(NEW YORK) — Russian forces are continuing their attempted push through Ukraine from multiple directions, while Ukrainians, led by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, are putting up “stiff resistance,” according to U.S. officials.
The attack began Feb. 24, when Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation.”
Russian forces moving from neighboring Belarus toward Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, have advanced closer to the city center in recent days despite the resistance. Heavy shelling and missile attacks, many on civilian buildings, continue in Kyiv, as well as major cities like Kharkiv and Mariupol. Russia also bombed western cities for the first time this week, targeting Lviv and a military base near the Poland border.
Russia has been met by sanctions from the United States, Canada and countries throughout Europe, targeting the Russian economy as well as Putin himself.
Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:
Mar 23, 7:32 am
Russia doesn’t believe claims of civilian deaths in Ukraine
Moscow doesn’t believe Kyiv’s claims of civilian deaths in Ukraine caused by Russian forces, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday.
“We don’t believe the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office. Russian troops are carrying out no strikes, aren’t firing on civilians,” Peskov told reporters during a daily call. “Russian servicemen are helping civilians and, regrettably, more and more eyewitnesses get out of the cities saying that they are being held there as human shields, and that nationalist battalions are firing — and there are plenty of such cases — on civilians.”
Mar 23, 6:42 am
Over 3.6 million refugees have fled Ukraine: UNHCR
More than 3.6 million people have been forced to flee Ukraine since Russian forces invaded on Feb. 24, according to the latest figures from the United Nations refugee agency.
The tally from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) amounts to just over 8% of Ukraine’s population — which the World Bank counted at 44 million at the end of 2020 — on the move across borders in 28 days.
More than half of the refugees crossed into neighboring Poland, UNHCR figures show.
Mar 23, 5:45 am
Russian forces allegedly destroy Ukrainian weapons depot
Russia claimed Wednesday that its forces carried out an airstrike destroying a weapons depot of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
The Russian Ministry of Defense also alleged that troops have destroyed 430 aircraft, including drones, as well as more than 1,500 tanks and other combat armoured vehicles belonging to the Ukrainian Armed Forces since the “special military operation” began Feb. 24.
Mar 23, 5:20 am
Talks with Moscow ‘are moving forward,’ Zelenskyy says
Negotiations between Ukraine and Russia are “very difficult” but “moving forward,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Wednesday.
“It’s very difficult, sometimes confrontational,” Zelenskyy said in an early morning address. “But step by step, we are moving forward.”
Zelenskyy added that he is “grateful to all international mediators who are standing up for Ukraine.”
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