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Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine Enters 3rd Month | Key Events In War So Far
In the face of mounting sanctions and fierce Ukrainian resistance bolstered by Western arms, Russia has kept up its long-distance bombardment and opened up a new offensive in the east.
New Delhi: As the Russian invasion of Ukraine entered the third month on Sunday the Ukrainian military said Moscow’s forces have continued to press their attacks in the east. The General Staff of the Ukrainian armed forces said Sunday that the Russians fired on Ukrainian positions along the entire line of contact on the war’s 60th day. It also said the Russian military intensified its offensive and assault operations in the Siverodonetsk, Kurakhiv and Popasna directions. In the face of mounting sanctions and fierce Ukrainian resistance bolstered by Western arms, Russia has kept up its long-distance bombardment and opened up a new offensive in the east, reported news agency Reuters.
With no end in sight to fighting that has killed thousands, uprooted millions and reduced cities to rubble, let is look back at some of the key events in the war so far:
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- Russia invaded Ukraine from three fronts in the biggest assault on a European state since World War Two on Febuary 24. Tens of thousands of people were forced to flee the country due to the attack. Launching the invacsion. Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was undertaking a “special military operation” to demilitarise and “denazify” Ukraine. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy tweeted: “Russia has embarked on a path of evil, but Ukraine is defending itself.”
- Ukrainian forces srtarted the battle against Russian invaders in the north, east and south on February 25. As artillery pounded Kyiv and its suburbs, authorities told residents to prepare Molotov cocktails to defend the capital.
- On February 28, the first talks between the two sides started by maded no breakthrough.
- On March 1, Russia had hits a TV tower in Kyiv and intensifies bombardment of Kharkiv in the northeast and other cities, in what was seen as a shift in tactics as Moscow’s hopes of a quick charge on the capital faded.
- On March 2, Russian forces bombarded the southern port of Mariupol for 14 hours and stoped civilians leaving, its mayor said. The day marked the starting of Moscow’s blockade of the city. Later, Russia denied targeting civilians. Russian troops also reached the centre of the Black Sea port of Kherson and claimed their first capture of a large urban centre.
- On March 3, Russia and Ukraine agreed to set up humanitarian corridors for fleeing civilians. A cargo ship sank near a Ukrainian port hours after another was hit by a blast at another port.
- On March 4, Russian forces seized Europe’s biggest Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. NATO rejected Ukraine’s appeal for no-fly zones, saying it would escalate the conflict.
- On March 8, Civilians started fleeing the besieged city of Sumy in the first successful humanitarian corridor. Two million have now fled Ukraine, the UNHCR said.
- On March 9, Ukraine accused Russia of bombing a maternity hospital in Mariupol, and burying people in its rubble. Russia later said the hospital was no longer functioning and had been occupied by Ukrainian fighters.
- On March 13, Russia extended its war deep into western Ukraine, firing missiles at a base in Yavoriv close to the border with NATO member Poland. The attack killed 35 people and wounded 134, a local official said.
- On March 16, Ukraine accused Russia of bombing a theatre in Mariupol where hundreds of civilians are sheltering. Moscow again denied the allagation.
- On March 25, Moscow signaled it is scaling back its ambitions and would focus on territory claimed by Russian-backed separatists in the east, as Ukrainian forces went on the offensive to recapture towns outside Kyiv.
- On March 29, Ukraine proposed adopting a neutral status during talks in Istanbul.
- By April 1, Ukraine recaptured more territory around Kyiv from Russian soldiers who leave shattered villages and abandoned tanks as they moved away from the capital.
- Around April 3 or 4, Ukraine accused Russia of war crimes after a mass grave and bodies of people shot at close range were found in the recaptured town of Bucha. The Kremlin denied responsibility and said images of bodies were staged.
- On April 8, Ukraine and its allies blamed Russia for a missile attack on a train station in Kramatorsk that killed at least 52 people trying to flee the looming eastern offensive. Russia again denied responsibility.
- On April 14, Russia’s lead warship in the Black Sea, the Moskva, sank after an explosion and fire that Ukraine said was caused by a missile strike. Russia said the ship sank after an ammunition explosion. Washington believes the warship was hit by two Ukrainian missiles.
- On April 18, Russia launched its assault on east Ukraine, unleashing thousands of troops in what Ukraine described as the Battle of the Donbas, a campaign to seize two provinces and salvage a battlefield victory.
- On April 21, Putin declared the southeastern port of Mariupol “liberated” after nearly two months of siege, despite leaving hundreds of defenders holding out inside a giant steel works.
- On April 22, a Russian general said Moscow wants to take full control of southern and eastern Ukraine.