Note: This page is an archive of events related to the Russian war on Ukraine from March, 2022. The situation in Ukraine is very serious. If the subject brings up questions or worries for you, be sure to discuss them with an adult you trust.
Thursday, March 31, 2022
Russian soldiers have left the Chernobyl nuclear plant, where one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters happened in 1986. Russian forces took over the plant in the early days of the war. Control of the area has been returned to Ukraine. Ukraine’s state power company, Energoatom, reports that some Russian soldiers were made sick by radiation that was released when they dug in the forest near Chernobyl.
Military experts believe the main reason Russia is pulling its forces from northern Ukraine is to increase pressure on eastern Ukraine, where Russian forces are in better position. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said, “We know that they are moving away from those areas where we hit them in order to focus on other, very important ones where it may be difficult for us.”
A large effort is on its way to bring supplies to people stuck in the surrounded port city of Mariupol, which has been pounded by Russian attacks for weeks. A group of 45 buses is headed for the city, where tens of thousands of people are still trapped. The buses are carrying emergency supplies, but there are also hopes that the buses will be able to help evacuate civilians from the city. The International Red Cross says Russia has agreed to allow the evacuation.
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On Thursday, US President Joe Biden announced that he was ordering the release of a million barrels of oil a day from a special oil supply the US has stored. It’s the largest release ever of oil stored by the US government. The action will continue for six months. Mr. Biden hopes the move will drive down gas (petrol) prices, which have shot up sharply since Russia attacked Ukraine.
Wednesday, March 30, 2022
During yesterday’s peace talks, Russia said it would cut back on attacks on Kyiv and Chernihiv. In spite of that promise, Russia launched intense attacks on both cities on Wednesday.
Several sources in the US government say that Russian President Vladimir Putin has not been getting truthful information about how the war is going. The US claims that people working for Mr. Putin are afraid to tell him the truth. It’s not known what the US bases these claims on. It’s also not known if they are true. Some experts say that the mixed messages coming from Russia suggest that the information is accurate.
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Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke by phone with US President Joe Biden today. The two discussed ways that the US could do more to support Ukraine in its battle against Russia. Mr. Biden promised Mr. Zelensky an extra $500 million that Ukraine can use for its war efforts, to help its people, or to help keep its government services going.
The United Nations says that over 4 million people have now left Ukraine to get away from the war’s violence. Over 2 million of them have gone to Poland. Many others have gone to other nearby countries, including Hungary, Moldova, Romania, and Slovakia. Taking in so many refugees is challenging for many of these countries.
Tuesday, March 29, 2022
Peace talks between Russia and Ukraine on Tuesday seemed to have some positive results. Russia says it will cut back on its attacks in northern Ukraine, including around the capital, Kyiv, and Chernihiv. Though this seems like progress, US military experts warn that Russia could use the move to distract Ukraine. They say Russia could really be changing the positions of its forces to get ready for a different attack.
Ukraine offered to promise that it would not allow any foreign military bases in its territory and that it would not develop nuclear weapons. But Ukraine said it could only make those agreements if the US and other countries promised to protect it if it was attacked.
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Russia warned that reducing its military activities did not mean a ceasefire. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said the talks were “positive”, but that they didn’t “drown out the explosions” of Russian weapons.
Monday, March 28, 2022
On Monday, Ukraine decided not to open any humanitarian corridors to allow civilians to escape from troubled areas. Ukraine claimed it had learned of possible Russian plans to attack them.
Russia is showing increased efforts to take control of Ukraine’s southern coast. That would allow Russia to join areas that it controls in eastern Ukraine with Crimea, which it took from Ukraine in 2014. Ukraine claims Russia may be trying to split the country into two different parts, the way North and South Korea are separated.
People representing Russia and Ukraine are expected to begin face-to-face talks aimed at reaching a ceasefire on Tuesday. One of the big changes in position since the start of the war is that Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky now says Ukraine may be open to remaining “neutral”. What that means exactly is not certain, but it would probably mean that Ukraine would give up any plans to join NATO in the future.
Ukraine said it was hit by a major cyberattack on Monday, but that it has now recovered. Experts outside the country say that during the attack, Ukraine’s ability to connect users to the internet was about 13% of what it was normally before the war.
Sunday, March 27, 2022
Ukraine says that around 170,000 people are still trapped in Mariupol. The city’s deputy mayor says that people in Mariupol are dying from a lack of water, food, and medicine. Ukraine reports that two safe paths out of Mariupol have been opened, allowing some of the people trapped in the city to get out. In the past, efforts to evacuate the city have not gone smoothly.
Ukraine says that Russia has taken around 40,000 civilians from Mariupol and moved them to Russia-held areas by force. Russia denies that it is doing this. But satellite photos appear to back the story up, showing a new camp for around 5,000 people in Bezimenne, Ukraine, which is controlled by Russia.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky has asked the West to send more tanks and planes to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia. The country was shaken by yesterday’s missile attacks on Lviv in the west, which was considered a city more safe from Russian attacks.
US President Joe Biden’s comment on Saturday that Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power”, was not originally supposed to be part of his speech. He just said it off the top of his head at the end of the speech. The comment has upset many people, since it suggests that the US wants to change the government in Russia. Since Saturday’s speech, Mr. Biden’s government has struggled to make it clear that the US is not trying to change Russia’s government.
Saturday, March 26, 2022
A day after Russia said it planned to focus its efforts on the Donbas regions in eastern Ukraine, Russian missiles hit Ukraine’s “safe city”, Lviv, in the west. People from all over Ukraine have gone to Lviv to get away from the fighting.
The attacks, which targeted a Ukraine defense building and an oil storage area, have taken the city by surprise. Before today, Lviv had not been attacked inside the areas of the city where people live.
French President Emmanuel Macron is working with Greece and Turkey in an effort to evacuate the civilians who are still stuck in Mariupol. He says he plans to talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin in the next few days to work out an agreement for the evacuation.
US President Joe Biden visited Poland on Saturday to show support for Poland’s efforts to help Ukraine and those running from the violence there. So far, Poland has taken in about 2 million refugees from Ukraine.
During a strong speech in Poland, Mr. Biden attacked Mr. Putin, saying, “This man cannot remain in power.” Mr. Biden cautioned, “This battle will not be won in days or months.” He said the West needs to get ready for a “long fight ahead”.
Friday, March 25, 2022
Russia continues to target cities it has surrounded with constant missiles and bombing.
The situation in the southern port city of Mariupol continues to be extremely difficult. As much as 80% of the homes and apartments in the city have been bombed. There is no electricity or heat, and supplies of water and food are extremely low.
The northern Ukraine city of Chernihiv is now in a similar situation. It is still controlled by Ukraine, but it has been completely surrounded by Russian forces. There is no electricity or gas, and since Wednesday there has been no running water. Russia has bombed an important bridge that was used to bring in emergency food and other supplies.
But overall, the war is not going well for Russia. It has been incredibly hard for Russian forces to defeat Ukraine’s forces on the ground. Russia has found its advances stopped, and in many cases, pushed back.
Ukrainian soldiers have successfully defended the country’s capital, Kyiv. In recent days, they have even pushed Russia’s positions back and retaken areas important for the protection of Kyiv. In Kherson, the first city that Russia took control of, Russia has partially lost control, and some areas are now in the hands of Ukrainian forces.
Russia is not admitting that it has failed in these efforts. But now Russia has announced a new “phase” of its attack. Russia says that in this new phase, it will focus on taking full control of the Donbas regions. Russia already had local support in Donbas, and it is one of the few places where its war is going well.
Some people think Russian President Vladimir Putin hopes to take complete control of the Donbas area and hope that Ukraine will accept Russian control of Donbas and/or Crimea in order to bring the war to an end. But an aide speaking for Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky says that Ukraine will not give up land in Donbas or Crimea to reach a peace agreement.
Thursday, March 24, 2022
Today, March 24, marks one month since Russia invaded Ukraine. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky asked people around the world to support Ukraine and mark the day by protesting, no matter where they are. Mr. Zelensky urged people to: “Say that people matter. Freedom matters. Peace matters. Ukraine matters.”
The damage to the country in that time has been huge. Massive numbers of civilians have been forced out of their ordinary lives. The United Nations group UNICEF says that half of all of the children in Ukraine have had to leave their homes. Roughly 3.7 million people have left the country.
Ukraine’s soldiers are still holding most Russian ground forces off. In some places, Ukrainian forces have pushed Russian positions back. Ukraine says it has sunk a Russian navy ship in Berdyansk, a Russian-controlled port on the Sea of Azov. But the situation in Ukrainian cities like Mariupol, which have been badly bombed by Russia, is still terrible.
US President Joe Biden is in Europe, where he has met with several sets of allies. Mr. Biden announced today that the US would take in as many as 100,000 Ukrainian refugees. Mr. Biden also announced more sanctions on Russia and more military support for Ukraine.
Wednesday, March 23, 2022
Ukraine continues to make progress in pushing back Russian forces near Kyiv. In spite of heavy bombing from Russia’s forces, Ukraine is still in control of the cities of Chernihiv, Kharkiv, and Mariupol. Ukraine said yesterday that Russian soldiers had captured aid workers trying to bring food and supplies into Mariupol through an agreed-upon “humanitarian corridor“.
The US government has officially said that it believes Russia’s soldiers have committed war crimes in Ukraine. The charge is based on Russia’s attacks on civilians. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken says that Russia’s attacks have killed or injured as many as 5,000 Ukrainian civilians.
US President Joe Biden traveled to Europe on Wednesday. On Thursday, he will meet with NATO leaders, the G7, and the European Council. Though the groups are expected to announce more sanctions on Russia, there are limits to how many more sanctions the allies will be able to put in place. One of the goals of the meetings is to make sure that the major forces opposing Russia’s war on Ukraine remain united.
One of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s reasons for attacking Ukraine was his concern over NATO forces near Russia. Now, because of Russia’s invasion, NATO is planning on sending even more soldiers to countries near Ukraine, including Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia.
Tuesday, March 22, 2022
In spite of Russia’s brutal bombing of Ukrainian cities, Ukraine is working to take back areas that have been captured by Russia. Ukrainian forces are pushing to retake Kherson, in the south, which is the largest city Russia has captured. Ukraine’s soldiers also took back Makariv, a town on a main highway connecting Kyiv to western Ukraine. Keeping control of Makariv will help keep Kyiv from being surrounded.
Mariupol, the southern port city that Russia has been bombing for weeks, is now also being fired on from ships in the Sea of Azov. Ukraine says that about 100,000 people remain in the city. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky says the city is being “reduced to ashes”.
Many experts believe Russia is trying so hard to take control of this city because it would allow them to connect territory they control in the Donbas region with Crimea, which Russia took over in 2014. Connecting these two areas would make Russia’s forces much more powerful.
Russia has been holding talks with Japan for years over four islands that both countries have claimed since World War II. Now Russia has pulled out of talks that were aimed at reaching a peace treaty over the islands. Russia pulled out of the talks because of Japan’s sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine. Japan has protested Russia’s decision to end the talks.
Monday, March 21, 2022
Russian forces are still having trouble pushing forward with their plans on the ground. As a backup plan, Russia’s military seems to have decided to hit Ukrainian cities with even more missiles, and bombs dropped from airplanes.
After Ukraine rejected Russia’s demand that the people of Mariupol should surrender, Russia has returned to brutally bombing the city. Life in the city is so difficult that people are melting snow for water and cutting down trees to make cooking fires.
Ukraine said that Russia used heavy weapons to attack buses carrying civilians evacuating Mariupol on Monday. Attacking civilians is against international law. But Russian forces seem to be doing it regularly. Russia’s army is being investigated for reports of war crimes.
Last week, US President Joe Biden called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal”. Russia has now warned the US that, as a result of that comment, Russia is very close to completely cutting ties with the US.
On Monday, Mr. Biden encouraged US companies to make sure that their computer systems are as well-protected as possible. He says that Russia is exploring a cyberattack on the US, and that companies should prepare for that.
Sunday, March 20, 2022
As Russian soldiers on the ground have struggled to make progress, Russia has turned more and more to bombing targets in Ukraine from very far away.
Russia has continued to pound the surrounded Ukrainian city of Mariupol, striking it over and over again with missiles and bombs. Ukraine says one recent target was an art school where 400 civilians were hiding. It’s not known how many survived.
Mariupol is home to over 400,000 people. In recent days, some people have been able to leave the city for safer locations. But as many as 4,500 people from the city have been taken by force to Russia. Those who remain are stuck in a terrible situation, with little or no food, water, heat, or electricity.
Russian forces have been able to push closer into the city’s center. Russia has given Ukraine until five o’clock on Monday morning to give up. Ukraine says it will not surrender.
Peace talks between the two sides last week had limited results. But Ukraine reports that Russia has agreed to 10 “humanitarian corridors” to allow civilians to get to safer locations. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky continues to ask for “meaningful, fair” peace talks.
Saturday, March 19, 2022
A Russian missile blew up a storage building in Ukraine that was holding weapons. Russia says it used a hypersonic missile in the attack. Hypersonic missiles travel far faster than the speed of sound and are generally considered impossible to stop. If Russia is telling the truth, it would be the first time a hypersonic missile has been used in a war.
Another Russian rocket attack hit an area where many Ukrainian soldiers were staying. As many as 100 soldiers were killed.
Ukraine says that Russia is blocking attempts to get food, medicine and other supplies into the city of Mariupol. Tens of thousands of people are still stuck in the city, which Russian forces have surrounded, and have been bombing almost without stop.
Three Russian cosmonauts (astronauts) arrived at the International Space Station. Unusually, the cosmonauts were wearing yellow and blue spacesuits – the colors of the Ukrainian flag. It seems possible that the color of the suits was meant to show support for Ukraine. But one cosmonaut said that they had “a lot of yellow material, so we needed to use it.”
Friday, March 18, 2022
Russia used missiles on Friday to target an airplane repair base near the western Ukraine city of Lviv. Before today, Lviv hadn’t really been targeted by Russian forces and was a place where many Ukrainians went to get away from the war’s violence. Now, many people in Lviv are thinking about leaving Ukraine and joining the more than 3.2 million refugees who have left the country since the war began.
At least 130 people have been saved from a bomb shelter under a theater in Mariupol. The theater was bombed by Russia on Wednesday. Rescue workers are still trying to save hundreds more people who may be trapped underneath the destroyed building. Russia’s continued attacks on Mariupol are making the rescue work far more difficult.
Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke at a stadium in Moscow on Friday. The stadium was packed with people waving flags and celebrating Russia. Friday marked eight years from the day that Russia claimed the Ukraine territory of Crimea as its own. Mr. Putin said Russian soldiers in Ukraine had helped bring Russia together. Mr. Putin continues to call the invasion a “special military operation” instead of a “war”.
US President Joe Biden spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday. Mr. Biden didn’t make any specific requests of Mr. Xi, but his goal was to encourage China to avoid helping Russia in its war on Ukraine. Mr. Biden described how the US and other NATO nations – as well as many Western companies – might respond if China decides to help Russia.
Thursday, March 17, 2022
On Wednesday, Russia bombed a theater in Mariupol. Over 1,000 civilians were hiding in a bomb shelter beneath the theater. It appears that the bomb shelter wasn’t destroyed in the attack, and some people have made it out of the shelter. Some people may still be trapped underneath the theater. It’s not clear yet if anyone was injured.
It has been difficult for civilians to get out of Mariupol, but 15 large buses full of people were able to leave on Wednesday.
People representing Ukraine and Russia continue to hold peace talks. There are some signs that progress is being made. But many people question whether Russia is serious about the peace talks or is using them as a trick.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke to members of Germany’s Parliament, the Bundestag, on Thursday. Mr. Zelensky harshly criticized Germany for focusing on business. He encouraged Germany to do more to help Ukraine. After his speech, everyone in the Bundestag stood and clapped for Mr. Zelensky, in spite of his criticism.
US President Joe Biden is expected to speak with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday. The US is concerned that China may be considering helping Russia in its war on Ukraine. Mr. Biden is expected to make it clear that the US would take any move to help Russia very seriously.
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
On Wednesday, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke to the US Congress over video. He asked them in strong terms to do more to help Ukraine. He reminded members of Congress of terrible times in America’s past when it was attacked from outside.
Mr. Zelensky again made a strong request for a “no-fly” zone over Ukraine, which could prevent Russia from bombing Ukraine from the air. The US and NATO are worried that creating a no-fly zone would lead to a much larger war with many more countries involved. Mr. Zelensky also suggested that the US could give defense systems, which could protect against missile attacks.
Earlier this month, US President Joe Biden sent $350 million worth of weapons and equipment to Ukraine. Yesterday, Mr. Biden’s government announced $800 million more in military support.
Russia continues to pound Ukrainian cities with missiles and bombs. Russian forces are also slowly gaining ground in their attempt to surround and choke off important cities.
But Ukrainian forces have been fighting back hard and making the war costly for Russia. The US believes that at least 7,000 Russian soldiers have already been killed. Another 14,000 or more are believed to be injured. Ukraine is also believed to have killed four of Russia’s generals. Some military experts believe that this high level of losses may make the remaining Russian soldiers less eager to fight.
On Wednesday, the United Nations’ highest court, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), told Russia to stop its invasion of Ukraine immediately. The court said it was deeply “concerned about the use of force” by Russia. Only two of the ICJ’s 15 judges voted against the ruling. The two judges who voted against it were from Russia and China.
The decision is an early decision, and is not final. But it has the force of international law. Even so, there is little chance that the decision can be enforced. The final decision on the case could take years.
Tuesday, March 15, 2022
The prime ministers of the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovenia took a train to Kyiv to show their support for Ukraine. They are the first foreign leaders to visit Kyiv since the war started. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said, “With allies like this we will win this war.”
The trip was a dangerous one, since Russian forces are hammering Kyiv with heavy weapons, and are working on surrounding the city. At least five civilians were killed by a Russian attack on an apartment building.
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Roughly 20,000 people were able to leave the city of Mariupol, which has been pounded by Russian bombing. Hundreds of thousands are still trapped there in very difficult conditions.
The United Nations says that over 3 million people have left Ukraine since the war started. It’s one of the worst refugee emergencies. Poland alone has taken in more than 1.8 million people.
The United Kingdom (UK) has started a program to allow people to bring Ukrainian refugees into the country. In the first 24 hours of the program, over 100,000 people offered their homes.
Monday, March 14, 2022
Russia continues its bombing and attacks across Ukraine. Though Russia’s army isn’t moving quickly, it is continuing to make slow progress.
The southern port city of Mariupol has been surrounded by Russian forces for close to two weeks, and continues to be bombed regularly. On Monday, for the first time, 160 private vehicles were able to leave the city. That’s still a very small number of people compared to the hundreds of thousands who are still trapped there in very bad conditions.
Some news groups have reported that Russia has asked China for military help in its war on Ukraine. Both Russia and China say the reports aren’t true. The US has warned China not to help Russia get around the sanctions that have been placed on it.
Talks held over video between Russia and Ukraine on Monday did not lead to any real changes. More talks, also on video, are expected on Tuesday.
In Russia, the government controls almost all the ways that information can be shared. Russian President Vladimir Putin has worked hard to control the news about the war that Russians are allowed to see.
But on Monday, a woman who works at a Russian TV station began protesting against the war during a live TV news show. She held up a sign that said “No war” in English. In Russian, it said “Stop the war…They’re lying to you here.” The woman is now being held by police, but her protest was seen by many, many people in Russia.
Sunday, March 13, 2022
A Russian attack on a Ukrainian military training base killed 35 people and left over 130 others injured. The base was very close to Ukraine’s border with Poland.
Ukraine says that Russia has kidnapped the mayors of two of the cities that Russia has taken control of. Hundreds of people have come out to protest Russia’s actions, even though Russian forces are in control of the areas. In Melitopol, one of the cities, crowds gathered, chanting, “Bring back the mayor!”
In Kherson, a southern port city that has been taken over by Russian forces, large crowds got together, carrying Ukrainian flags and chanting “Freedom to Ukraine!”
Peace talks between Russia and Ukraine are expected to start again tomorrow, over video.
Saturday, March 12, 2022
Russian forces are getting closer to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. There is harsh fighting in the streets of towns just outside the city. Even so, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday, “The Russian invaders cannot conquer [defeat] us. They do not have such strength.”
The southern port city of Mariupol continues to be pounded by Russian forces with hundreds of thousands of civilians trapped inside. A recent video showed a Russian tank firing on an apartment building. Mariupol’s mayor says that over 1,500 people have been killed. Attempts to get civilians out or bring emergency supplies into the city have failed so far.
In some other cities, civilians are being allowed to get out of areas that are under attack through “humanitarian corridors“. About 13,000 civilians got out of troubled areas through these corridors on Saturday.
There are still a lot of people at Ukraine’s borders, trying to get out of the country, though the numbers have dropped some in recent days. In all, about 2.6 million Ukrainian refugees are believed to have left the country. Nearby countries are having trouble taking so many people in.
Even more companies and banks have joined the rush of businesses leaving Russia.
Friday, March 11, 2022
In the United Nations (UN) on Friday, Russia accused Ukraine of having a secret “biological” weapons program supported by the US. Biological weapons are designed to cause illness or death, and they are against the law. Ukraine and the US have both said that these charges are lies. The US says it believes Russia is trying to make an excuse for using chemical or biological weapons itself.
Russian forces are getting closer and closer to Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv. The city is being bombed heavily. Some military experts believe Russia is getting ready for an attack on the capital.
Russia is still surrounding several other Ukrainian cities, and hundreds of thousands of civilians are still trapped. The situation in Mariupol remains extremely difficult.
Russia is now expanding its attack, and bombing more cities than it was in the past. On Friday it hit two cities in the west of Ukraine that it hadn’t bombed before. The new attacks seem to be focused on damaging airfields.
The US and its allies announced that they will change the rules for buying and selling things with Russia to make things harder on Russia. Currently, Russia is promised equal treatment when it buys and sells things with the US. Other countries have similar rules. By ending this kind of special treatment, the US and its allies can make it much harder for Russian businesses to make money.
Thursday, March 10, 2022
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Turkey for peace talks on Thursday. It’s the first time these high-level diplomats have met face-to-face since the war began.
But they didn’t make any progress toward a peaceful solution. Mr. Kuleba said Russia planned to continue its attack until Ukraine meets Russia’s demands. One of Russia’s demands is that Ukraine surrender.
The port city of Mariupol continues to be surrounded by Russian forces. The situation there has gotten even worse. In the north, the city of Chernihiv has also been surrounded. Both cities continue to be pounded by Russian weapons.
The US and the UK have said that they believe Russia may be planning to use chemical weapons in Ukraine. Chemical weapons are extremely dangerous and aren’t generally allowed. The US and its allies have already accused Russia of using dangerous weapons which affect civilians.
Wednesday, March 9, 2022
A children’s hospital in the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol was destroyed by a Russian attack on Wednesday. The attack led to even greater criticism of Russia’s violent attacks on civilians. Around 400,000 civilians are still trapped in Mariupol. Conditions in the city have become awful, since there is no electricity, heat, or water, and food supplies are incredibly low. Still, Russian bombing continues.
Russian forces also continue to use missiles and other heavy weapons to target other cities, like Kyiv and Kharkiv.
The Chernobyl nuclear plant, where one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters happened in 1986, has lost its supply of electricity. It is now running on generators. The situation is worrying many people. But the UN agency in charge of nuclear power says the current risks of problems at the site are still fairly low. The plant was taken over by Russian forces after the invasion began.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky is still asking US and NATO forces for a “no-fly zone” over Ukraine. The US and NATO have resisted this idea for fear it would make the war larger. A no-fly zone would ban Russia’s planes from flying over Ukraine. But if US or NATO forces shot down a Russian plane, the war would no longer be just between Russia and Ukraine. That sort of situation could easily trigger a much larger and worse war involving many more countries.
On Tuesday, Poland announced a possible plan to give Ukraine more fighter planes. But the US, which hadn’t heard about the plan ahead of time, said the plan wouldn’t work. The US worried that the Polish plan would also make the war larger.
The US and NATO are still trying to figure out ways to give Ukraine more help in fighting Russian air attacks.
Tuesday, March 8, 2022
US President Joe Biden banned oil and natural gas from Russia. The United Kingdom (UK) plans a similar ban.
Fighting stopped temporarily and civilians were allowed to leave two cities in Ukraine – Sumy and Irpin. But efforts to create a “humanitarian corridor” to get civilians out of Mariupol failed once again.
More large companies continue to pull out of Russia or suspend their businesses there. On Tuesday, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, and Pepsi joined many other companies which have already suspended their Russian businesses to protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Monday, March 7, 2022
Russia continues to pound Ukrainian cities with heavy weapons attacks. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky says, “They’re bombing the life out of everything that is moving,” Many Ukrainian cities are surrounded and the people in the cities are running very low on supplies.
Despite efforts to create “humanitarian corridors“, large numbers of civilians have still been unable to leave areas where they are under attack. The United Nations (UN) says that more than 1.7 million people have left Ukraine since the war started. The UN expects that number to grow.
People representing Russia and Ukraine met again for peace talks on Monday, but little progress was made. But there are hopes that the humanitarian corridors may actually work in the future.
On Monday, Ukraine asked the UN International Court of Justice (ICJ) to stop Russia’s invasion. Russia refused to send anyone to the court. The case is expected to continue on Tuesday.
Some countries, including Australia and Japan, have hit Russia with more sanctions.
Western nations are discussing possibly banning oil from Russia. Though the move would deal Russia a very hard blow, the idea isn’t popular in Europe, where many countries depend on fuel from Russia. Russia says that if the West bans its oil, Russia might cut gas supplies to Europe.
Sunday, March 6, 2022
Once again, efforts to get civilians out of the city of Mariupol failed when Russian forces continued firing weapons during a time that was supposed to be a cease-fire. Russia is eager to take control of Mariupol in order to cut Ukraine off from the Sea of Azov in the south.
There are also reports of Russian forces targeting civilians on purpose in other areas in Ukraine. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky responded angrily to these actions, saying, “We will not forgive. We will not forget.”
Russia has taken strong steps to keep Russians from finding out what is really happening in its war on Ukraine. Many independent news groups in Russia that were critical of the government have stopped working or been closed down by the government.
On Friday, Russia created a new law that could send reporters to jail for 15 years for reporting anything that the government considers “fake” information about the Ukraine war. CNN, CBS, ABC, CBC, the BBC, and other news groups have stopped their operations in Russia as a result of the law.
The Russian government has also blocked the websites of many news groups from outside of Russia, claiming that they are spreading “fake news” about the war. Affected news groups include Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Deutsche Welle, and others. The country has also blocked Facebook and Twitter.
All of these changes mean that most Russians are getting their news about the war from government sources. Russia is still calling the war a “special military operation”, and is showing its people a very different version of what is happening in Ukraine.
Even so, thousands of Russians have been protesting in over dozens of cities across the country. Russian police are acting quickly to shut down the protests. Over 4,500 protesters are reported to have been held by police.
Many of those protesting are acting on the suggestion of Alexei Navalny, Mr. Putin’s strongest political opponent. Mr. Navalny, who has been in prison since last February, has encouraged Russian people to protest the war.
Saturday, March 5, 2022
Mariupol is a large city in southern Ukraine. It’s home to roughly 500,000 people. But it has been surrounded by Russian forces, who have continued to pound it with heavy weapons. Huge numbers of civilians have been trapped in the city for days with little food and no water, electricity, or heat.
Russia agreed to open a “humanitarian corridor” (safe path out) for these civilians to escape on Saturday. But Ukraine reports that when the time came for the civilians to evacuate, Russia did not stop firing its weapons. The civilians were forced to turn around and go back.
During a speech on Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the sanctions that Western countries have put on Russia were like “a declaration of war”.
Also on Saturday, Mr. Putin met with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. The two talked about the war for three hours. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky has encouraged Israel to try to help work toward peace.
On Friday, Russian forces attacked the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. The plant, which is the largest in Europe, is in the southeast of Ukraine. The attack started a fire in one part of the plant. After Russian forces took control of the plant, the fire was put out.
If the fire had not been controlled, it could have led to a nuclear disaster. The leaders of many countries have criticized Russia for being so careless in its attack.
Friday, March 4, 2022
People representing Russia and Ukraine met again on Thursday for peace talks. The meeting didn’t lead to an end to the fighting, which Ukraine had hoped for.
But the two sides did agree that there should be safe paths to get civilians out of areas where there is fighting. They called these paths “humanitarian corridors”. If needed, soldiers would stop fighting temporarily to create these corridors, so that people can get out safely. It’s not clear when, where, or how these corridors would be created.
The need to protect civilians is growing as Russia continues to pound Ukraine with large weapons and rockets. One Ukrainian city has been taken by Russia, and several others are being surrounded by Russian forces.
Ukraine reports that so far, over 2,000 civilians have been killed in the war. More than 1 million people have left Ukraine and are now taking shelter in nearby countries.
The two sides have agreed to meet again soon.
For more background and earlier reports on the situation in Ukraine, see these articles:
• Companies Protest Russia’s War on Ukraine
• Fighting Continues In Ukraine, Despite Peace Talks
• Russia Continues Attack on Ukraine
• Russia Invades Ukraine, World Leaders Condemn Attack
• Russia ‘Recognizes’ Areas of Ukraine, Sends Soldiers
• Will Russia Invade Ukraine? Talks Could Lower Tensions
• Biden & Putin Meet Over Tense Ukraine Situation
Note: The situation in Ukraine is very serious. If the subject brings up questions or worries for you, be sure to discuss them with an adult you trust.