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky states that, in besieged Mariupol, “on almost every street, is what the world saw in Bucha.” Today, Russian bombs hit a train station in Eastern Ukraine, killing upwards of 50 civilians.
April 5: As Russian troops retreated from the Kyiv area, they revealed around 410 massacred civilian bodies in the suburb of Bucha. Today, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the United Nations Security Council, demanding that Russian officials “be brought to justice immediately for war crimes.” Russia has dismissed these claims as false. Italy and Spain have collectively expelled 55 Russian diplomats from their countries, with their governments stating that they represent a threat to national security. Meanwhile, in Eastern Ukraine, Russian soldiers are slowed by supply and morale issues.
April 2: Ukrainian troops are reclaiming control of numerous towns around Kyiv and Chernihiv, as Russian soldiers withdraw from the area, in line with the Kremlin’s offer in Istanbul. Military analysts see this as a tactical retreat, with Russian forces now focused on capturing Izium. Seizing the eastern city would allow Russian troops to link up with allied fighters in the south-eastern Donbas region, isolating Ukrainians in the north-east. Meanwhile, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda announced his country will stop importing Russian gas, proclaiming: “If we can do it, the rest of Europe can do it too.”
March 30: In Istanbul, Turkey, negotiations between Russian and Ukrainian officials are taking place. Yesterday, Ukrainian negotiators said their country would remain “non-aligned [with NATO] and non-nuclear,” in exchange for a ceasefire. This offer still gives Ukraine the right to join the European Union. With aims to annex separatist-held territory in the Donbas region, the Russian delegation has offered to “drastically reduce” violence around Kyiv, where Ukrainian counter-offensives are gaining ground. In a nightly address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that these “words […] do not silence the explosion of Russian shells.”
March 27: Russian troops are standing their ground in Eastern and Southern Ukraine, focusing on defending their territorial gains from local counter-offensives. Last night, the western city of Lviv was barraged by Russian missiles. This shook fear into residents and refugees, who considered the city a safe-haven. Meanwhile, NATO is doubling its presence in Eastern Europe. “We have a responsibility to ensure that the war does not escalate beyond Ukraine,” Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters two days ago.
March 24: As an outgunned Ukrainian counter-offensive finds moderate success, Russian troops keep making steady advances in Eastern Ukraine, aiming to link up with forces in the north-east. In the north and south, Russia’s troops continue to be stalled. Meanwhile, the G7, NATO, and the EU had separate meetings in Brussels today to talk about the war. In the NATO summit, US President Joe Biden proclaimed that Russia should be ejected from the “G20” economic group.
March 21: Today, besieged Mariupol refused to surrender, going against Moscow’s demands. Russian bombs continue to hit key cities, such as Kyiv and Kharkiv, while Russian troops are stalled on all fronts but the east. Kyiv claims Russia has been forcibly taking Ukrainian children from their parents, and into Russian territory. Meanwhile, the Russian Court has officially recognized Meta as an extremist organization, banning it from the country.
March 18: Russian missiles have hit Lviv. Until today, the so-called “Western capital” of Ukraine was considered a safe haven. While Russian troops advance steadily in the East, advances elsewhere are stalled by supply issues. As intense fighting continues in Kyiv’s suburbs, US President Joe Biden warned Chinese President Xi Jinping that his country’s support for Russia’s war efforts would entail “implications and consequences.”
March 15: Russian authorities claim to have conquered the entire southern region of Kherson, as their advances towards Kyiv are slowed. The Prime Ministers of the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovenia arrived in the capital today to show their support for Ukraine. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has sanctioned 13 US Americans, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, President Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter Biden.
March 14: As Russian airstrikes hit Kyiv, diplomatic talks between the warring countries make little progress. The Kremlin has stated that its troops would stay in Ukraine until “all [of its] plans” are fulfilled. Meanwhile, hundreds of Ukrainians were able to escape Mariupol, yet 400,000 remain trapped in the besieged city. The White House has warned China that giving military or economic aid to Russia will lead to serious consequences.
March 13: Today, Russian missiles struck a training site for foreign volunteers 19 kilometers from Poland’s border with Ukraine, killing at least 35 people. Nine were killed in besieged Mykolaiv in similar fashion. In Melitopol, the new, Russian-backed mayor told his citizens to “adjust to the new reality,” after their previous mayor was abducted by Russian soldiers. Meanwhile, despite Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s encouragement on social media, relatively few Russians showed up to protest the war. 860 were detained.
March 12: As Russian shelling continues to come down on Ukrainian cities, fights break out in Kyiv’s suburbs. In the south, Russian soldiers have arrested the mayor of the captured city of Melitopol, as he refused to cooperate with Moscow. Meanwhile, Russia stated that they will see any convoy carrying military weapons to Ukraine as a “legitimate target” for Russian aggression. Hours later, the White House announced they would be sending another $200 million worth of military equipment to Ukraine, worrying observers.
March 11: Overnight, Russia bombed major Ukrainian cities far away from the front lines, including Dnipro, Lutsk, and Ivano-Frankivsk. Russian troops have been advancing through less populated areas, while encircling big cities. Yet, Ukrainian soldiers and volunteers are pushing back, cutting supply lines and delaying the advance at times. In Russia, the Kremlin has declared Meta an “extremist organization”, limiting access to Instagram.
March 10: The Russian siege of Mariupol continues, with more bombs falling onto the port city today. Russian soldiers are also laying siege to the northern city of Chernihiv, while making more advances around Kyiv. In Antalya, Turkey, the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers met for diplomatic talks. So far, Ukraine has pushed for humanitarian corridors to aid civilian evacuations, yet no progress has been made.
March 9: As citizens of Mariupol remain trapped without basic necessities, Russian troops have increased the intensity of their attacks on civilians. Today, Russian shelling struck several residential buildings and a maternity hospital in the besieged city. In other parts of Ukraine, the Russian advance has stalled. Meanwhile, the European Union has agreed to further expand its economic sanctions against Russia and Belarus.
March 8: After diplomatic talks in Belarus, hundreds of Ukrainian civilians managed to evacuate the city of Sumy, east of Kyiv. Yet, hundreds of thousands remain trapped in Mariupol. As his troops continue making progress in their encirclement of Kyiv, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed economic relief measures against Western sanctions. In the United States, President Biden has banned imports of Russian oil into his country, saying “defending freedom is going to cost.”
March 7: Ukrainians are struggling to bring supplies to the besieged city of Mariupol, where Russian shelling deters civilian evacuations. Ukrainian adviser Anton Gerashchenko described the situation on Facebook, writing: “There are no medicines, products, heating, the central water supply system is broken”. Meanwhile, Russian troops continue advancing on Mykolaiv, an important city on Ukraine’s Black Sea coast. In Belarus, the third round of Ukraine-Russia diplomatic talks saw the two parties agree on facilitating civilian evacuations.
March 6: Russian advances in Chernihiv, in Northern Ukraine, were unsuccessful. In the East, Russian forces were able to march through Sumy. As shelling continues in Kyiv and Mariupol, local police arrested 3,000 Russian civilians in a day of nation-wide, anti-war protests. Meanwhile, in a show of solidarity with Ukraine, Netflix and TikTok have suspended their services to Russia. The Russian Ministry of Defense warned countries allowing Ukraine to use their airfields that it may regard them as members of the conflict.
March 5: Russian shelling halted the civilian evacuation of Mariupol, a now besieged city in Southern Ukraine. City administrators claim this was in violation of a temporary cease-fire. Meanwhile, a video verified by The New York Times shows what appears to be Russian-backed soldiers firing at Ukrainian protesters in occupied Novopskov. As his troops continue pushing towards the port city of Mykolaiv, Russian President Vladimir Putin warns world leaders that their increasing sanctions on Russia may have dire consequences for Ukraine’s sovereignty.
March 4: Today, citizens of Kyiv, Ukraine, scrambled to flee the capital city, as Russian shelling gave way to an armed attack on several fronts. Citizens of Mariupol are bracing for a similar fate. Russian soldiers also captured Zaporizhzhia, Europe’s largest nuclear plant. At home, Russian President Vladimir Putin passed a new law, punishing the spread of “fake news” with up to 15 years in prison.
March 3: Russian troops are gaining more territory in the South of Ukraine, advancing towards the port city of Mykolaiv, which faces the Black Sea. Ukrainian forces are retreating westward to defend the city, with growing fears that Ukraine may soon be cut off from naval shipping and aid. As civilian casualties continue to increase, one million people have now fled the Ukraine, seeking refuge abroad.
March 2: As explosions continue in Kharkiv, Russian troops have seized the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson. Meanwhile, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution condemning Russia’s invasion. The Pentagon reports that Russian soldiers near Kyiv are slowed by food and fuel shortages.
March 1: Kyiv and Kharkiv have been bombed by what appears to be rockets. Targets included residential areas, Kyiv’s main TV tower, and a hospital. The UN announced that at least 136 Ukrainian civilians have been killed, whilst around 660,000 have fled the country. They also requested €1.5 billion for Ukraine, estimating that 12 million people will need support in the future. At the moment, a 64-kilometer Russian military convoy sits about 32 kilometers north of Kyiv, increasing tensions about the future of the Ukrainian capital city and its people.
February 28: According to the Pentagon, Russian forces are slowly encircling Kyiv. Meanwhile, the United Nations is looking to aid the 500,000 Ukrainians who have fled their country. This afternoon, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed an application for his country’s membership in the European Union. The EU announced plans to seek gas somewhere else, expressing a will to decrease its dependence on Russia.
February 27: As Ukrainian forces defend the city of Kharkiv, President Volodymyr Zelensky has agreed to diplomatic talks with Russian officials at the border with Belarus. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his nuclear forces to be on alert, in response to what he described as “aggressive statements” by NATO officials. The G7 have agreed to bar Russia from the SWIFT financial messaging system.
February 26: After fierce fighting in the streets of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, the British Ministry of Defense reports that the Russian advance has been slowed. Meanwhile, the German government announced it will be sending 1,000 anti-tank and 500 anti-air weapons to Ukraine. This is in stark contrast to German Chancellor Scholz’s previous offer of 5,000 helmets, which was rejected by Kyiv’s mayor. As of today, more than 150,000 Ukrainians have fled to other countries. The Ukrainian National Guard reports that Russian troops have killed 198 people thus far, three of them children.
February 25: This morning, Russian troops took the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. In Russia, the Kremlin has limited access to Facebook, which it sees as a platform for defiance. Russian officials claimed they were open to talks. The action was later condemned by their president, Vladimir Putin, sending mixed signals to the West. This evening, Russian troops entered Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital.
February 24: Russia Invades Ukraine
In the early hours of February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized a full scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russian troops entered Ukraine from the north in Kyiv, from the South in Odessa and crossed into the East from Kharkiv. Meanwhile, Ukrainian troops are still fighting Russian-backed separatists on the Eastern border.
Explosions can be heard across the country. According to Ukrainian officials, numerous areas were bombed, including the cities of Dnipro and Kharkiv. Military headquarters and airfields have also been the target of missile attacks. They have stated that ten civilians and more than 40 soldiers have been killed. The number of wounded civilians and soldiers is still unknown. Ukrainian officials have added that 50 Russian soldiers have been killed and six Russian aircrafts have been shot down.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has declared martial law, telling his citizens: “No panic. We are strong. We are ready for everything. We will win over everybody because we are Ukraine.” Footage has emerged showing citizens unable to leave Kyiv, as cars clog the highways.
Word of the invasion reached the United Nations during an emergency Security Council meeting held to dissuade Russia from escalating the situation. The plea of Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to “give peace a chance” fell on deaf ears. According to a European diplomat, an incoming resolution is set to declare Russia’s actions in the Ukraine as a violation of international law, the UN Charter and the Minsk Accords. Ukrainian Ambassador Kyslytsya has called upon member states to do “everything possible to stop the war”.
February 23: After the US implemented sanctions on Russia, the EU followed suit, dealing additional damage. The sanctions package will include the targeting of 351 lawmakers who recognized the Russian separatist regions of Ukraine as independent, as well as 27 individuals and organizations. Although the full list of names targeted by the sanctions has not yet been published, it is already clear that various top Russian officials are subject to this European retaliation. These include Sergey Shoygu (General of the Army), Anton Vaino (Putin’s chief of staff), Igor Osipov (commander-in-chief of the Black Sea fleet) and Sergei Surovikin (commander-in-chief of Russian aerospace forces). So-called Russian “propagandists” are also targeted by EU sanctions, due to their spread of anti-Western sentiments.
February 22: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed his nation, stating “we don’t owe anything to anyone, and we will not give away anything to anyone”, illustrating his intention to maintain the Ukrainian border as is. Zelensky added that Russian action “may mean a one-sided exit of the Russian Federation out of the Minsk Agreement”. The president also expressed his expectation for international support to continue. To the Ukrainian population, he communicated there was no need for fear or worry, appreciating his country’s calm reaction to the situation.
Germany announced that Russian gas pipeline project Nord Stream 2 will be halted, in response to Russian troops entering separatist regions in Eastern Ukraine. Furthermore, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz accused Putin of having infringed international law and the 2015 Minsk Agreement, which sought to end war in Eastern Ukraine.
Speaking from the White House, US President Joe Biden described the deployment of Russian troops into the separatist regions in Eastern Ukraine as “the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.” As a response, President Biden announced the implementation of new economic sanctions against Russia that will go “far beyond the steps [the US] implemented in 2014.” These new sanctions will target two large banks in Russia, preventing them from being able to get loans from the West. President Biden explained Russia’s government could therefore “no longer raise money from the West and cannot trade in its new debt on [the US] markets or European markets either”.
February 21: In a press conference addressing the nation, Russian President Vladimir Putin acknowledged the independence of the Russian separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. Subsequently, Putin gave the order to send Russian troops into Eastern Ukraine. Footage surfaced that seemed to show Russian soldiers moving towards the Ukrainian border.
An emergency United Nations Security Council meeting was held during the night in response to Putin’s state television speech. The United States and its allies condemned Russia’s actions as a violation of international law, the United Nations Charter, and Ukrainian sovereignty. Meanwhile, Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia continued defending his country’s actions. Mr. Nebenzia stated that the troops sent into Eastern Ukraine – the “peacekeepers” as Putin referred to them – intend to aid Russian-speakers living in Donetsk and Luhansk. According to Mr. Nebenzia, they are victims of the Ukrainian government. The meeting ended without any action taken.
Featured image by: Mauricio Lima for The New York Times.