As the Russia-Ukraine war enters its 31st day, we take a look at key developments.
These are the main events so far on Saturday, March 26th. Get the latest updates here.
- Russia says the first phase of its military operation has been largely completed and would focus on “liberating” the breakaway Donbass region of eastern Ukraine. Reframing his goals could make it easier for Russian President Vladimir Putin to claim a face-saving victory, analysts say.
- Putin’s forces are under great pressure in many parts of the country, and the United States and other countries are accelerating the transfer of arms and supplies to Ukraine.
- Three hundred people may have been killed in the bombing of a theater in Mariupol, local officials say. Russia says 1,351 of its soldiers have died since the war began on Feb. 24, while the UN says it has confirmed 1,081 civilian deaths in Ukraine.
- At least 34 attacks on Ukrainian medical facilities were carried out by Russian forces, according to the Associated Press.
- Thousands of kilometers from Ukraine, Russia is carrying out military exercises on islands claimed by Tokyo, Japanese media reported, days after Moscow halted peace talks with Japan over its sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
- The war in Ukraine has killed 136 children so far, according to Ukraine’s attorney general’s office, and the number of children injured has reached 199.
- The Russian attack on Ukraine has fueled allegations that Moscow is committing war crimes by killing civilians, either deliberately or by indiscriminate fire.
- In the northern city of Chernihiv, Russian troops are deliberately attacking places where food is being stored, a local official said. It is estimated that over 130,000 people remain in the city, which had a pre-war population of 285,000.
- About 3.7 million people fled Ukraine, which had a pre-war population of 44 million.
- The United Nations is investigating allegations that civilians were forcibly moved from the besieged southern city of Mariupol to Russia.
- US President Joe Biden is in Poland to pay tribute to a country that has taken in more than two million Ukrainian refugees who were forced to flee their homes.
- Biden meets with refugees and will comment on joint efforts to support the people of Ukraine and hold Russia accountable for its invasion of Ukraine.
- The United States and the European Union have announced a move to tighten Russia even further – a partnership to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian energy and dry up the billions of dollars the Kremlin receives from the sale of fuel. The US will supply Europe with more liquefied natural gas to help reduce dependence on Russia.
- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov described Western efforts to sanction Russia internationally as “total war”. He says the aim was to “destroy, break, annihilate, strangle the Russian economy and Russia as a whole.”
- Germany’s economy minister said his country had forged contracts with new suppliers that would significantly reduce its dependence on Russian coal, gas and oil in the coming weeks.
- The war is pushing up commodity prices and is likely to dampen global growth prospects, said US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
- Chinese state-owned Sinopec group has suspended talks for a major petrochemical investment and gas trading venture in Russia, sources told Reuters news agency, following a government call for caution as Western sanctions escalate.