Now in its fifth week, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has killed hundreds of civilians, reduced city areas to rubble and sparked a humanitarian crisis as millions flee the country.
Here are some recent developments.
The United Nations human rights office in Geneva said on Tuesday it had recorded 953 civilian deaths and 1,557 injured since the invasion. The Kremlin denies targeting civilians.
Millions have fled abroad, according to the United Nations, leaving Eastern Europe scrambling to provide them with care, schools and jobs.
The United States plans to launch an effort this week to make it easier for some to enter after only a handful of refugees were admitted in the first two weeks of March, according to three people familiar with the matter.
Biden on Russia
U.S. President Joe Biden said that Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power” in Poland Saturday, remarks a White House official said later were meant to prepare the world’s democracies for extended conflict over Ukraine, not back regime change in Russia.
Biden’s comments on Saturday, including a statement earlier in the day calling Putin a “butcher,” were a sharp escalation of the U.S. approach to Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.
In a major address delivered at Warsaw’s Royal Castle, Biden evoked Poland’s four decades behind the Iron Curtain in an effort to build a case that the world’s democracies must urgently confront an autocratic Russia as a threat to global security and freedom.
But a remark at the end of the speech raised the spectre of an escalation by Washington, which has avoided direct military involvement in Ukraine, and has specifically said it does not back regime change.
“For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,” Biden told a crowd in Warsaw after condemning Putin’s month-long war in Ukraine.
A White House official said Biden’s remarks did not represent a shift in Washington’s policy.
“The President’s point was that Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbours or the region,” the official said. “He was not discussing Putin’s power in Russia, or regime change.”
Sanctions on Russia could be lifted
British foreign minister Liz Truss says sanctions imposed on Russian individuals and companies could be lifted if Russia withdraws from Ukraine and commits to end aggression, the Telegraph newspaper reported on Saturday.
Britain and other Western nations are using economic sanctions to cripple the Russian economy and punish President Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine, seeking to press him to abandon what he calls a special military operation to demilitarise and “denazify” Ukraine.
Talks between Ukraine and Russia
Talks between Ukraine and Russia are confrontational but moving forward, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Wednesday, as the West plans to announce more sanctions against the Kremlin amid a worsening humanitarian crisis.
Intense Russian air strikes are turning besieged Mariupol into the “ashes of a dead land”, the city council said on Tuesday, as street fighting and bombardments raged in the port city.
Ukraine launches NFT ‘Museum of War’ in crypto crowdfunding push
Ukraine started auctioning off a collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on Friday in an expansion of a cryptocurrency fundraising push that Kyiv says has already collected more than $65 million for its war effort.
The ‘Meta History: Museum of War’ collection is a series of digital images – including silhouettes of warplanes, screengrabs of news reports and a cartoon-style image of an explosion – each one marking a different day in the conflict.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation started appealing for donations in digital tokens such as bitcoin and ether three days after Russia launched its invasion, which Moscow calls a “special military operation”.
The new NFT series was meant “to spread truthful information among the digital community in the world and to collect donations for the support of Ukraine,” according to a message on the collection’s website.