Despite an attempt to negotiate between the Russians and Ukrainians on Monday afternoon, the fighting continues in the war-torn region. Here is the latest on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Negotiations Between Ukraine and Russia
A delegation of officials from both Ukraine and Russia met at approximately 1 pm Kyiv time in Belarus with the intention of finding common ground amidst the growing conflict. While neither Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky or Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the meeting, both counties sent high-ranking officials to the negotiating table. Leadings up to the meeting, Ukraine demanded an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of Russian troops.Read More »
Battles Continue Amidst Negotiations
The battles did not stop for the negotiations. As Ukrainian officials were demanding a ceasefire, Russian forces advanced on a major residential area in Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city. A series of rocket launches in the Saltivka neighborhood killed at least one person, a female civilian. Officials also report that the rockets injured at least 30 others. At least seven people have lost their lives in Kharkiv over the last few days.
The fighting continued in the capital city of Kyiv. Several loud detonations were reported in the center of the city throughout the afternoon. As night falls, residents are hunkering down wondering what the morning will bring.
Although Ukrainian troops are holding the line in the northern part of the country, the Russians are moving more easily in the south. The Russian military had more success in the south, taking over the port city of Berdyansk on Sunday. Home to 100,000 people on the southern coast of Ukraine, Berdyansk is the site of a naval base.
On Monday, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said that the Russians are still attempting to move in on Kyiv, however, they are still positioned well outside of the center of the city.
Ukrainians Continue to Flee Country Amidst Deaths and Casualties
Ukrainians continue to flee the country in mass amounts. According to the Ukrainian border control service, over 120,000 people crossed Ukraine’s western border just in the past 24 hours. This number is more than double the daily crossings that the border patrol would normally service prior to the Russian invasion.
According to the United Nations, this brings the total number of refugees since the conflict started to over 500,000. The country taking in the largest amount of refugees in recent days is Poland.
The Ukraine Ministry of Interior said there has been at least 352 deaths blamed on the conflict since Sunday. 14 of these deaths were children.
Russians Meet Unexpected Resistance From Ukraine
Global leaders continue to praise the people of Ukraine for putting up a valiant fight against the advancement of Russian troops. While the fighting has intensified, there is no doubt that the Ukrainian military forces have put up a stiffer resistance than expected.
It is clear that the Russians are aiming to overtake the major cities of Kyiv and Kharkiv. While most experts had expected these cities to fall within a few days of conflict, they are both still firmly under Ukrainian control. The Russian troops are also trying to advance on the city of Mariupol, located in the southern tier of Ukraine.
Although Russia employs a larger military base, they have run into stronger than expected resistance by Ukraine forces. In addition to the traditional Ukraine military installation, thousands of civilians and reservists have joined in the battle to defend their homeland. A growing number of Western allies are also lending assistance to Ukraine through the use of financial support and weapons.
Sanctions Pile Up on Russia, Affecting Transportation
While no countries have rushed into Ukraine to go to battle, the embattled nation is receiving a significant amount of support from world leaders through the use of sanctions against Russia. In addition to a number of financial sanctions levied against Russia, air traffic has been severely impacted. More and more countries continue to close their airspace to Russian aircraft, significantly impacting the ability of Russians to move about the world.
Both Europe and Canada have prohibited Russian aircraft from using their airspace, forcing these planes to take much longer routes. As a result, at least 20% of the flights in and out of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport have been cancelled on Monday with more cancellations on the way.
Also on Monday, the U.K. announced that it is banning all Russian vessels from coming into its ports. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that no Russian vessels will be allowed to enter these waters.
Sports World Reacts to Invasion
The impacts of the crisis are also filtering down into the sports world. Both FIFA and the European football governing body UEFA have banned the Russian national football and club teams from participation in competition immediately. UEFA also announced that it is ending its corporate partnership with Gazprom, a Russian state-owned energy company.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) also announced on Monday that it will ban events in Belarus this year due to the country’s involvement with Russia against Ukraine. This announcement comes shortly after the ITF announced that it was going to cancel all of its events in Russia.