Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “special military operation” into neighboring Ukraine began on Feb. 24, with Russian troops invading from Belarus, to the north, and Russia, to the east. Russian forces have since been met with “stiff resistance” from Ukrainians, according to U.S. officials.
In recent days, Russian forces have retreated from northern Ukraine, leaving behind a trail of death and destruction. After graphic images emerged of civilians lying dead in the streets of Bucha, a town northwest of Kyiv, the United States and European countries accused Russia of committing war crimes.
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Two Men at War
A look at the two leaders at the center of the war in Ukraine and how they both rose to power, the difference in their leadership and what led to this moment in history.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he is committed to pressing for peace despite Russia’s attacks on civilians, according to The Associated Press.
Zelenskyy also called for countries to send Ukraine more weapons ahead of an expected surge in fighting in the east, according to the AP.
“No one wants to negotiate with a person or people who tortured this nation. It’s all understandable. And as a man, as a father, I understand this very well,” Zelenskyy told The AP. But “we don’t want to lose opportunities, if we have them, for a diplomatic solution.”
“We have to fight, but fight for life. You can’t fight for dust when there is nothing and no people. That’s why it is important to stop this war,” he said to The AP.
Zelenskyy told the AP he is confident Ukrainians would accept peace despite the horrors they witnessed in the war.
The “Stand Up for Ukraine” global pledging event and campaign raised 9.1 billion euros, or $9.8 billion (USD), for people fleeing the invasion of Ukraine.
The money raised includes 1 billion euros from the European Commission.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development also announced a loan of 1 billion euros to cover the needs of people displaced by the invasion.
Ukraine’s defense ministry said it found 132 “tormented bodies” of tortured, murdered citizens in the town of Makariv, after Russian forces retreated.
The ministry said it uncovered “new monstrous war crimes,” saying the town is “half ruined.”
-ABC News’ Mike Trew
The Russian defense ministry claimed it fired on the Ukrainian Apache, a dry-cargo ship, which allegedly changed course and attempted to break through to the Mariupol seaport, the ministry said.
The Ukrainian dry-cargo ship did not respond to Russian border guards’ demands to contact them through the international channel and continued heading in the direction of Mariupol port, Russia claimed.
Russia said two border patrol ships fired warning artillery along the vessel’s course, but the cargo ship did not change course or slow down.
The cargo ship, over radio communication, transmitted a message, saying, “I am ‘Maniac’, coming for you,” and signal fires were observed on the shore, according to Russia’s defense ministry.
The Black Sea Fleet then opened artillery fire on the Apache dry-cargo ship to block the vessel, Russia’s defense ministry said.
A direct hit caused a fire in the stern of the ship and it then went adrift. The crew got in touch with border ships with a request to cease fire and said they will comply with the demands of Russian sailors, Russia said.
Russia said no crew members were injured and the fire was extinguished by the ship’s crew.
The ship was inspected and then convoyed to the Yeysk port along with its crew, according to Russia.