Quantcast
 

Latest Russia-Ukraine War News

  • Joe Biden makes prisoner swap deal with Russia, getting Brittany Griner home. 

  •  Ukraine now able to strike deep into Russian territory. Drones expand strike zone with major blasts rocking Russian military bases. 

  • The EU is slated to try to set up a UN backed court to investigate and prosecute war crimes committed by Russia in Ukraine. 

 ​​​​​

 
Russian Aggression in Ukraine Causes Mass Civilian Casualties 

Russia's ruthless invasion of Ukraine has resulted in mass casualties. 

Russia has used airstrikes and conducted major rocket and artillery bombardments of civilian centers, intentionally striking residential buildings, schools, and hospitals. The Russians have been targeting hospitals and health centers far from the front lines of battle. 

 

Civilians in Kyiv are seeking safety in bomb shelters and subway stations as the Russian bombardment continues.  More than ten million Ukrainians have fled the country as refugees since the war began. In addition, at least 7.7 million people are internally displaced in Ukraine having been forced to flee their homes.

Brittany Griner, Russian Political Prisoner, Released in Prisoner Swap

Brittany Griner was sentenced to 9 years in prison for having a small amount of hash oil in a Russian airport. Her arrest and sham trial coincided with Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and her ruthless punishment by the Russian government was part of Russia's geopolitical play against the USA. 

On December 8, 2022, President Biden successfully negotiated her release in exchange for Viktor Bout, Russian arms dealer. 

Former American marine, Paul Whelan, who is also serving time in Russian prison for false charges of espionage, was not released in this exchange, as was hoped by the American public. Reports indicate the Russia was unwilling to consider exchanging Whelan. 

"This was not a choice of which American to bring home," Present Biden said after announcing the swap. "Sadly, for totally illegitimate reasons, Russia is treating Paul's case differently than Brittney's. And while we have not yet succeeded in securing Paul's release, we are not giving up. We will never give up."

In a statement, Paul Whelan's brother, David Whelan, said:

"I am so glad that Brittney Griner is on her way home. As the family member of a Russian hostage, I can literally only imagine the joy she will have, being reunited with her loved ones, and in time for the holidays. There is no greater success than for a wrongful detainee to be freed and for them to go home. The Biden administration made the right decision to bring Ms. Griner home, and to make the deal that was possible, rather than waiting for one that wasn't going to happen."

Ongoing Updates of Russian Aggression

November 2022

 

New instances of Russian aggression reach western news daily. Check back here for the latest. 

 

Ukrainians Fight Valiantly

Directly after the invasion, Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said, “Putin has just launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Peaceful Ukrainian cities are under strikes. This is a war of aggression. Ukraine will defend itself and will win. The world can and must stop Putin. The time to act is now.”

Since then, Ukrainian men and women have defended their country with honor, banding together to sabotage the invasion with molotov cocktails and other creative methods like destroying key bridges. 

It is not just the Ukrainian people defending their country. Despite being offered asylum, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has also chosen to remain behind and fight off the Russians with his countrymen. His bravery has drawn international recognition and support from opposition parties.

“Zelenskyy has rallied even traditional partners of Putin to his cause and helped buy political space for the West to take a hatchet to the Russian economy,” said Brian O’Toole, a former Treasury Department sanctions official.

Ukraine's bravery and freedom-loving spirit has earned it the nickname the "Texas" of Europe. 

Despite Ukraine's bravery, they are outmatched when it comes to weapons and numbers, and won't be able to defeat Russia without Western aid. 

ukraine soldiers.jpeg

@Picture Alliance/ AP Photo

Latest on Ukrainian Defense

Winter 2022

  • Ukrainian forces have destroyed Russian combat units that fired upon a maternity hospital in Zaporizhzhia. 

  • Ukrainian authorities gradually restored power after Russian strikes on power grid left millions in the dark. 

Americans Unify in Bipartisan Support for Ukraine

Republican and Democrat leaders have taken to Twitter to express their support for the people of Ukraine and America’s unwavering commitment to freedom. 

 

“The people of #Ukraine are tough people who will NEVER accept being ruled by #Putin,” “Men,women,children,the elderly,they are going to fight. And they are going to maim & kill alot of Russians,” tweeted  Republican Senator, Marco Rubio. 

 

“We must be unceasingly in our assistance to the Ukrainian people. We must levy crippling sanctions on Russia. And we must cut off Putin and his cronies from the global economy. A strong, swift response is vital,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) posted on Twitter.

“Our response here is greater than Russia and Ukraine; what we choose to do will also send a message to China on Taiwan,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) said. 

Conservatives and Democrats alike support President Biden's decision to band with G-7 leaders to enact extreme consequences for what he called a “needless act of aggression against Ukraine and global peace and security.”

 

His sanctions have support from both parties as lawmakers have already called for emergency legislation to boost Ukraine’s defenses and hit back at Putin.

US diplomats returned to Ukraine in late April to discuss how the USA can be of further assistance. US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with Polish President Andrzej Duda on Monday, May 2nd. She also met Zelensky in Kyiv on Saturday, saying afterwards that the visit sent “an unmistakable message to the world: that America stands firmly with our NATO allies in our support for Ukraine."

Her message comes on the heels of President Biden's announcement of another $800 million to support Ukraine military. Biden has also asked Congress to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to make it easier for highly educated Russians to obtain visas to work in the US. ​​​

 

Even the Church has stood up. Pope Francis warned the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, not to become “Putin’s altar boy” in an interview this week, slamming Kirill for endorsing Russia’s stated reasons for invading Ukraine.

The U.S. is buying Ukraine an advanced air defense system. Biden authorized a NASAMS system to be sent to Ukraine, “an advanced, medium-to-long-range surface-to-air missile defense system that will allow Ukraine to defend its forces from greater distances.”​​

 

What Are the Sanctions?

The US has banned all Russian oil and gas imports.The European Commission has also passed a phased ban of $4.3 billion worth of Russian coal imports per year as part of a fifth package of sanctions designed to further diminish Putin’s war chest. 

The US, EU and UK have together sanctioned more than 1,000 Russian individuals and businesses, including wealthy business leaders - so-called oligarchs - who are considered close to the Kremlin.

Western countries have frozen the assets of Russia's central bank, to stop it using its $630bn (£470bn) of foreign currency reserves. This caused the value of the rouble to slump by 22%, which has pushed up the price of imported goods and led to a 14% rise in Russia's rate of inflation.

The United States has barred Russia from making debt payments using the $600m it holds in US banks, making it harder for Russia to repay its international loans.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen proposed a raft of measures including a ban on Russian oil on May 4th. Other proposals include listing individuals who committed war crimes in Bucha, Ukraine; removing Russia’s largest bank Sberbank and two other companies from the SWIFT system, a messaging service that connects financial institutions around the world; and banning three Russian state-owned broadcasters from European airwaves.

All Russian flights have been banned from US, UK, EU and Canadian airspace.

Russian players were banned from playing in this year’s Wimbledon tennis tournament as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is “unacceptable.”

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen proposed a raft of measures including a ban on Russian oil in early May. 

 

More and More Russians Speak Out Against the War

To hide the truth of his ill-fated invasion, Putin has suspended independent television and media in Russia–but too late. Russians are already protesting by the thousands in the largest cities. Many of them are being arrested just for holding up a sign condemning the war.  Anyone who speaks out against the war in Ukraine could face up to 15 years in prison. 

Still, many brave Russians are condemning the war alongside the international community. Marina Ovsyannikova, an editor at Channel One, the Russian State's news channel, ran onto to live broadcast with a sign saying: “Don’t believe the propaganda. They’re lying to you here.” It was signed in English: “Russians against the war.” Her protest could be seen and heard for several seconds before the channel switched to a recorded segment.

At least 756 people have now been arrested for peacefully protesting the war in Russia. 

“Anyone trying to go out or looking like a protester has been violently dragged away,” said reporter, Bernard Smith, adding that in one instance, a woman was dragged away just for holding a blank piece of white paper.

Meanwhile, disillusionment with the war is getting to Russian troops too. Russian troops reportedly attacked their own commanding officer by running him over with a tank after many in their brigade were killed amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Tensions in Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin was misled by advisers who were too scared to tell him how poorly the war in Ukraine is going and how damaging Western sanctions have been.

“We have information that Putin felt misled by the Russian military, which has resulted in persistent tension between Putin and his military leadership,” Kate Bedingfield, White House communications director, said. 

“We believe that Putin is being misinformed by his advisers about how badly the Russian military is performing and how the Russian economy is being crippled by sanctions because his senior advisors are too afraid to tell him the truth,” she said.

Many of the sanctions are aimed at Putin and wealthy Russian oligarchs directly, as well as the Russian economy as a whole. The Russian economy is squashed beneath the sanctions, with the country’s currency, the ruble, crashing as Russians rush to get cash. The effects are so bad that the country’s stock market was kept shut the days after sanctions were levied. 

In the wake of the economic downturn, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered Gazprom to convert oil and gas contracts with hostile countries into rubles to boost the currency.

Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin has said about 200,000 people risk losing their jobs in the Russian capital because foreign companies have suspended operations or decided to leave the Russian market.

Former Russian colonel recently criticized the country's invasion of Ukraine on state television​.

Timeline of Events 
 
November 2022
  • An investigation into Russian attacks on religious sites in Ukraine has found that over 270 religious institutions and places of worship have been damaged or destroyed during the war. Russian soldiers have continued to occupy church property in Ukraine for military use, and have detained, abused, and even tortured clergy in some. 

  • The Kremlin has said that Russia will rejoin the UN grain deal to allow grain to be shipped from Ukraine through the Black Sea, just days after pulling out of the deal

  • North Korea is secretly supplying Russia with a significant amount of ammunition according to White House sources.

  • Ukraine has accused Russia of occupying empty homes in Kherson with troops in civilian clothes, after Russia ordered civilians to leave the captured city in anticipation of a Ukrainian attempt to recapture the city.

  • In a joint statement during their first face-to-face talks since both have been in office, U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping "condemn Russian threats of nuclear weapons use in Ukraine."

  • General Mark Milley, chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated that there have been an estimated 200,000 military casualties from the war in Ukraine, in addition to around 40,000 civilians who have died due to the conflict. This is the highest estimate yet from a Western official

  • After Russia's missile barrage, NATO's top priority is more air defense systems for Ukraine.

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy visited the recently liberated city of Kherson, accused Russian soldiers of over 400 documented war crimes and killing civilians in the city

  • Ukraine's power grid has been destroyed on a "colossal" scale after Russian strikes, as described by Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, the CEO of Ukrainian national power grid operator, Ukrenergo. 

  • The European Union has made the decision to give Ukraine an additional €2.5 billion in aid, totaling €18 billion in funding for 2023.

  • Russia appears to be carrying out mass missile strikes on critical infrastructure in Odesa and Dnipro. Air defense systems are working to shoot down incoming rockets in Kyiv and Dnipro. 

  • At least 14 people have been injured following an attack in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro

  • Ukrainian air defense missile hits Poland while defending Ukraine from Russia; killing two people in Polish border town. 

  • Hundreds of Ukrainians fled Kherson on Sunday as Russian shelling of the recently liberated city intensifies. 

  • The United States plans to send an additional $400 million in ammunition and generators to Ukraine as Russia continues to target Ukraine's energy sources ahead of the winter. 

October 2022
September 2022

  • A mass burial site with over 400 graves was found in Izyum after the city was re-taken from Russian control

  • NATO forces have begun to conduct air drills over the Baltic Sea in effort to boost eastern defenses

August 2022

  • Putin attempts to sway Ukrainian's by sending payouts to families with children in Russian-occupied zones 

  • Zelensky announces that Putin has put the world on the brink of a radiation catastrophe 

  • Prominent opposition leader Yevgeny Roizman was detained by Russian polic for allegedly “discrediting” the Russian army

June & July 2022

  • 6/27: A Russian missile strikes a crowded Ukrainian shopping center, killing 13 and wounding many more. The shopping center is near a railway station in the central-Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk. 

May 2022
  • 2 Russian soldiers plead guilty to war crimes in Ukrainian court

  • Russian forces target more than 40 towns in the eastern Donbas region

  • Ukrainian soldiers who have spent weeks barricaded under a massive steel plant in Azovstal amid heavy Russian bombing and shelling have been evacuated to Russian-occupied territory in Ukraine's east.

  • Ukraine says there will be prisoner swap but some Russian officials have said forces could be tried or executed.

  • High casualties feared after school shelter in Ukraine bombed.

  • More than 300 civilians have been rescued since the start of evacuations from the besieged Azovstal steel plant. Ukrainian government working to evacuate military, medic, and wounded from Azovstal.

  • Russian forces are pressing an offensive in the direction of Sloviansk, an important town in the Donetsk region. 

April 2022
  • UK military intelligence says an entire Russian battalion was wiped out during a thwarted effort to establish a bridge over the Siversky Donets river in the eastern Donbas region.

  • Ukraine bolstered by sinking of important Russian warship, the Moskva. 

  • Zelenskiy maintained Ukraine is not willing to give up territory in the east in order to end the war with Russia and acknowledged that the battle could influence the entire course of the war.

  • As of April 18th, Ukrainian forces are continuing to resist Russian attacks in the besieged southeastern city after rejecting a deadline to surrender. Russian forces have been bombarding the Azovstal steel plant, a bastion of the Ukrainian defense, said Petro Andriushchenko, a mayoral adviser.

  • War in Ukraine enters its seventh week, with Ukrainian defenses holding strong.

 

  • On April 14th, Russia abandoned a flagship in the Black Sea after it was hit by a Ukrainian missel.

  • Russia briefly suspended attacks on Azovstal steel plant to allow 100 civilians to evacuate over the weekend, but it was hit again Sunday night, April 30th.  

  • Russian energy giant, Gazprom, has shut off gas supply to Bulgaria and Poland after the two countries refused to pay in rubles. The EU accuses Russia of "blackmailing" the bloc with gas. 

  • Russia was "continuously attacking" the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol on Sunday. The site is sheltering hundreds of soldiers and civilians.

  •  Russia announced its goal is to take "full control" of southern Ukraine as well as the Donbas region to establish a land corridor connecting Russia to Crimea.

  • Physical damage to Ukraine's buildings and infrastructure from Russia’s invasion has reached roughly $60 bn according to the World Bank.

  • Ukraine identified new mass graves outside the besieged city of Mariupol. New satellite images support their claims. 

  • Russian forces are bombing Mariupol's Azovstal factory, one of Europe's largest steel plants. Ukrainian forces are refusing to surrender the factory. 

  • Heavy fighting continue in eastern Ukraine as Russia attempts to take Donbas. The US says there have been no major territorial gains for Russia so far. 

  • Over the Easter weekend, seven people were killed and 11 injured after Russia launched at least four missile strikes on Lviv. Russia is running "Non-stop bombardment of civilian districts" in Kharkiv over the Easter weekend, said the city mayor.

  • On April 7th, the Russian defense ministry said its missiles had destroyed four fuel storage facilities in the Ukrainian cities of Mykolayiv, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia and Chuhuiv.

 

  • On April 6th, Russian artillery fire killed at least four people and wounded four others at a humanitarian aid distribution point.

 

  • On April 3rd, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry reported that Lithuanian film director Mantas Kvedaravičius was shot and killed in Mariupol while trying to escape.

 

  • Corpses were found in Bucha resulting from the Bucha massacre, with at least 20 dead Ukrainian civilians having been seen by reporters and, according to Bucha's mayor, 280 bodies having been buried in mass graves.

March 2022
  • On March 16th, Russia continued its violent siege on Mariupol. 30,000 people fled before the assault but more than 350,000 remained. Ukraine accused Russia of bombing a theatre in Mariupol where hundreds of people were taking refuge, despite a sign saying “DETI” – or children, in Russian – written on the ground on either side of the building. 

  • The Russians bombed a children's hospital and maternity ward in Mariupol, killing 3 people, including a child, and injuring 17 others. 

 

  • At least 167 children have been killed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but that number is likely higher, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an address to the Irish parliament. 

 

  • Russia soldiers were reported to be shooting and killing families fleeing the war.

  • On March 7th, Ukrainians have retook the strategic Mikolaiv airport. 

  • An estimated 7,000 Russian troops have died in the fighting so far and 10% of the invading army’s equipment has also been destroyed.

  • Russia laid siege on Odessa, a city near Ukraine's border with Moldova, but Ukrainian forces did not abandon it.