It’s been a month since Russia’s invasion against Ukraine that has so far seen hundreds of civilians have been killed, hundreds more being injured and over lakhs of Ukrainians fleeing the country since being invaded by its neighbour on February 24 with the goal of thwarting its pro-Western course.
On the one-month anniversary of the Russian invasion, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for solidarity, and, in a warning of sorts, said he would see who sells out at summits in Europe where bolstering sanctions and NATO is planned but restrictions on energy could prove divisive. The Ukrainian president also urged citizens around the world to take to the streets to stop Russia’s invasion. US President Joe Biden, meanwhile, is in Brussels for meetings of NATO, G7 and EU over the Russia-Ukraine war.
It was on February 24 when Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “military operation” against Ukraine, claiming that it is intended to protect civilians. The invasion has so far taken hundreds of lives and led to damages of unmeasurable scale.
Latest updates in Russia-Ukraine war:
Russia Deployed Phosphorus Weapons: Zelensky
Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia on Thursday of deploying phosphorus weapons in his country and urged NATO to provide military support. “This morning, by the way, phosphorus bombs were used. Russian phosphorus bombs. Adults were killed again and children were killed again,” Zelensky said during a video address to the US-led military alliance.
NATO chief says Putin made ‘big mistake’ invading Ukraine
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday said Putin of making a “big mistake” by invading Ukraine, as leaders gathered to discuss overhauling the alliance’s eastern defences.
“President Putin has made a big mistake and that is to launch a war against an independent sovereign nation. He has underestimated the strength of the Ukrainian people, the bravery of the Ukrainian people and their armed forces,” news agency AFP quoted Stoltenberg as saying ahead of a NATO summit in Brussels.
Ukraine’s port of Berdyansk on fire: Reports
Reports said that The port of Berdyansk in Ukraine is on fire, presumably, after Russian occupiers blew up fuel tanks.
⚡️ The port of #Berdyansk is on fire
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) March 24, 2022
Meanwhile, visuals showed a crumbled Mariupol city a month into the Russian invasion.
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) March 24, 2022
US Ready With Contingency Plans in Case Russia Uses Its Most Powerful Weapons: Report
Reports said that the White House has formed a team of national security officials to chalk out scenarios of how the United States and its allies should respond if Russian President Vladimir Putin unleashes his stockpiles of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.
The group, said to be called ‘The Tiger Team’, is also examining responses if Putin reaches into NATO territory to attack convoys bringing weapons and aid to Ukraine, according to several officials involved in the process, the New York Times reported. The team is meeting three times a week in classified sessions, the report said. The team is also looking at responses if Russia seeks to extend the war to neighboring nations, including Moldova and Georgia, and how to prepare European countries for the refugees flowing in on a scale not seen in decades.
Zelenskyy urges global protests against Russia’s war
In a passionate speech on the eve of a one-month anniversary of Russia’s invasion, Zelenskyy urged citizens around the world to take to the streets to stop Russia’s invasion of his country. “Come with Ukrainian symbols to support Ukraine, to support freedom, to support life,” Zelenskyy said in a video address in English, adding: “Come to your squares, to your streets, make yourselves visible and heard.”
Russia limits access to Google News
Accusing it of providing access to “false” information about the offensive in Ukraine, Russia’s media regulator has restricted access to the Google News service, Russian news agencies reported.
The decision was reportedly taken at the request of the Russian General Prosecutor’s Office, according to a statement by the country’s media regulator Roskomnadzor cited by the agencies. A statement said that the online news service “provided access to numerous publications and materials that contain false information… about the course of the special military operation on Ukrainian territory,”.
Google “confirmed that some people are having difficulty accessing the Google News app and website in Russia and that this is not due to any technical issues on our end,” a company spokesperson said. “We’ve worked hard to keep information services like News accessible to people in Russia for as long as possible,” the Google spokesperson added.
Russia expels US diplomats
Russia’s foreign ministry says it is expelling US diplomats in retaliation for Washington’s step to remove 12 of Moscow’s representatives at the United Nations in New York.
“The US side has been given firm notice that any hostile action by the United States against Russia will be met with a resolute and appropriate response,” the ministry says in a statement.
Biden in Brussels
US President Joe Biden is in Brussels for meetings of the NATO alliance, G7 and EU over the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Biden will attend an emergency NATO Summit, joined by the leaders of the other 29 NATO Allies. He will join the G7 leaders. And he will address the 27 leaders of the European Union at a session of the European Council. He will have the opportunity to coordinate on the next phase of military assistance to Ukraine, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said.
Kyiv Mayor Says Russians Pushed Back
While Russian troops quickly pushed to the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, after invading the country on February 24, Ukraine has claimed to have kept the neighbour from encircling and entering the city. On Wednesday, Kyiv mayor said Ukrainian forces have pushed back Russian troops in several areas around the city and vowed to defend every building rather than surrender the capital.
In another news, a Russian journalist for the investigative news outlet The Insider was killed when Russian troops shelled a residential neighbourhood in the Ukrainian capital, the outlet said Wednesday, the latest reporter to die in war.
Russia taking ‘defensive positions’ Pentagon
The Russian army has retreated more than 30 kilometres (18 miles) east of Kyiv and has begun to establish defensive positions on several fronts in Ukraine, a senior Pentagon official said.
To the northwest, “they’re basically digging in and they are establishing defensive positions,” the official adds. “So it’s not that they’re not advancing. They’re actually not trying to advance right now.”
Veteran envoy of Putin quits over Ukraine war
A veteran envoy of President Vladimir Putin has resigned over the Ukraine war and left Russia with no intention to return, two sources said on Wednesday, the first senior official to break with the Kremlin since Putin launched his invasion a month ago.
The Kremlin confirmed that Anatoly Chubais had resigned of his own accord. Chubais was one of the principal architects of Boris Yeltsin’s economic reforms of the 1990s and was Putin’s boss in the future president’s first Kremlin job. He held senior business and political jobs under Putin, lately serving as Kremlin special envoy to international organisations.
(With inputs from agencies)