Russia invades Ukraine in fourth month – Key dates to date

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The Russian invasion of Ukraine is entering its fourth month, with no end in sight to the battles that have killed thousands, uprooted millions from their homes and turned cities into ruins.

After abandoning its attack on the capital, Kyiv, Russia is pushing east and south, while facing increasing sanctions and Ukrainian counterattacks reinforced by Western weapons.

Some key facts of the conflict so far, as reported by Reuters:

* February 24: Russia invades Ukraine from three fronts in the largest attack on a European state since World War II. Tens of thousands are fleeing their homes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he is launching a “special military operation” to demilitarize and “de-Nazify” Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweets: “Russia is on the path of evil, but Ukraine is defending itself.”

* February 25: Ukrainian forces are fighting Russian invaders in the north, east and south. The artillery hits Kyiv and its suburbs.

* 1st of March: A US official says a Russian-made armored phalanx heading for Kyiv has been “stuck” due to logistical problems.

Russia is hitting a television tower in Kyiv and stepping up bombings in Kharkov in the northeast and other cities, in what is seen as a change in Moscow’s tactics as its hopes for a quick attack on the capital fade.

* March 2: Russian forces begin the siege of the southeastern port of Mariupol, which is considered vital to Russia’s efforts to connect the eastern Donbass region with Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula occupied by Moscow in 2014.

Russian troops arrive in the center of the Black Sea port of Hersonissos, the first major urban center to be occupied.

One million people have fled Ukraine, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

* March 4: Russian forces occupy the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe. NATO rejects Ukraine’s call for no-fly zones, saying it would escalate the conflict.

* March 8: Civilians evacuate the northeastern city of Sumy as part of the first successful humanitarian corridor agreed upon. Two million people have now fled Ukraine, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

* March 9: Ukraine accuses Russia of bombing a maternity hospital in Mariupol, burying people in the rubble. Russia says Ukrainian fighters have taken over the building.

* March 13: Russia is extending its war deep into western Ukraine by launching missiles at a base in Yavoriv near the border with Poland.

* March 16: Ukraine accuses Russia of bombing a Mariupol theater where hundreds of civilians have taken refuge. Moscow denies it.

* 25th of March: Moscow is signaling that it is reducing its ambitions and will focus on making profits in the east, and Ukrainian forces are launching an offensive to retake cities outside Kyiv.

* March 30: More than 4 million people have fled Ukraine, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

* 3/4 ​​April: Ukraine accuses Russia of war crimes after locating a mass grave and bodies of people shot at close range in the recaptured city of Butsa. The Kremlin denies responsibility and says the images of the corpses were directed.

* April 8: Ukraine has blamed Russia for a rocket attack on a railway station in Kramatorsk that killed at least 52 people trying to escape an apparent eastern offensive. Russia denies responsibility.

* April 14: Russia’s top Black Sea warship, the Moskva, is sinking after a missile strike, Ukraine says. Russia is talking about sinking due to an ammunition explosion.

* April 18: Russia launches its eastern offensive, sending thousands of troops to what Ukraine calls the “Battle of Donbass,” a campaign to occupy the two provinces.

* April 21: Putin announces the “liberation” of Mariupol after almost two months of siege. But hundreds of defenders continue to resist inside the city’s huge Azovstal steelworks.

* April 25/26: Moldova’s pro-Russian breakaway region of Transnistria says the blasts hit a ministry and two radio stations. He blames neighboring Ukraine. Kyiv accuses Moscow of directing the attacks in an attempt to escalate the conflict.

* April 28Russia launches two missiles on Kyiv during UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s visit, Ukraine says The Kremlin accuses Ukraine of attacking Russian areas near the border. Two explosions are heard in the Russian city of Belgorod.

* 1st of May: About 100 Ukrainians are being evacuated from the damaged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol in a “safe passage operation”, according to the United Nations.

* May 7: Fear of 60 dead after a bomb dropped on a village school in Bilokhorivka, in eastern Ukraine, says the district governor.

* May 9: Putin urges the Russians to fight in a provocative Victory Day speech, but is silent on plans for any escalation in Ukraine.

* May 10: Ukraine says its forces have recaptured villages from Russia north and northeast of Kharkov, launching a counterattack that could signal a change in the dynamics of the war and jeopardize Russia’s main advance.

* May 12: More than 6 million people have fled Ukraine, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

* May 13: Video from the Ukrainian army appears to show Ukrainian forces destroying parts of a Russian armored phalanx as it tries to cross the Seversky Donetsk River in the eastern Donbass region.

* May 14: Ukrainian forces have launched a counterattack near the Russian-controlled eastern city of Izum, the local governor said.

* May 18: Finland and Sweden have formally applied to join the NATO alliance, a move that would lead to the expansion of the Western military alliance that Putin aimed to prevent.

* May 20: Ukrainian fighters resisting the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol surrender to Russian forces within days.

On May 20, Russia announced that the last Ukrainian forces had surrendered. Hours earlier, Zelensky had said that the Ukrainian army had told the defenders that they could go out and save their lives.

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Source: Capital

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