One month into Russia-Ukraine war: What all has happened so far

A month has passed since Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The war has claimed tens of thousands of lives and has displaced more than 10 million people. Some of Ukraine’s biggest towns and cities have been reduced to rubble. In what is widely being seen as the biggest threat to international security since World War II, the war in Ukraine has rattled the world order.
From Kyiv to Mariupol — we trace Russia’s advances across Ukraine.
It all started with an early-morning televised address Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 24, where he announced ‘a special military campaign’ against Ukraine. Notably, the Kremlin still refuses to call the attack on Ukraine a ‘war’, and has instead directed officials and state-run media to refer to it as a ‘special military operation’

Putin invaded the Eastern European nation with the aim of “demilitarisation and denazification”. Within minutes, explosions were heard across many Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv and Kharkiv. Unbeknownst to the residents of these cities, Russian troops had already deployed missiles and launched air raids on Ukraine’s military stations and were steadily rolling in from Crimea and Belarus.
Putin asserted that he had little choice but to launch an invasion after NATO refused to accept its security demands.
Kharkiv: Neighbours try to extinguish the fire of a house, destroyed after a Russian attack in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 24, 2022. (AP)
The first city to bear the brunt of Russian aggression was the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, located just about 75 kilometres south of Belarus. At the same time, thousands were enling in Ukraine’s army to fight the Russian invasion. Grim fighting broke out between troops in Kyiv, Kharkiv and several other cities, as the Ukrainian forces fought hard to repel Russian advances.
Meanwhile, after a brief but fierce battle, Russian troops were able to capture the Chernol nuclear plant in northern Ukraine, the site of one of the worst nuclear disasters in human hory. On the first day of Russia’s violent invasion of Ukraine, its military forces overran the plant and held several staff members of the Chernol facilities hostage, Ukrainian authorities said.
Kyiv: In this image from video provided the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks to world leaders attending the NATO summit in Brussels from Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 24, 2022. (AP)
Russia’s attack on Chernol was not out of the blue. Since the shortest route from the Russian border to Kyiv passes through Chernol, Ukraine had deployed security forces to guard the area months ago, New York Times reported.
On March 1, a 65-km Russian military convoy began to close in on Ukraine’s capital. Military officials feared that these were the early signs of a full-blown assault on Kyiv. UK Deputy Prime Miner Dominic Raab had at the time said that Britain would do “everything is can to delay the fall of Kyiv.
On this day, Naveen Shekharappa an Indian medical student studying in Kharkiv died due to Russian shelling.
Kharkiv: Ukrainian servicemen rest in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 22, 2022. (AP)
The Russian offensive followed close on the heels of failed ceasefire talks between the two countries earlier that week. Russia continued shelling several residential areas across Kharkiv and other big cities after negotiations fell through. Pressure also began to increase on the port city of Mariupol in the east and Kherson in the South. According to Human Rights Watch, the Russians were using cluster bombs against civilians.
On March 2, Russia was able to seize its first major city — Kherson in southern Ukraine. The city is significant from a strategic perspective as it links Russia-annexed Crimean Peninsula to the Ukrainian mainland.
Russia then turned its attention to Mariuopol, a key southeastern port city. About a week later, Russian airstrikes hit a maternity hospital here, killing three and injuring over a dozen people. “Today Russia committed a huge crime,” said Volodymir Nikulin, a top regional police official. “It is a war crime without any justification.” According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, several children and others were trapped under the rubble.
Mariupol: In this satellite photo from Planet Labs PBC, the Donetsk Academic Regional Drama Theater, center left, that had been sheltering those fleeing Russia’s war on Ukraine is seen in ruins in Mariupol, Ukraine, Monday, March 21, 2022. (AP)
But despite global condemnation, Russian troops continued to bombard the port city, sending thousands of civilians running for cover. On March 10, Russia bombed an evacuation corridor, cutting off food, water, medicines and humanitarian aid from reaching the city.
The next day, Russia called for a ceasefire, permitting civilians to evacuate the war-torn cities of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Mariupol, Chernihiv and Sumy. But Ukraine and the West accused Moscow of not honouring the ceasefire agreement.
Kyiv: A man sweeps in his apartment ruined after Russian shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, March 21, 2022. (AP)
On March 13, Russia expanded its attack to western Ukraine, launching several deadly missile strikes on the military base in Yavoriv, located around 25 km away the country’s border with Poland. At least 35 people were killed.

Authorities in Ukraine accused Russian forces of bombing a theatre in Mariupol on March 14, where hundreds of civilians had sought shelter after the invasion. Images of the Mariupol Drama Theatre released after the attack showed the entire middle section of the building completely destroyed. According to Ukrainian authorities, pregnant women and children were trapped under the debris.
Days later, Russian missiles hit the western Ukrainian city of Lviv. While two of the missiles were intercepted, four others struck an aircraft hangar, killing one person.
Despite Russian forces continuing to lay siege on Mariupol, Ukraine on March 21 refused to accept a Russian ultimatum to surrender the port city.

Related Articles

Back to top button