It has been more than 100 days since the war between Russia and Ukraine has left the world on edge with no signs of a ceasefire. Russia has destroyed and damaged 113 churches in Ukraine since the start of the war, Kiev claims. Thousands of people have been killed in three months without accurate figures, while millions have been displaced. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has caused human suffering, triggered a global food and commodity price crisis and destabilized the global geopolitical order, analysts say, raising concerns. According to Ukrainian officials, Moscow has escalated attacks in the east, where bridges have been blown up and apartment buildings have been shelled during fierce fighting. Russian and Ukrainian troops fought street by street in Sievierodonetsk and neighboring Lysychansk – the last large areas of Luhansk province still under Ukraine’s control, the AP news agency reported.
Also read: Russia occupies 20% of Ukraine’s territory: Zelensky
Here are the major updates on the war:
1. Swearing at Russian President Vladimir Putin, Zelensky said – in his late-night speech – that “the terrible effects of the war could be stopped at any time if one person in Moscow gave the order”. “The fact that there is still no such order is clearly a humiliation for the whole world,” the 44-year-old told Reuters news agency.
2. Ukraine now says its goal is to push back Russian forces as far as possible, according to a Reuters report, as it claimed it had recaptured part of the battlefield city of Sievierodonetsk. The head of Sievierodonetsk’s civil-military administration, Oleksandr Striuk, said some residents of the city were forcibly transferred to Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine by Russian forces, The Kyiv Independent, a local news platform, reported.
4. The governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Gaidai, said Russian troops are blowing up bridges over the Siverskyi Donets River to prevent Ukraine from building military reinforcements and delivering aid to civilians in the city of Sievierodonetsk. As fierce fighting raged around the industrial city of Sievierodonetsk, Kiev announced it was pushing back Russian forces.
5. The Russian Defense Ministry said on its Telegram channel that Ukrainian troops were withdrawing towards the city of Lysychansk after suffering “critical losses” of up to 90% in some units during the fighting for nearby Sievierodonetsk.
6. The Russian Defense Ministry said its forces shot down a Ukrainian military transport plane carrying weapons and ammunition near the Black Sea port of Odessa. The ministry said Russian missiles also hit an artillery training center in Ukraine’s Sumy region, where foreign instructors were working, Reuters reported.
7. According to the Russian foreign minister, Western sanctions “would have no effect on the country’s oil exports and predicted a big jump in profits from energy supplies this year”.
Also read: Ukraine war: Russian artillery hits Donetsk monastery, Zelensky . claims
8. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said on Saturday that while it was impossible to predict when the war would end. “My optimistic prognosis is that it is realistic to achieve this already this year,” Reuters quoted him as saying.
9. On the diplomatic front, Kiev reprimanded French President Emmanuel Macron for saying it was important not to “humiliate” Moscow.
10. Top US General Mark Milley said during his visit to Stockholm: “The accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO would put Russia in a difficult military position in the Baltic Sea.”
(With input from Reuters, AP)