The day of the war at a glance: Russian army continues to encircle Kyiv – Zelenskyj estimates Ukrainian losses

The day of the war at a glance
Russian army continues to encircle Kyiv – Zelenskyj estimates Ukrainian losses

The people in the contested regions of Ukraine are still under fire, the Russian army is approaching the capital from several sides – Kyiv is said to be in a “state of siege”. President Zelenskyj, meanwhile, comments on the fallen Ukrainian soldiers. The 17th day of the war at a glance.

Russian army keeps encircling Kyiv

With attacks from several sides, the Russian army is increasing the pressure on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. According to the Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoliak, Kyiv is in a “state of siege”. Residential areas were also attacked in other cities. Meanwhile, an aid convoy started towards the port city of Mariupol, which had been under siege for twelve days.

Suburbs in north-west Kiev have been shaken by heavy airstrikes for days. Meanwhile, Russian tanks are advancing on Kyiv from the north-east at an ever-increasing rate. AFP reporters reported thick plumes of smoke over Kiev’s northeastern suburbs. Buses continued to bring refugees from the suburbs to the capital. According to Mayor Vitali Klitschko, food and medicine stocks were increased there.

Sirens are wailing in many Ukrainian cities

According to the mayor, the airport was destroyed during air raids in Vasylkiv, 40 kilometers south of Kyiv, and an oil depot hit by rockets was on fire. Sirens also warned of air strikes in the major cities of Odessa, Dnipro and Kharkiv in the morning. In the Black Sea port city of Mykolaiv, the Russian army shelled several hospitals, an AFP reporter reported. Among other things, a day clinic for cancer patients and an eye clinic were hit.

Aid convoy with more than ten buses on the way to Mariupol

The Ukrainian authorities launched a new attempt to provide humanitarian aid supplies to the people of Mariupol. A convoy of at least a dozen buses, escorted by Orthodox priests, headed for Mariupol from Zaporizhia, more than 200 kilometers away, according to Mariupol’s deputy mayor Serhiy Orlov.

According to Orlov, the buses are loaded with 90 tons of food and medicine. On the way back, they are supposed to bring civilians from Mariupol to Zaporizhia. Over the past few days, Kyiv has repeatedly accused the Russian army of preventing similar evacuation attempts.

Zelenskyj quantifies Ukrainian losses

According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, 12,000 Russian soldiers have been killed since the Russian invasion began on February 24. Moscow had spoken of almost 500 soldiers killed last week. The US assumes 2,000 to 4,000 dead on the Russian side. According to Zelensky, around 1,300 soldiers died on the Ukrainian side.

Zelenskyj sees progress in talks with Moscow

According to Zelensky, Russia is now pursuing a “fundamentally different approach” in talks about ending the war. At first, Moscow’s representatives only “issued ultimatums,” said the Ukrainian President at a press conference. In the meantime, they have “started to talk”. He was “glad” to have “received a signal from Russia”. Russian President Vladimir Putin said the day before: “There are certain positive changes, our negotiators reported to me.” Negotiations would “now be conducted on an almost daily basis”.

Scholz and Macron call on Putin to call for a ceasefire

Chancellor Olaf Scholz and France’s head of state Emmanuel Macron launched a new diplomatic attempt in the conflict. In another phone call with Putin, they demanded an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and an end to the siege of Mariupol. Putin, in turn, accused the Ukrainian army of “blatant violations” of international humanitarian law. Macron dismissed this as “lying”.

US increases military aid to Ukraine

US President Joe Biden has ordered the release of $200 million in arms and military aid to Ukraine. This was announced by the White House. Just two weeks ago, immediately after Russia’s war of aggression began, Biden approved $350 million in emergency aid for Ukraine’s armed forces. According to the US Department of Defense, the weapons provided, including modern Javelin anti-tank guided missiles, have already been delivered to Ukraine.

Since the beginning of last year, US military aid to Ukraine has totaled around $1.2 billion, according to a statement by the State Department. The US Congress also passed a US$13.6 billion humanitarian and military aid package for Ukraine as part of the budget a few days ago. Biden is expected to sign the budget bill next week. However, it may be some time before the aid is paid out.

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You can read all the other developments of the day in our live ticker on the Ukraine war.

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