Russia Ukraine War Live, Mariupol Fall to Russia: Hundred days ago, Russian President Vladimir announced a special operation to “denazify” Ukraine. Since then, the war has shown no sign of abating with both Ukrainian and Russian troops claiming victories in various parts of the country.
While Ukrainian troops were largely successful in keeping Kremlin’s soldiers from urban parts of the country, parts of rural Ukraine saw Russian troops occupying their homes and offices, often leaving behind mass graves with hundreds of corpses bearing signs of torture.
Russia now holds 20% of Ukraine
Russian forces now control around 20% of Ukraine, Zelenskyy said Thursday. This includes the 7% of Ukraine that was already in Russian hands following the 2014 annexation of Crimea. As per an AP estimate, this amounts to an additional 58,000 square kilometers under Russian control, a total area slightly larger than Croatia.
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Since then, while Russian forces have been largely driven out of the two major cities of Kyiv and Kharkiv, several other key areas — including Mariupol and Kherson, among others — have fallen to Putin’s army.
Currently, Moscow has focused its energies on the Donbas region, including the Luhansk Oblast and Donetsk Oblast areas, which had a considerable pro-Russia movement in place prior to the invasion.
#Russian Forces made incremental, grinding, and costly progress in eastern #Ukraine on June 2, continuing operations to capture #Severodonetsk and further operations to capture #Lysychansk at the expense of other axes of advance. (1/3)
— ISW (@TheStudyofWar) June 2, 2022
“Russian troops continued operations to capture Severodonetsk and further operations to capture Lysychansk. Russian military leadership will likely use the capture of these two cities to claim they have “liberated” all of Luhansk Oblast before turning to Donetsk Oblast but Russian forces are unlikely to have the forces necessary to take substantial territory in Donetsk Oblast after suffering further losses around Severodonetsk,” as per a report by the Institue of Study of War.
What next for Russia?
While Russia has said that it has created administrational units in several of its occupied territories, an ISW report, quoting the Ukrainian Resistance Center, observed that several of these units are “’created [only] on paper’ and are incapable of controlling local populations, enforcing the Russian ruble, or bureaucratic processes.”
The report added that in the Zaporizhia region, the Russia-backed authorities announced the nationalization of the state property, including the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant, stating that Putin could be seeking to “economically exploit the newly occupied territories with or without direct annexation”. Kremlin’s pursuance of inconsistent occupational measures in parts of southern Ukraine that it captured suggests “indecision” on Russia’s part as to how to integrate occupied territory, concluded the report.
Here’s a look at how the war progressed so far:
The days preceding the invasion were fraught with tension — for days, Russia and its friendly neighbor Belarus had announced joint military exercises and dismissed Western concerns of a possible invasion.
After the United States and Nato warned the world that Russia could launch its invasion on February 16, a Wednesday, Russian lawmakers responded with sarcasm, Russia’s ambassador to the European Union, Vladimir Chizhov said: “Wars in Europe rarely start on a Wednesday.” The country’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova, in a Facebook post, asked the “mass media of disinformation” in the West “to reveal the schedule of our invasions’ for the upcoming year. I’d like to plan my vacations.”
Early morning strike
Putin announced the news of the invasion in a televised speech early on February 24, as citizens in the capital city of Kyiv woke up to bomb sirens, directing them to move to underground metro stations that doubled as makeshift bomb shelters. Images of highways out of Kyiv jam-packed with cars, tearful goodbyes at railway stations and armed civilians with military-grade weapons filled social media platforms as Russian troops started bombing targets.
Indian student among thousands dead
Naveen SG, an Indian medical student at Ukraine’s Kharkiv National Medical University, became the only Indian student killed in the Russia-Ukraine war after he was killed in a Russian shelling. A native of Karnataka, Naveen had stepped out to buy groceries when he was killed. His body was brought back to India and donated to SS Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Center in Davanagere by his family. Overall, around 19,000 Indian students in Ukraine were brought back to India after the war broke out, according to official estimates.
Received & honored body of our student Naveen Gyanagoudar killed in indiscriminate bomb shelling in Russia-Ukraine war.
— Basavaraj S Bommai (@BSBommai) March 20, 2022
While the actual number of total war victims is unknown, Ukraine President Zelenskyy has put the number in “tens of thousands,” with around 21,000 dead in Mariupol alone, as per media reports.
As for military dying, around 100 Ukrainian soldiers are and 500 are getting injured in combat every day, according to Zelenskyy. While Russia has not released the figures for its human losses since March 25 (1,351 soldiers killed, 3,825 wounded), Ukraine and the West put the number of dead between 15,000 and 30,000. An AP report put the official estimate of Russian troops wounded at around 40,000.
Zelensky and diplomacy
The initial days of the war coincided with the rise in the global profile of Ukraine’s comedian-turned-president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, with the Western media dubbing him “the modern Churchill”. In the information vortex that followed the invasion, Zelenskyy took to Twitter and Instagram videos from landmark sites in Kyiv to assure Ukrainians that he has not left the country and that he is working with the world leaders to rally support in the form of sanctions on Russia , financial aid to Ukraine, and arms and ammunition for its fighters.
Zelenskyy spoke with Prime Minister Narendra Modi two days after the invasion and India’s “political support” at the UNSC is sought. India, which has called for a peaceful solution to the Russia-Ukraine crisis has, however, abstained from voting against Russia in the UN Security Council. The PMO’s office said in a statement that PM Modi reiterated his call for “immediate cessation of violence” and return to dialogue, and conveyed “India’s willingness to contribute in any way towards peace efforts.”
Spoke with 🇮🇳 Prime Minister @Narendramodi. Informed of the course of 🇺🇦 repulsing 🇷🇺 aggression. More than 100,000 invaders are on our land. They insidiously fire on residential buildings. Urged 🇮🇳 to give us political support in 🇺🇳 Security Council. Stop the aggressor together!
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) February 26, 2022
Sanctions on Russia
Western import, led by the United States allies, have imposed several sanctions on Russia in the oil and gas sectors, and the European Union, which is severely dependent on Russian gas for survival, too is making moves to wean themselves off. Several US companies — most recently the McDonalds and Starbucks — left Russia in the aftermath of the war.
Evgeny Gontmakher, academic director of European Dialogue, wrote in a paper this week that Russia currently faces over 5,000 targeted sanctions, more than any other country, reported The Associated Press. Some $300 billion of Russian gold and foreign exchange reserves in the West have been frozen, he added, and air traffic in the country dropped from 8.1 million to 5.2 million passengers between January and March.
Additionally, the Kyiv School of Economics has reported that more than 1,000 “self-sanctioning” companies have curtailed their operations in Russia, said the AP report.