Illustration by Joseph Ratliff/AllSides

5/12/22: Coverage on this blog has ended. For the latest balanced news coverage of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, check out our Ukraine war page.

Below are updates on the latest news about Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Behind-the-scenes here at AllSides, we've been sharing our own quick list of latest developments, and decided we should share them with our readers to help you stay on top of the latest Russia-Ukraine news. It's also yet another way we can be even more transparent about how we create and curate news. Typically, we will update this blog in the afternoon to reflect events of the previous evening as well as events of the morning. As always, your comments and feedback are welcomed. Due to the conflict's ever-evolving nature, not all coverage below will have the same multi-partisan review that AllSides generally applies to our work.

Read this page in Ukrainian or Russian. And click to read our ongoing coverage of fact checking, misinformation and fake news in regards to Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

Russia-Ukraine Update for Wednesday, May 4

European Union Announces Sixth Round of Sanctions on Russia

  • EU BANS RUSSIAN OIL: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen proposed “a complete import ban on all Russian oil,” which would mark the sixth round of EU sanctions placed on Russia.
    • Leyen said the plan is to gradually phase out all Russian oil supplies by the end of the year in a way that would minimize “the impact on global markets” and give countries time “to secure alternative supply routes.
    • The commission also proposed removing Sberbank, Russia’s biggest bank, from the SWIFT international banking payment system.
    • The economic sanctions are expected to be finalized by the 27 member countries sometime this week.
  • BELARUS INITIATES COMBAT TESTS: The Belarusian Defense Ministry announced that its armed forces have launched a series of sudden large-scale military exercises to test their combat readiness.
    • While Belarusian officials insisted that the drills will pose no threat to its European neighbors, the country has been a close ally of Russia during its invasion of Ukraine. 
    • Andriy Demchenko, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s State Border Service, told Reuters that Ukrainian forces will be ‘ready’ to face off against Belarus if they join forces with Russia.
  • GERMANY TO ENTICE RUSSIAN MIGRANTS: Germany is devising a plan to offer visas and job opportunities to Russians that are trying to break away from President Vladimir Putin’s government, according to German economy minister Robert Habeck.
    • Habeck said Germany “can make good use of” incoming Russian migrants and that his ministry would work with businesses to promote job openings.
    • The minister also emphasized the importance of security measures to make sure that “the wrong people don’t come to us, and all of a sudden we have a lot of spies in our country.”

Russia-Ukraine Update for Tuesday, May 3

Russian Troops Storm Azovstal Plant in Mariupol

  • RUSSIA STORMS AZOVSTAL: Russian troops have stormed the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol with “significant forces” and armored vehicles,” according to Ukrainian National Guard commander Denys Shlega.
    • An estimated 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers and hundreds of citizens have been taking refuge in the plant.
    • The ground attack comes after a night of heavy artillery fire and airstrikes, which left two civilian women killed and 10 civilians wounded.
  • RUSSIA IS LEARNING FROM MISTAKES: Top Pentagon leaders warned Congress that Russia is learning from its mistakes and will likely implement new strategies as the war shifts to a new phase.
    • Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Gen. Mark Milley said the coming weeks will be “crucial” and pointed to some of Russia’s early logistical failures such as not adequately being able to get food, water and supplies to soldiers.
    • “We’ll see them improve their massing of fires and that sort of business,” Milley said. “But some things they won’t be able to correct.”
  • BIDEN VISITS WEAPONS FACILITY: President Joe Biden toured the Lockheed Martin factory in Alabama to observe the ongoing production of Javelin antitank missiles that will be shipped to Ukraine. 
    • Biden praised the assembly line workers for “making it possible for the Ukrainian people to defend themselves” without risking World War III “by sending in American soldiers fighting Russian soldiers.”
    • The U.S. has committed to sending more than 5,500 Javelin missiles to Ukraine.

Russia-Ukraine Update for Monday, May 2

Pentagon Says Russia Has Made ‘Minimal Progress At Best’ During Second Phase of War 

  • ‘MINIMAL PROGRESS’ The Pentagon has assessed that the Russian army has made “minimal progress at best” in the eastern Donbas region in Ukraine, according to a senior U.S. defense official.
    • The official cited “poor command-and-control” and “low morale” among troops when describing Russia’s “anemic” performance.
    • They also praised Ukraine's “incredible effort” in pushing Russian soldiers 25 miles east of Kharkiv over the past few days.
    • Russia has reportedly lost over 23,800 troops in Ukraine since the start of Putin’s invasion, according to Ukraine’s Armed Forces.
  • GERMANY ‘STANDS READY’ TO BLOCK RUSSIAN OIL: German finance minister Christian Lindner said that his country “stands ready” to support an EU oil embargo on Russia, according to a CNN interview.
    • Lindner said Germany would “need time to reduce” their dependency on Russian oil but that they “can’t be blackmailed” by Putin. 
    • The finance minister also noted how the move would impact EU countries on varying levels and that the EU has already started phasing out Russian coal.

Russia-Ukraine Update for Thursday, April 28

Biden Asks Congress For An Additional $33 Billion In Ukraine Aid

  • BIDEN SEEKS MORE UKRAINE AID: President Joe Biden has asked Congress for an additional $33 billion to support Ukraine during its conflict with Russia.
    • The package would include over $20 billion for military assistance, $8.5 billion in direct economic assistance to the Ukrainian government and $3 billion in humanitarian aid.
    • This aid would top the $13.6 billion package that the U.S. granted Ukraine last month.
  • HOUSE PASSES LEND-LEASE ACT: The House of Representatives passed the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022 by a vote of 417-10.
    • If the legislation is signed by Biden, he will be able to send military aid to Ukraine at a swifter pace.
  • MISSILES STRIKE KYIV DURING UN VISIT: Two missiles struck Kyiv’s Shevchenkivsky District during the visit of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Mayor Vitali Klitschko has confirmed.
    • The attack broke the two-week ceasefire in the capital city.
    • During a press conference with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Guterres said the UN Security Council has “failed to do everything in its power to prevent and end this war.”
  • RUSSIA DOUBLES FOSSIL FUEL SALES: Russia has grossed about $66 billion in fossil fuel sales in the two months since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine began, according to a report from The Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air.
    • The Guardian emphasized that Russia has “nearly doubled its revenues” from selling oil, gas and coal to the European Union.
    • The five biggest importers were Germany ($9.65 billion), Italy ($7.24 billion), China ($7.03 billion), the Netherlands ($5.88 billion) and Turkey ($4.3 billion).

Russia-Ukraine Update for Wednesday, April 27

Putin Threatens Enemies With 'Lightning-Fast' Strikes

  • ‘LIGHTNING-FAST’ STRIKES: Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed that any outside nations that pose an “unacceptable” threat to his invasion of Ukraine will be met with “lightning-fast” strikes, according to Ukrainian newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda.
    • Putin also “emphasized again” that the initial goals of his invasion will be “unconditionally fulfilled.”
  • US EXPANDS INTELLIGENCE: The U.S. has reportedly lifted a number of restrictions on sharing intelligence with Ukraine, according to a report from Bloomberg.
    • Sources said the additional intelligence will help Ukrainian troops defend and potentially retake territories in the southern and eastern regions of Ukraine.

Russia-Ukraine Update for Tuesday, April 26

Putin To Allow The UN 'In Principle' To Assist Evacuations in Mariupol 

  • PUTIN APPROVES UN AID IN MARIUPOL: During a meeting with Secretary-General António Guterres in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed “in principle” to the United Nations and the Red Cross aiding the evacuation of civilians from the Azovstal plant in Mariupol. 
    • Putin claimed that he ordered his military officers to not conduct additional assaults at the steel plant, which is currently holding hundreds of Ukrainian citizens. 
  • NEW ALLIANCE FORMED: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that the U.S. has formed a “contact group” with 40 other nations that will meet on a monthly basis to discuss war strategies that will help Ukraine defeat Russia. 
    • During the conference at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany, he told allies to “move at the speed of war” to build up Ukraine’s defenses.
    • During an interview with Fox News, Austin said that he believes Ukrainian troops will need “long-range artillery and tanks and armored vehicles” to fight back in the southern and eastern parts of Russia.
  • RUSSIA SHUTS OFF PIPELINE ACCESS: Russia’s state gas company has announced the “complete suspension” of natural gas deliveries to Poland and Bulgaria through a major pipeline starting Wednesday morning, according to a statement from PGNiG, Poland’s state gas company.
    • Although Poland burns coal for most of its electricity, they receive more than 45% of its natural gas supplies from Russia.
    • Polish Climate Minister Anna Moskwa claimed that “there will be no shortage of gas in Polish homes” as the nation has been weaning off of Russian energy sources as early as the 1990s.
  • UKRAINIAN REFUGEES GAIN SUPPORT: About 78% of Americans said that they would approve of "allowing up to 100,000" Ukrainian refugees into the U.S., according to a poll from Gallup. 
    • The poll highlighted the “widespread” bipartisan nature of the refugee response.

Russia-Ukraine Update for Wednesday, April 20

Russian Officials Begin To Question Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine 

  • KREMLIN OFFICIALS QUESTION PUTIN: A “small but growing number” of senior Kremlin insiders are reportedly beginning to question Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine, according to a report from Bloomberg.
    • Some of these officials believe that the invasion was “a catastrophic mistake that will set the country back for years,” according to ten anonymous sources with “direct knowledge of the situation.”
    • Putin has reportedly “brushed off” warnings from senior officials about the economic and political consequences of his unprovoked invasion. 
    • Many of these “high-level” people don’t see Putin changing course, and some even fear that the Russian president could turn to “a limited use of nuclear weapons if faced with failure in a campaign he views as his historic mission.
  • PUTIN FLAUNTS NEW ICMB: The Russian Defense Ministry said it test-launched its new “Sarmat” intercontinental ballistic missile from an underground silo at the Plesetsk spaceport located in northern Russia.
    • Russian President Vladimir Putin said the “invincible” weapon has been in development for years and could “overcome all modern anti-missile defenses.”
    • Putin believes the weapon will provide “food for thought for those who try to threaten Russia” and will make his enemies “think twice.”
  • UKRAINIAN DEATH COUNT: There are now 5,121 Ukrainian civilians that have been reported dead since Putin’s invasion began on Feb. 24, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
    • The UN agency believes that the actual numbers are “considerably higher” given the delay of information from certain locations.
    • Meanwhile, a coroner has told the Washington Post that bodies are being piled up in refrigerated trailers in Kyiv because morgues can't keep up with the number of casualties.

Russia-Ukraine Update for Tuesday, April 19

Communications With Chernobyl Power Plant Restored 

  • POWER PLANT BACK ONLINE: Direct communications with the Chernobyl nuclear power plant have been restored, according to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi.
    • Russian troops held the defective power plant for five weeks but left on Mar. 31. 
  • RUSSIAN EXPORTS SHRINK: The Russian Energy Ministry revealed that the export of Russian crude coal in April declined by more than 20%, marking a key economic consequence of Putin’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. 
    • Shipments of Russian crude oil also dropped by 25% between Apr. 8-15, according to a report from Bloomberg.
  • RUSSIA TARGETS INFRASTRUCTURE: A U.S. defense official told CNN that intelligence suggests that Russia will target routes used for weapon shipments in an attempt to slow down the number of weapons that are being delivered into Ukraine. 
    • The source believes that these attacks would not stop shipments entirely given the high number of shipments.
    • While Russian troops haven’t “frequently” hit moving convoys, they might target railroads, bridges and roads.

Russia-Ukraine Update for Monday, April 18

Russian Offensive Attacks In Eastern Ukraine Begin

  • PREPARING EASTERN ATTACK: The Russian military has fully regrouped troops and is accelerating offensive operations in several directions in eastern Ukraine, according to Ukraine’s defense ministry. 
    • Russian troops are reportedly stretched across most of the 300-mile front line in the Donbas and Kharkiv regions.
    • A top Ukrainian security official said, “occupiers attempted to break through our defenses” at two separate points.
    • Russia is also in the process of adding more units to the occupied areas of Crimea and Rostov Oblast, which is expected to be complete by Apr. 24.
  • RUSSIA FIRES MISSILES AT LVIV: Multiple missiles were fired at the western city of Lviv and other major areas in preparation for the Russian offensive in the east, according to Russia’s Defense Ministry. 
    • Russia reportedly targeted a number of civilian sites in Lviv such as unoccupied warehouses and a car repair shop, according to Lviv Oblast Governor Maksym Kozytskyi.
  • UKRAINIANS RETURN HOME: At least 1,060,000 Ukrainians have returned to their homeland after being evacuated, according to State Border Guard Service Andriy Demchenko.
    • Saturday, April 16 marked the first day where more Ukrainians returned to the country than left since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine began.
    • The number of returning women and children notably increased throughout April as military activity simmered down. 
  • RUSSIAN COMMANDER KILLED: Senior Russian naval officer Alexander Chirva was killed during a battle in the occupied Ukrainian port of Berdyansk on the Sea of Azov, according to Russian state news agency TASS.
    • Chriva was the 3rd rank captain and commander of the Russian landing ship known as ‘Caesar Kunikov,’ and details regarding his death are currently unknown. 

Russia-Ukraine Update for Thursday, April 14

Putin's Army Struggles To Enlist Russian Locals In Their War

  • NOT ENOUGH RECRUITS: Russia is struggling to recruit enough locals to fight in the war, according to Ukrainian intelligence data.
    • Putin’s army will allegedly plan a “nationwide mobilization” to combat the shortage in military personnel.
    • Russia is also hoping to recruit about 130,000 troops during its spring conscription drive, which will run from Apr. 1 until Jul. 15.
  • WEAPON TRAINING: The top U.S. commander in Europe and his team are going to train Ukrainian soldiers on how to use the more sophisticated weapons being supplied by the White House, according to a senior U.S. official.
    • The training will be broken up into a number of multiple-day segments and will focus on various types of artillery, including 155mm howitzer cannons, Sentinel air defense radars and counter-artillery radar.

Russia-Ukraine Update for Wednesday, April 13

Russia-Ukraine Conflict Continues To Escalate With Next Stage of War On Horizon   

  • NO EVACUATION CORRIDORS: No evacuation corridors were opened for civilians in Ukraine today, according to Iryna Vereshchuk, Ukraine's deputy prime minister.
    • Vereshchuk explained that this decision was made based on the dangerous situation made by Russian troops, citing “blocked evacuation buses” and a violated ceasefire.
    • In Mariupol alone, mayor Vadym Boychenko said at least 100,000 people are waiting to be evacuated.
  • RUSSIA ESCALATES THREATS: The Russian Ministry of Defense threatened to launch a missile strike on “decision-making centers” in Kyiv if ongoing “sabotage attempts” on Russian territory continue.
    • The Defense Ministry emphasized how Russia has “so far refrained” from targeting these centers, hinting at the escalating conflict between the two nations.
  • ‘NO CHANCE’ OF CEASEFIRE: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told reporters that a “ceasefire in Ukraine doesn’t seem possible” at this point in time.
    • The U.N. has been working with humanitarian organizations to provide aid and evacuate Ukrainian citizens from Mariupol and other besieged areas, but Russia hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down its attacks.
  • MORE MILITARY AID: The Biden administration is preparing to announce a new $750 million military aid package for Ukraine as early as this week, according to multiple senior U.S. officials.
    • The shipment of military equipment would be delivered as the war between Russia and Ukraine shifts to a new stage of war.
    • One former U.S. official said the package is “built around the idea of larger-scale combat.”

Russia-Ukraine Update for Tuesday, April 12

Russia-Ukraine Peace Talks Hit ‘A Dead End’

  • PEACE TALKS ARE ‘DEAD’ Russian President Vladimir Putin said that peace talks with Ukraine have hit “a dead end” and that he “will not stop military operations” in Ukraine until “its full completion.”
    • Putin justified his invasion of Ukraine as “simply taking measures to ensure the security of Russia itself.” 
    • “It's clear that we didn't have a choice,” Putin said. “It was the right decision.” 
    • The Russian leader also labeled the reports and photos of the atrocities in the Ukrainian town of Bucha as “fake” and compared them to “the use of chemical weapons by the Assad government” in Syria.
  • BELARUS DEFENDS RUSSIA: Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko told reporters after a meeting with Putin that Russia would’ve “suffered a crushing attack at its borders” if they had waited just a few more weeks to invade Ukraine.
    • Lukashenko blamed “Washington, Brussels and London” for instigating Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. 
    • He also labeled the United Kingdom’s ongoing economic sanctions as “psychological operations.”
  • ENERGY BATTLE: Russian military hackers allegedly sought to shut down Ukraine’s energy grid last week but fumbled in its attempt, according to a summary from Slovakian internet security company ESET.
    • The cybersecurity company found a new malware called “Industroyer2” located in multiple Ukrainian electrical substations that was designed to delete masses of files and disrupt the energy sector.
    • The original Industroyer malware was spotted back in 2016.
  • PUTIN ALLY RECAPTURED: Oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk, a close friend of Putin’s who led the pro-Kremlin Opposition Platform in Ukraine, was recaptured by Ukrainian forces. 
    • Medvedchuck was charged with treason last year and escaped house arrest on Feb. 27, three days after Putin’s invasion of Ukraine began. 

Russia-Ukraine Update for Monday, April 11

Putin Promotes New General After Failed Mission in Kyiv

  • NEW RUSSIAN GENERAL: Russian President Vladimir Putin has appointed Army General Alexander Dvornikova to oversee his invasion of Ukraine after troops failed to take Kyiv, according to U.S. and European officials.
    • Some outlets emphasized how Dvornikov recently oversaw Russian troops in Syria and has a history of targeting civilians.
  • ANOTHER MILITARY SHIFT: The White House is expected to name Army Gen. Christopher Cavoli as the leader of all U.S. and allied forces stationed on the European continent, according to the Wall Street Journal.
    • The report described the promotion as “the biggest change to NATO military leadership” since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine began. 
    • Cavoli, the current commander of U.S. Army Europe, would take command of 100,000 U.S. troops plus another 40,000 NATO allies in Europe.
  • MARIUPOL DEATH COUNT: During an address to South Korean lawmakers, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that “Mariupol is destroyed” and that “tens of thousands” of people have been killed during Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
    • Hours later, Mariupol mayor Vadym Boychenko suggested during an interview with the Associated Press that the death toll might have surpassed 20,000.
  • RUSSIANS SUPPORT PUTIN: Despite the ongoing atrocities occuring in Ukraine, many analysts are saying that Russian citizens support Putin’s mission.  
    • Denis Volkov, director of the Levada Center (Russia’s top independent pollster), told Axios that dwelling sanctions have “amplified the sentiment among Russian citizens that western aggression caused this conflict in the first place.”
    • 81% of Russians approved of the invasion and Putin's approval rating rose to 83%, according to a poll conducted by Volkov on Mar. 30. 

Russia-Ukraine Update for Friday, April 8

Russia Transfers All Troops From Kyiv to Belarus

  • NO MORE TROOPS IN KYIV: All Russian forces have transferred from Kyiv and other areas of northern Ukraine to Belarus, according to the U.K. Defense Ministry.
    •  Intel received by the ministry suggests that most of these troops will fight in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine but will "require significant replenishment" for at least a week before being redeployed.
  • REFUGEE TALLY: More than 4.3 million refugees have fled Ukraine since Putin's invasion of Ukraine began, according to the latest data from the UN refugee agency.
    •  An additional seven million citizens are estimated to be internally displaced in Ukraine. 

Russia-Ukraine Update for Thursday, April 7

Russia Voted Off UN Human Rights Council

  • UN VOTES OUT RUSSIA: The United Nations General Assembly voted to suspend Russia as a member of the UN Human Rights Council following “gross and systematic violations of human rights.”
    • Deputy Russian ambassador Gennady Kuzmin called on member states to vote “no” and attributed the “untruthful allegations” against Russia to “an attempt by the United States to maintain its dominant position and total control.”
  • $1.7 BILLION IN AID: The Defense Department sent a fact sheet to members of Congress that revealed the White House has supplied Ukraine with $1.7 billion in security assistance since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine began. 
    • Some notable numbers: 50 million rounds of ammunition, 1,400 Stinger anti-aircraft systems, 5,000 Javelin anti-armor systems. 
  • ‘PLAYING WITH FIRE’ Chinese spokesman Wang Webin told reporters that U.S. and Taiwan officials are “playing with fire” by comparing Putin’s invasion of Ukraine to China’s intentions toward Taiwan “despite their completely different nature.”
    • “Those who play with fire are bound to get burned,” Webin said.
    • Webin’s statement comes one day after a warning from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen that the U.S. would consider placing economic sanctions on China if they pursue an invasion of Taiwan.
  • RUSSIA ADMITS ‘SIGNIFICANT LOSSES’ ​​Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov admitted to Sky News that Russia has suffered “significant losses of troops” during its invasion of Ukraine and said it’s a “huge tragedy.”
    • Peskov also labeled the footage of atrocities committed by Russian troops that went viral last week a “well-staged insinuation.”
    • Although Peskov rejected the notion that Russia is humiliated, some outlets have noted the rare nature of Russian leaders showing signs of weakness or defeat.

Russia-Ukraine Update for Wednesday, April 6

The US and Europe Impose More Economic Sanctions on Russia After Bucha Killings

  • MORE SANCTIONS: The U.S. and Europe have banned new investments in Russia in an effort to “methodically eject Russia from the international economic order.” 
    • The new economic sanctions targeted Sberbank and Alfabank, two major Russian banks, as well as a number of new individuals such as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s adult daughters.
    • “There's nothing less happening than major war crimes,” President Biden said, referring to the Bucha killing that took place earlier this week. “Responsible nations have to come together to hold these perpetrators accountable.”
  • RUSSIAN DECEPTION: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that Americans “should be under no illusion” that Russia's tactics have changed and that “their goal remains weakening Ukraine as much as possible.”
    • Psaki also predicted that there will be more scenes of violence like what recently took place in Bucha.
    • Russian troops are being pulled out of Kyiv amid peace talks with Ukraine, but many other world leaders agree with Psaki’s stance.
  • UKRAINE CAN WIN: Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said that it’s “impossible” to know how long the war in Ukraine will go on and asserted his belief that Ukraine “of course” can win the war.
    • “The fact that [Russian President Vladimir Putin] is going to concentrate in a smaller geographic area certainly present the possibility that the violence will continue,” Kirby said. “It could even intensify in that part of Ukraine.”

Russia-Ukraine Update for Tuesday, April 5

Reports Highlight Ukrainian Citizens Being Interrogated In ‘Filtration Camps’ Before Forcibly Deported to Russia

  • “FILTRATION CAMPS” Russian soldiers are allegedly abducting tens of thousands of Ukrainian citizens and interrogating them in “filtration camps” before forcibly deporting them to Russia, according to reports shared by multiple Ukrainian women.
    • Reports highlighted how many of the Ukrainians that were interrogated had their passports and personal items confiscated. 
    • Some Ukrainians were also reportedly questioned about their potential ties to the Ukrainian military and their opinions on Putin’s ongoing invasion.
    • Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, regarded these accounts as “credible reports” earlier today.
  • MILLEY SAYS: U.S. Army Gen. Mark A. Milley told lawmakers that the potential for “significant international conflict between great powers is increasing” and that only U.S. troops could have stopped Russian President Vladimir Putin from invading Ukraine.
    • Milley noted that sending U.S. military forces “would have risked armed conflict with Russia,” a course of action that he “wouldn’t advise”
    • He also called Putin’s invasion of Ukraine “a very protracted conflict” that will go on for “at least years for sure.”
  • AUKUS EXPANDS: The U.S., U.K. and Australia will develop hypersonic weapons and other defensive capabilities under the recently-formed AUKUS security partnership, according to an announcement from the White House.
  • COAL BAN: The European Union’s executive branch proposed a ban on Russian coal imports as a response to the mass civilian casualties seen in Bucha
    • If granted approval by all 27 EU nations, this would mark the organization’s first major sanction against the Russian energy industry. 
    • The ban on coal imports is worth about $4.39 billion per year, according to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
    • Von der Leyen said that the EU has already started working on sanctions that would target Russian oil and other energy resources. 
  • CYBER ATTACKS: Russian cyberattacks on Ukrainian critical infrastructure continued to increase in late March, according to a new report from Ukraine’s State Service of Special Communication and Information Protection (SSSCIP).
    • 65 cyberattacks were recorded in the week of Mar. 23-29, which was a five-time increase from the previous week.
    • SSSCIP deputy chief Victor Zhora claimed that hackers gained access to staff email accounts associated with Ukraine’s foreign ministry.
    • Zhora alluded to evidence that Russian military hackers attempted to break into Ukrainian state agencies but noted the absence of any “complicated attacks.”

Russia-Ukraine Update for Monday, April 4

Russian Forces Leave Kyiv And Relocate East

  • TROOPS ARE RELOCATING: About two-thirds of Putin’s troops that were stationed around Kyiv have “departed the area,” according to a senior US defense official. 
    • The troops are reportedly “heading north” to Belarus, and the best “assessment” is that they will be applied to fight  “in the eastern party of the country, in the Donbas region.” 
    • Many news outlets have highlighted how Russia is shifting its focus to the east after a series of unsuccessful attempts to take control of Kyiv.
  • RED CROSS STILL STALLED: A Red Cross team was stopped during a mission to evacuate civilians from the city of Mariupol and is now being held by “the occupation authorities,” according to Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk.
    • Although this is not “a hostage situation,” the group was stopped in their tracks. 
    • Today marks the fourth day that this Red Cross team was trying to reach the city to evacuate citizens. 
    • At least 130,000 people are still located in Mariupol, according to the city’s mayor.
  • MORE SANCTIONS: President Joe Biden said that he was “seeking more sanctions” against Russia and would be announcing them shortly.
    • The president was responding to the recent violent actions allegedly committed by Putin’s forces in Bucha and called for a trial against the Russian president.
    • National security adviser Jake Sullivan also confirmed that the U.S. will announce “additional economic pressure elements” against Russia later this week.
  • HUNGARY STAYS NEUTRAL: Hungary’s nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban was re-elected for a fourth term and declared Zelenskyy as one of the “opponents” he had to overcome during the campaign.
    • Orban took a more neutral stance when referring to Putin’s invasion, saying “this isn’t our war, we have to stay out of it.” 
    • Putin congratulated Orban on his win and said he looked forward to an expansion of “partnership ties.”

Russia-Ukraine Update for Friday, April 1

Thousands of Ukrainians Evacuate Mauripol Despite Unsuccessful Red Cross Mission 

  • MAURIPOL EVACUATION CONTINUES: Thousands of Mariupol residents were able to successfully evacuate to Ukrainian-held territory today despite roadblocks and other obstacles, according to reports from Ukrainian officials.
    • The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) that tried to reach the city today to help with the evacuation said conditions “made it impossible to proceed” but will try again tomorrow.
    • Tens of thousands of civilians remain trapped in the demolished city of Mauripol.
  • HELICOPTER ATTACK: Russia has accused Ukraine of carrying out a helicopter attack against a fuel depot in the city of Belgorod, which is located about 25 miles from the Russia-Ukraine border.
    • Ukrainian security council secretary Oleksiy Danilov denied responsibility for the incident while hinting at the idea that Russia might have attacked its own depot.
    • Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said the attack “cannot be perceived as creating comfortable conditions for continuing the talks” with Kyiv.
  • ZELENSKYY FIRES ‘TRAITORS’ Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stripped two generals in the Ukrainian security service of their ranks
    • Although he did not reveal the reasoning behind his decision, he called the two men “antiheroes.” 
    • “I do not have time to deal with all the traitors now. But gradually they will all be punished,” Zelenskyy said.
  • DESTROYING HISTORY: At least 53 Ukrainian historical buildings, museums, religious structures and monuments have been partially destroyed since the start of Putin’s invasion, according to the UN’s cultural agency (UNESCO).
    • The agency verified that 29 religious sites, 16 historic buildings, four museums and four monuments were damaged by analyzing satellite images and collecting witness reports.

Russia-Ukraine Update for Thursday, March 31

Biden Releases An Unprecedented Amount of Reserved Oil Amid Escalating Russia-Ukraine Conflict 

  • BIDEN RELEASES THE OIL: President Joe Biden announced that he will order the release of 1 million barrels of oil a day over the next six months from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the largest release of oil in the reserve’s 46-year history.
    • Biden cited what his administration believes will be a prolonged conflict in Ukraine and said "Putin's price hike" is why gas prices across the nation have been so expensive. 
    • The historic move underscores the political pressure that Biden’s administration is facing to tackle high gas prices as the 2022 midterm elections near.
    • Biden is also taking measures to place fees on oil companies for not increasing production from unused leases on federal land, maximizing profit over production.
  • PUTIN TECHNOLOGY SANCTIONS: Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen announced a number of new sanctions that the U.S will impose on Russia’s technology companies and evasion networks being used to evade existing sanctions
    • “We will continue to target Putin’s war machine with sanctions from every angle until this senseless war of choice is over,” Yellen said in a statement.
  • RUSSIAN TROOPS ARE REGROUPING: NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said intelligence has shown that Russian troops are regrouping, not withdrawing, its troops from areas surrounding Kyiv.
    • This is another piece of intelligence that contradicts Russia’s recent promise to significantly reduce its troop presence around the capital city of Ukraine. 
    • At least 1,232 recorded deaths civilian deaths.
    • At least 148 children have been killed during shelling and air raids.
    • An additional 1,935 people were reported to have been injured.
    • More than 10 million people have fled their homes.
    • 15 airports have been destroyed.

Russia-Ukraine Update for Wednesday, March 30

Within A Few Hours, Russia Breaks Pledge To De-Escalate Military Activity In Kyiv and Other Ukrainian Cities 

  • ANOTHER BROKEN PLEDGE: Russian forces intensified shelling on Kyiv and other cities hours after pledging to pull back military activity, according to Ukrainian officials.
    • Some outlets are reporting that the military forces are targeting residential buildings such as homes, stores and libraries.
    • "Russia always lies," Chernihiv mayor Vladyslav Atroshenko told CNN. "They're saying 'reducing intensity,' they actually have increased the intensity of strikes."
  • MORE EMERGENCY AID: During a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President Joe Biden revealed that the U.S. intends to provide Ukraine with an additional $500 million in direct budgetary aid.
    • Before today’s announcement, the Biden administration already spent $2 billion of the $13.6 billion in the emergency package assembled for Ukraine that was approved by Congress earlier this month.
  • PUTIN’S NOT IN THE KNOW? U.S. intelligence has suggested that Putin feels misled by his own top advisors
    • Citing “persistent tension,” Putin’s senior advisers are “too afraid to tell him the truth” about how badly the Russian military is performing in Ukraine as well as the extent of damage caused by international sanctions.
  • CHINA CONDEMNS WESTERN SANCTIONS: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, agreed that the countries will strengthen their strategic partnership amid “the counterproductive nature of the illegal unilateral sanctions imposed on Russia by the United States and its satellites.”
    • A spokesman for Yi said there is “no limit to China-Russia cooperation” and their efforts to “oppose hegemony.”
  • BIDEN’S ‘FAILED’ MISSION: U.S. Gen. Tod Wolters acknowledged that President Biden's strategy to deter Russian President Vladimir Putin from invading Ukraine failed while testifying before the House Armed Services Committee.
    • Wolters was being questioned by Republican Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher and started off his answer by saying, "Number one I would say that NATO's solidarity remained.”
  • REFUGEE COUNT PASSES ESTIMATES: The number of people fleeing Ukraine amid Putin’s invasion has exceeded four million, according to the United Nations.
    • Some outlets continue to describe this migration as the largest movement of people in Europe since World War II.

Russia-Ukraine Update for Tuesday, March 29

As Russia Reduces Military Activity in Kyiv, Western Leaders Remain Cautious

  • MOSCOW SCALES BACK TROOPS: Russian deputy defense minister Alexander Fomin announced that he will “dramatically” scale back its military activities in the Kyiv area after peace talks with Ukraine in Turkey concluded.
    • Formin said this move was done “to increase mutual trust and create the necessary conditions for further negotiations.”
    • Many Western officials such as President Joe Biden said they wouldn’t “read anything into” Moscow’s pledge to adjust its troop tally in Ukraine.
    • One US official told CNN that “no one should be fooled by Russia’s announcements” and should brace for "a repositioning," not a withdrawal. 
  • UKRAINE STRIKES RUSSIA: The New York Post reported that Ukrainian forces shelled a temporary military camp in the Russian city of Belgorod, which is 40 kilometers north of the border with Ukraine.
    • If reports are accurate, this would mark Ukraine’s first military strike over the Russian border.
  • U.S. ECONOMY SURGES AFTER PEACE TALKS: After Russia and Ukraine met for peace talks in Turkey, the Dow Jones industrial average increased about 0.5% and oil prices dipped slightly below $100 a barrel. 
    • Oil prices were recorded to be as high as $130 in early March.
  • RUSSIAN DIPLOMATS EXPELLED: Four EU countries — the Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium and the Czech Republic — announced that they were removing Russian diplomats from their countries in order to tackle espionage activities that threatened their national security.
    • Similar moves to remove Russian diplomats have been made by other European countries as well as the U.S. 

Russia-Ukraine Update for Monday, March 28

Ukraine Recaptures Two Cities From Russian Forces

  • REGAINING TERRITORY: A senior U.S. defense official has confirmed that Ukraine's military has recaptured two towns from Russian President Vladimir Putin's invading forces.
    • Ukrainian forces first reclaimed Irpin, a suburb outside of Kyiv, before taking the city of Trostyanets that’s located near the eastern border of the country.
    • Meanwhile, it is unclear if fighting is still occurring in Mariupol. 
      • Mayor Vadym Boichenko confirmed that the southeastern city is “in the hands of the occupier today.”
  • BIDEN DOUBLES-DOWN: President Joe Biden clarified that his statement regarding removing Putin from power reflected a personal expression of his outrage and had nothing to do with U.S. policy.
    • “I am not walking anything back,” the president told reporters. “I was expressing the moral outrage that I feel, and I make no apologies for it.”
    • Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Biden made a "statement that is certainly alarming.
  • NEGOTIATIONS GO SOUR: Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich and at least two Ukrainian peace negotiators suffered symptoms of suspected poisoning after a meeting in Kyiv on March 3 but have since recovered, according to a report published earlier today by investigative outlet Bellingcat.
    • Some of the reported symptoms included red eyes, constant and painful tearing, and peeling skin on their faces and hands.
    • While the report could not confirm who was responsible for the alleged attack, people familiar with the matter pointed to “hard-liners” in Moscow who wanted to sabotage talks to stop Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
    • An anonymous U.S. official told Reuters that they have intelligence that “highly suggests” the aforementioned symptoms were caused by environmental factors, not deliberate poisoning.
  • ZELENSKYY CALLS FOR PEACE: Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that his government is ready to accept a ​​neutral status as part of a peace deal with Russia.
    • In order for this to happen, Zelenskyy required a face-to-face meeting with Putin and a guarantee that Ukraine would no longer be the target of any more attacks.
  • STOP THE PRESSES: Dmitri A. Muratov, the editor-in-chief of the Russian news outlet Novaya Gazeta, announced that would cease online and print publications until the end of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
    • The Novaya Gazeta newspaper was established in 1993 and became widely known for its critical and investigative coverage of post-Soviet era politics in Russia. 
    • Many outlets described the newspaper as one of the last-standing Russian independent news outlets amid a surge of Kremlin disinformation.
  • NOT ENOUGH SANCTIONS: A majority of Americans reportedly want the White House to enforce tougher sanctions on Russia, according to a poll published on Monday by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
    • Additionally, 82% favored sending humanitarian aid to Ukraine and 64% favored sending weapons to the country.
    • Similarly, Boris Johnson promised that the UK will increase its economic pressure on Russia.

Russia-Ukraine Update for Friday, March 25

One Month Into Invasion, NATO Calls On Putin To “Immediately” End This War

  • PIZZA TIME: President Joe Biden gave a pep talk to members of the 82nd Airborne Division stationed near the Poland/Ukraine border, calling them "the finest fighting force in the world."
    • Videos of Biden eating pizza with the U.S. circulated on social media.
    • Some social media posts called Biden’s meal with the troops “touching” while others criticized the Catholic president for eating meat on a Friday during Lent.  
  • ACCIO-CANCEL CULTURE! Russian President Vladimir Putin compared recent Western criticism of Russia with efforts to “cancel” J.K. Rowling because she “didn’t satisfy the demands of gender rights.”
    • “The notorious cancel culture has become a cancellation of culture,” Putin said earlier during a video call. “Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Rachmaninov are excluded from concert posters, and Russian writers and their books are also banned.”
    • The “Harry Potter” author responded on Twitter and said that critiques of cancel culture are “not best made” by those "slaughtering civilians" in Ukraine.
  • MARIUPOL UPDATES: Ukrainian authorities have confirmed that about 300 people were killed by the Russian airstrike last week that targeted a Mariupol theater being used as a shelter.
    • These numbers make the Mariupol theater bombing the deadliest civilian attack of Putin’s monthlong invasion of Ukraine.
    • An estimated 600 people survived the attack and were rescued from the bubble.
    • The Mariupol theater attack occurred nine days ago, and some outlets noticed that the official count of casualties and survivors took as long as it did because of the absence of police officials and emergency responders in the area.
    • Ukrainian officials are saying Russian forces have turned Mariupol into “ashes of a dead land,” citing the destruction of most buildings in the city.
    • The UN received “increasing information” that proves the existence of mass graves in Mariupol that contain the corpses of civilian and military casualties. 

Russia-Ukraine Update for Thursday, March 24

One Month Into Invasion, NATO Calls On Putin To “Immediately” End This War

  • BIDEN SAYS: President Biden spoke with world leaders at an emergency NATO meeting in Brussels about coming up with a coordinated response to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Here’s what he said:
    • President Biden said his “answer is yes” when asked if Russia should be expelled from the Group of 20, which many outlets noted would further isolate Putin on the international stage.
    • If Russia was to use any chemical weapons in Ukraine, Biden assured the world that the action "would trigger a response" from NATO.
    • Biden believes that sustaining sanctions and “increasing the pain” on Putin is “what will stop him” from expanding his invasion.
    • The president also said that he hopes to see Ukrainian refugees during his visit to Poland tomorrow, highlighting his prior experience of visiting war zones and the “devastating” sight of seeing the “young children that are in those camps.” 
  • INCOMING REFUGEES: The U.S. is expected to accept up to 100,000 refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine.
    • More than 3.6 million people have now fled Ukraine, according to the latest update from the UN Refugee Agency.
  • LOST CHILDREN: About 4.3 million Ukrainian children – more than half of the country’s estimated 7.5 million child population – have been displaced over the past month, according to The United Nations Children's Fund.
    • 1.8 million of those children are fleeing into neighboring countries as refugees while 2.5 million are being displaced internally.
    • The UN human rights office has reported 78 children who have died and 105 have been injured.

Russia-Ukraine Update for Wednesday, March 23

U.S. Officially Concludes That Russian Forces Have Committed War Crimes in Ukraine

  • U.S. CONDEMNS RUSSIA: Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. government has officially concluded that members of Putin’s army have committed war crimes in Ukraine. 
    • Blinken cited various events that led the State Department to its decision including the destruction of residential buildings, firing missiles at Ukrainian cities and “leaving thousands of innocent civilians killed or wounded.”
    • In other words, this thorough legal assessment has now cemented Russia’s war crimes as a matter of fact, not opinion.
  • KYIV ATTACKED: Russian troops fired a series of missiles from a multiple-rocket launcher system into a residential area near the center of Kyiv this morning.
    • While there was “extensive” damage, the attack resulted in minor casualties. 
    • Senior U.S. defense officials have indicated that Ukrainian forces have been trying to regain territory surrounding the capital city over the past few days.
  • RUSSIAN ARMY IS SHRINKING: Putin may have lost up to 40,000 of his troops in Ukraine, according to a senior military official from NATO.
    • This means nearly 20% of Russian forces have been killed, wounded, gone missing or taken prisoner. 
    • Also, about 10% of Russia’s military equipment has reportedly been destroyed.
  • NATO TO SEND MORE TROOPS: Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg revealed to reporters in Brussels that he expects NATO to significantly bolster its troop presence in Eastern Europe.
    • This would mean strengthening the alliance “on land, in the air and at sea” across Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia.
  • CHEMICAL WARFARE: President Joe Biden labeled the possibility of Russia using chemical weapons amid its invasion of Ukraine as “a real threat.”
    • President Biden is on his way to the NATO headquarters in Brussels, where other leaders have already begun to address the possibility of chemical warfare.
    • NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg warned that the use of chemical weapons would be a “blatant violation of international law and of far-reaching consequences,” and would ​​“totally change the nature of the conflict” in Ukraine.

Russia-Ukraine Update for Tuesday, March 22

Russian Officials Don’t Rule Out Option Of Using Nuclear Weapons

  • NUCLEAR IS ON THE TABLE: Russian President Vladimir Putin spokesman Dmitri Peskov would not rule out the possibility of using nuclear weapons “if there’s a threat to the very existence of” Russia.
    • Some analysts, including former DIA intelligence Rebekah Koffler, interpreted U.S. intervention in Ukraine as the kind of threat to Russia’s existence that Peskov alluded to. 
  • INDIA IS ‘SHAKY’ President Joe Biden said that India has been “somewhat shaky… in terms of dealing with Putin’s aggression” while praising the EU, Australia, Japan and other alliance members for their cooperation.
    • India has not condemned Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and continues to purchase discounted oil from Russia. 
  • PLAYING OFFENSE: Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby alluded to “indications that the Ukrainians are going a bit more on the offense now,” particularly in the Kherson region where they are trying to regain territory.
    • Kirby also said that there is "clear evidence" that Putin has committed war crimes
  • EMERGENCY SUMMIT: President Biden is getting ready to meet with world leaders for a set of emergency summits in Brussels this week.
    • Analysts predict that strong Western unity will be on display but that the leaders will fall short on substantial actions that will end the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine
    • The White House said that Biden has "no plans" to visit Ukraine.
    • Biden is said to use his meetings in Europe later this week to urge allies to enforce stronger sanctions on Russia and to keep the pressure on China.
      • U.S. officials claim that China has not sent more weapons to Russia since Biden’s call with President Xi Jinping.

Russia-Ukraine Update for Monday, March 21

Biden Warns U.S. Companies To Take Precautions Against Possible Russian Cyberattacks

  • RUSSIAN CYBERATTACKS: The Biden administration urged U.S. businesses to take extra security precautions amid "evolving" intelligence that suggests Russia could target American companies with cyberattacks.
    • The White House outlined a number of measures that companies should enforce in wake of this information such as implementing multi-factor authentication, backing up and encrypting data, updating passwords across all networks and consulting with cybersecurity experts.
  • RISING TENSIONS: The Russian Foreign Ministry released a statement that warned relations between Washington and Moscow are “on the verge of a rupture.”
    • The statement referred to Biden’s “recent unacceptable statements” where he called Putin a “war criminal” and a “murderous dictator.” 
  • IT’S A DRAW: A number of leaders are highlighting a potential stalemate between Russia and Ukraine as both nations are showing no signs of stepping down.
    • One senior NATO intelligence official anonymously said that “if we’re not in a stalemate, we are rapidly approaching one.” 
      • He also noted that “neither side has a superiority over the other.
    • Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said that Russia has not accomplished most of its objectives since Putin initiated his invasion of Ukraine.
      • "When you look at what they have managed to do in 26 days, it’s not that impressive," Kirby noted.
  • SOVIET-ERA EQUIPMENT: The U.S. is sending Ukraine some of the Soviet-made air defense equipment to help the nation fend off Russian missile attacks, according to U.S. officials. 
    • The U.S. reportedly secretly obtained this arsenal of equipment decades ago with the objective of examining technology used by the Russian military. 
    • The Wall Street Journal (Center bias) noted that U.S. officials are hoping that this additional equipment will enable Ukraine to create a de facto no-fly zone in the absence of NATO air defenses.
  • LOW ON MISSILES: A senior US defense official revealed that Russian forces are beginning to have “inventory issues with precision-guided munitions.”
    • Russia has been heavily relying on “dumb bombs,” which don’t have the technology like precision missiles to focus on a specific target.
    • Putin’s army is increasingly bombing civilian areas in an attempt to pressure Ukraine to succumb to Moscow’s demands.
  • ‘GO HOME!’ New videos have circulated on Twitter that show Russian troops using flash-bang grenades and firing guns to disperse a rally of pro-Ukrainian protesters in the southern city of Kherson, yelling at them to “go home.”
    • The videos have not been verified yet but appear to be real.
    • There were no casualties, but at least two people were reported injured.
  • AN ‘EXTREMIST ORGANIZATION’ A Moscow court has labeled Meta an “extremist organization” following Putin’s ban of Facebook and Instagram.
    • The social media platforms were reportedly banned for restricting access to Kremlin state media and promoting messages of violence against Putin’s army.

Russia-Ukraine Update for Friday March 18: 

Putin Makes First Public Appearance Since Start Of Ukraine Invasion

  • PUTIN SHOWS HIS FACE: Russian President Vladimir Putin made his first public appearance today since the start of his Ukraine invasion at the Luzhniki arena, the largest stadium in Moscow.
    • Putin proudly cited how his “crusade against Nazism” has unified the Russian people and mentioned the acts of “genocide” that have been conducted against Russian speakers residing in eastern Ukraine.
    • Over 203,000 Russians were gathered at the arena, many of which were spotted waving Russian flags and holding posters that echoed Russian propaganda — including ones that read “For a world without Nazism” and “For Putin!”
  • RUSSIA’S NEXT MOVES: The British defense intelligence service said today that Russian forces have “made minimal progress this week” due to Ukrainian resistance.
    • Russia has continued to focus on capturing Ukrainian territories located in the South and East. 
    • Many analysts are predicting that the Russian forces have stalled due to a lack of resources such as fuel, ammunition and troops.
  • BURIED ALIVE: At least 130 people have been rescued from the Mariupol theater that Russian forces bombed earlier this week, according to a broadcast announcement from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
    • There were approximately 1300 citizens residing in the shelter, hundreds of which are still trapped alive under the rubble of the destroyed building.
  • A GLOBAL ENERGY CRISIS? The International Energy Agency predicts that the environmental repercussions of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine will intensify in the coming months unless the U.S. and other NATO nations find ways to reduce the demand for oil.
    • Some of the agency’s recommendations to conserve oil include extending the number of work-at-home days, reducing speed limits and public transportation fees, enforcing car-free Sundays in large cities and avoiding business trips when alternatives exist.
  • DEATH COUNT: As of this morning, approximately 816 people — including three dozen children — have been killed since the beginning of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. 
    • There have also been around 1,333 recorded injuries.

Russia-Ukraine Update for Thursday, March 17: 

Biden To Convince China To Use Its Influence To Stop Russia-Ukraine Conflict

  • CALLING CHINA: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said China will be made "responsibility" for any actions that ultimately support Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
    • He also hinted that President Biden will try to convince Chinese President Xi Jinping to use his influence with Putin to end the conflict in Ukraine
  • PUTIN IS A THUG: President Biden has continued to openly insult Putin, calling the Russian president a “murderous dictator, a pure thug who is waging an immoral war against the people of Ukraine.” 
    • Biden also credited Germany and Ireland for “paying a big price” by breaking their neutral stances on the Russia-Ukraine conflict. 
  • A BLOODY PROVOCATION: Following yesterday’s airstrike on the theater in Mariupol, Russia’s Defense Ministry blamed Ukrainian militants for committing “a new bloody provocation” by blowing up the building. 
    • Many outlets are reporting that satellite images captured the word “children” written twice, in Russian, on both sides of the building before the attack.
    • Ukrainian lawmaker Lesia Vasylenko confirmed that there are reports of injuries the theater bombing in Mariupol, but no deaths were mentioned.
  • GO FUND-UKRAINE: A quarter of Americans who are aware of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine have taken financial action to support Ukraine, according to data published by Fidelity Charitable. 
    • This includes donating to a nonprofit organization (54%), giving money directly to affected individuals or families (26%) or other types of economic support such as supporting a small Ukrainian business (79%).

Russia-Ukraine Update for Wednesday, March 16: 

Biden Calls Putin A ‘War Criminal’

  • President Biden told a reporter today that he thinks Putin is a “war criminal”
    • Although Biden has been clearly critical of Putin’s actions, this marks the first time he’s described him in such an abrasive way — which many outlets have called a notable shift in tone
    • He also initially misunderstood the reporter’s question and answered no, but then circled back to her and said “I think he is a war criminal”
  • Marina Ovsyannikova, the Russian state television journalist who protested Putin’s invasion of Ukraine during a live broadcast, said that she felt it was “impossible to stay silent” as she has seen many people around her — including her mother — become “brainwashed” by Russian propaganda. 
    • Ovsyannikova also expressed concern for the Russian soldiers fighting for Putin as they “don’t understand” why they are fighting.
  • Russian forces dropped a bomb on a theater in Mariupol where hundreds of innocent civilians were taking refuge.
    • The Mariupol City Council said that Russia “purposely and cynically” destroyed this theater and that “women, children, and the elderly remain in the enemy's sights.”
  • President Biden granted Ukraine an additional $800 million in security assistance, bringing the total of U.S. aid up to $1 billion.
    • The U.S. will supply the Ukrainian army with a wide array of military aid such as Stingeranti-aircraft systems and armed drones but has continued to deny any intentions of sending troops or implementing a no-fly zone over Ukraine.

Russia-Ukraine Update for Tuesday, March 15:

NATO Edges Closer To Getting Involved In Russia-Ukraine Conflict

  • Following Russia’s recent airstrike that killed dozens near the Polish border, NATO is now "very closely monitoring" the Ukrainian airspace and border.
    • Although NATO has turned down requests for a no-fly zone, the alliance’s interference in Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is clearly escalating. Estonia announcing a no-fly zone over Ukraine yesterday was one hint, and this is another. 
    • COULD THIS CHANGE? President Biden is meeting with NATO leaders in Brussels next week to address the ongoing invasion.
    • And despite Russia’s suspicions, Zelenskyy has confirmed that his country will not become a member of NATO — one of Russia’s demands to end the conflict.
  • As far as sanctions go, Russia is not taking them lightly. 
    • The Russian Foreign Ministry has announced new sanctions against Joe Biden and other U.S. officials as a result of the current administration’s “extremely Russophobic course” of actions that ban Russian officials from entering the U.S.
  • The Russian defense ministry has announced that the entire Kherson region in southern Ukraine is now under Russia’s control.
    • Many outlets are reporting that Russia is planning on declaring Kherson as an independent republic.
  • Ukraine is accusing Russia of holding medical staff, patients and innocent civilians hostage at a hospital in Mariupol. 
    • Some reports are saying that Russian soldiers also captured 400 people from neighboring houses and are now holding them in the basement where they can’t leave.
  • China has claimed that they are completely "impartial" over Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and denied the U.S. intel that suggested the Chinese government has agreed to send military equipment to Russian troops. 
    • Despite this, many European officials are growing increasingly skeptical of China’s shift in behavior since the Russia-Ukraine conflict began.
  • WHAT’S ON RUSSIA’S TV? During a broadcast on Russia-1, a state-owned Russian TV channel, a group of pundits said it was of “utmost importance” to publicly hang Ukrainians in cities that have been occupied by Russian troops.
  • Three Central European prime ministers are on their way to Kyiv right now to show “unequivocal support.
    • This will mark the first visit of its kind since the invasion began.
  • DEATH TOLL? Ukraine’s defense ministry has estimated that Russia has lost about 13,500 soldiers since its invasion of Ukraine began on Feb. 24.
    • Also, Zelenskyy estimated over the weekend that about 1,300 Ukrainian soldiers have died during the conflict.
    • Civilian casualties have been rapidly climbing as well, with the Mariupol bombing alone resulting in over 2,500 civilian deaths.

Russia-Ukraine Update for Monday, March 14:

First NATO Country Establishes No-Fly Zone Over Ukraine

  • Estonia has become the first NATO member nation to officially call for a no-fly zone over Ukraine.
    • A senior US defense official said the airspace over Ukraine “remains contested.”
    • We should keep an eye out for reactions from other world leaders as well as opinion/analysis pieces that predict what this move represents.
  • While Putin has deployed all of his assembled forces inside Ukraine, many outlets are highlighting how most military advancces remain stalled.
  • After Moscow launched a series of airstrikes at a military base near the Polish border, some outlets are saying that Russia was testing “NATO boundaries” — implying that Putin has plans to advance his invasion beyond Ukraine
  • The “difficult” fourth round of peace talks between Russian and Ukrainian negotiators are on “pause” until Tuesday, Zelenskyy confirmed.
  • Zelensky will address Congress on Wednesday — should make for a good story ID on Wednesday afternoon.
    • The two countries seem to be in communication on a daily basis, but not much progress has been made in terms of coming to a resolution.
  • Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal is calling for Russia to be expelled from the Council of Europe
    • If expelled, this would mark the first time in “modern history” where a member is excluded from the council 
  • WHAT TO THINK ABOUT: Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has entered its fourth week and updates regarding the conflict have continued to flood the homepages of most mainstream media outlets. 
    • How should we at AllSides address this? Focus more Story IDs on other topics/issues — or keep covering Ukraine as is? 
    • And better yet — what domestic topics/issues could coverage of Putin’s invasion on Ukraine possibly be overshadowing?

Russia-Ukraine Update for Friday, March 11:

Russian Forces In Ukraine Expand To The West

  • Russian forces are expanding their offensive in Ukraine to the west for the first time. 
  • Despite Russia’s broken ceasefire pledges, over 100,000 people were evacuated via evacuation corridors over the past few days. 
  • Ukraine has killed the third Russian general since the invasion began.
  • Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said Russia has started to gain momentum in its second attempt to invade Kyiv.
    • An attack on Kyiv could happen as soon as this weekend.

Russia-Ukraine Update for Thursday, March 10:

Cease-Fire Attempt Falls Flat

  • Russia and Ukraine’s top diplomats failed to agree on a 24-hour cease-fire to evacuate citizens from the line of battle.
    • Russian officials are still looking for Ukraine to officially surrender. 
    • Meanwhile, some world leaders such as European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell are saying that Putin "failed" in his belief that "he was going to conquer Ukraine" — too soon to say? It doesn’t seem like the situation has shifted that much.
  • TODAY’S CONFLICTING INFORMATION: Russia is claiming that the maternity hospital that was struck in Mariupol was a base for local radical militia and that intel told them there were no patients/hospital staff residing there.
    • Ukraine has adamantly denied this claim, with Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko calling the statement “a lie and nothing more.”
    • Reacting to the newest inflation report (which revealed that consumer prices have soared over 7.9% over the last 12 months), President Biden assured Americans that “the costs we are imposing on Putin and his cronies are far more devastating than the costs we are facing.” 
    • The Russian military is estimated to have destroyed at least $100 billion worth of infrastructure and other assets in Ukraine since the start of the invasion, according to Ukrainian presidential economic adviser Oleg Ustenko.
    • Kamala Harris pledged to donate another $50 million to the United Nation’s world food program to assist with humanitarian aid in Ukraine.

Russia-Ukraine Update for Wednesday, March 9:

Russia Bombs Maternity Hospital in Mariupol

  • Ukrainian authorities are also accusing Russia of bombing a children's and maternity hospital in the southern city of Mariupol. 
    • WHO has documented a total of 18 attacks on Ukrainian health care facilities — how does this fit into their overall strategy?
    • Side note: I’ve seen many outlets say that the war is entering a “more destructive phase” — and bombing medical facilities certainly backs that up
  • MORE DISINFORMATION: A senior U.S. defense official called out the Kremlin’s “laughable” accusation that the U.S. is researching biological weapons at Ukrainian labs — another example of Russia spreading disinformation that justifies their invasion.
    • The Kremlin also released “proof” that Ukraine intended to stage an invasion of the Donbas region.
    • As expected, Ukrainian officials are saying that Russian forces have blocked the evacuation convoys in multiple cities. 
    • Also, the U.S. is looking into why these Russian troops are going along with this invasion — there is supposed evidence that reveals some Russian troops were duped into thinking they were going on a training exercise rather than invading Ukraine.
  • President Zelenskyy has once again criticized the U.S. and NATO countries for refusing to declare a no-fly zone over Ukraine. 
    • U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken doubled down on not declaring a no-fly zone over Ukraine, claiming that the move would “almost certainly” bring the nation into the war.
  • U.S. intelligence agencies claimed that the West’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has “surprised and unsettled” Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has his eyes set on invading Taiwan in the near future. 
    • Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns said that they will “pay careful attention to” China as the Ukraine war continues
  • CONCLUSION: There’s a lot of “he said, she said” at play here. We should pay attention to how information from different nations continues to conflict with each other — and how social media has attributed to the spread of disinformation.

Russia-Ukraine Update for Tuesday, March 7:

Russian Military Blames Ukraine For Blocking Evacuation Effort 

  • The Russian military continues to deny that they are firing weapons at civilians and are placing the blame on Ukraine for blocking the evacuation effort.
    • This is a part of Russia’s larger effort to spread disinformation and create an alternate perception of the invasion.
    • For example, words like “war” or “invasion” are forbidden when describing the “peacekeeping operation.” Russian media have also blamed “extremist Ukrainian forces” for dynamiting buildings.
  • Russia also announced that they will open humanitarian corridors for evacuation tomorrow at 9:00 am in Kyiv — but Ukraine said “it is difficult to trust the occupier.”
    • Considering the fact that Russia has broken multiple ceasefires, we shouldn’t be too surprised to see them break their word again — will make a good ID tomorrow.
  • The U.S. has estimated that 8% to 10% of Russian military assets used in the invasion of Ukraine has been “destroyed or inoperable.”

Russia-Ukraine Update for Monday, March 7:

Russian Forces Have Now Fired 625 Missiles at Ukraine

  • Russian forces are continuing to increase bombing major Ukrainian cities and over 625 missiles have been fired. So, there are no signs of the invasion slowing down — especially after a third day of failed negotiations.
  • Defense Department is sending 500 troops to Eastern Europe — multiple outlets are alluding to a brewing ground conflict between the U.S. and Russia
  • There’s a bipartisan legislation being pushed that will suspend normal trading and energy imports from Russia and Belarus  — this could be used as a good example when demonstrating how the Ukraine war has sparked bipartisan unity in the U.S.
  • I’m also seeing a lot of posts on social media highlighting how people that have stayed inside Ukraine are going hungry and could starve if proper supplies aren’t delivered.

Russia-Ukraine Update for Thursday, March 3:

Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine Enters Second Week

  • A week ago today, Russia began its invasion of Ukraine. Some outlets are saying that Russian troops have slowed down over the last three days, while others are emphasizing how combat continues to intensify. 
    • The interesting part here, at least to me, is that there still isn’t an apparent partisan divide between left- and right-rated outlets.
    • Biases might become more clear once the conflict escalates and the U.S. has to make a clear stance, but we might want to reapproach how we analyze media bias on this topic. Any ideas?
  • Other notable updates:
    • Many leaders, including the Biden administration and European leaders, have expressed that darker days lie ahead.
    • The US believes the Russian military convoy headed toward Kyiv is still “stalled.”
    • The International Criminal Court said it would launch an investigation following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
    • Russia has launched more than 480 on Ukraine since the start of the invasion.

Russia-Ukraine Update for Wednesday, March 2:

Russia Targets Seaport Cities in Ukraine

  • With Kyiv out of the picture (for now), it seems like Russia is going after seaport cities across the southern border of Ukraine.
    • Russian state media reported earlier today that they had taken full control of Kherson (an important seaport on the Black Sea that’s home to a major shipbuilding enterprise).
    • Both the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense and Kherson’s mayor, however, have denied that the Russians have gained control.
    • Another key seaport city, Mariupol, is reportedly circled by 500,000 Russian troops that have been firing missiles and tactical rockets at civilian buildings for almost 24 hours straight. 
  • Other notable updates:
    • A spokesman for Putin said that Russia's delegation is prepared for a second round of peace talks on the Ukraine-Belarus border. Neither side seemed to budge from their position on Monday. 
    • Ukrainian officials claim that 2,000 civilians killed since the Russian invasion began on Feb. 24. 
    • The recent assassination attempt against President Zelenskyy was “foiled,” according to Ukraine.