The full-scale Russian attack on Ukraine on 24 February 2022 has been ongoing for one month. Many key events have occurred since then. The most significant developments in the Russia-Ukraine conflict are listed below.
1. Over 1,000 civilians were killed in Ukraine
The UN human rights office reports at least 1,035 deaths and 1,650 injuries in one month of fighting in Ukraine. In the statement, ninety children are listed as dead, adding that the real death toll may be much higher due to delays in reporting from heavily fought areas such as Mariupol, a city surrounded by southern Ukraine.
2. Troop casualties
Ukraine reports 15,800 Russian soldiers have been killed. According to Western estimates, 40,000 Russian soldiers are dead, wounded, missing, or otherwise disabled. Zelensky said last week that 1,300 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed. Kyiv has not responded.
3. Europe’s worst refugee crisis since WWII
A month ago, Russia invaded Ukraine, forcing nearly 3.7 million civilians to flee. According to estimates, over a quarter of the population of areas under government control before the invasion on February 24 has fled. Over 6.5 million of them are internally displaced. Nearly half of them are children. Over half the country’s estimated 7.5 million children — 4.3 million — have been forced to leave their homes. Over 1.8 million of these children are refugees, while another 2.5 million are internally displaced.
4. Brussels triple summit
In Brussels, the leaders of NATO, the G7, and European nations convened for the first triple summit since the Balkan wars of the 1990s. Western leaders piled on military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine and criticized Moscow’s invasion as ‘barbaric’. In addition to the new NATO combat units, the U.S. and the United Kingdom increased aid and expanded sanctions against new targets, including Sergei Lavrov’s stepdaughter.
5. NATO bolsters its defenses
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance is beefing up chemical and nuclear defenses in eastern Europe in response to Russia’s war on Ukraine. General Wolters has activated NATO’s chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defence capabilities. Allies are deploying chemical and biological defenses to reinforce our existing and new battle groups.
6. Ukraine asks for unlimited aid
On the eve of its second month of the war, Ukraine has asked NATO for unlimited military aid so that its troops can turn from defending territory to pushing the Russian forces out and warning that Moscow might use chemical weapons. According to Volodymyr Zelensky, Russia has been launching phosphor bombs on Ukraine and shelling civilian areas at will, therefore the threat of Russian chemical weapons being used on the territory of Ukraine is real. ‘A month of heroic resistance. A month of the darkest suffering,’ he told the leaders.
7. Resolution approves Ukraine aid, criticizes Russia
Over three-quarters of the UN General Assembly have urged aid access and civilian protection in Ukraine, criticizing Russia for creating a ‘dire’ humanitarian crisis. This is the second time the 193-member General Assembly has isolated Russia over what Moscow says is a ‘special military operation’ designed to destroy Ukraine’s military infrastructure. In total, 140 countries supported the resolution (Ukraine and its allies), four countries opposed it (North Korea, Syria, Eritrea and Belarus), and 38 countries abstained (including China).
8. Russian claims of ‘prior knowledge’ of Ukraine attacks
According to China’s ministry of defense, it is false to state that China was aware of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in advance. According to foreign media, China ignored US warnings that Russia would attack Ukraine. Chinese defense ministry slammed these accusations as an attempt to smear China and shirk responsibility.
9. China helps Russia avoid sanctions by setting red lines
Beijing has been warned by the Biden administration not to take advantage of business opportunities created by sanctions, evade Russia’s export restrictions, or process its banned financial transactions in order to prevent Beijing from assisting sanctions-hit Russia. Despite its deep concern over the war in Ukraine, China has yet to condemn Russian action.
10. Ukrainian war crimes prosecutor calls for international support
‘Things can get worse’ unless the international community takes action, warned the International Criminal Court chief prosecutor. ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan spoke at a meeting of a coalition led by the United Kingdom in The Hague. 38 nations have offered the court financial, military, and legal assistance. Khan opened a formal inquiry into war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine on Feb. 28, just days after Russia invaded its smaller neighbor. Russia and Ukraine aren’t members of the ICC, but Kyiv has permitted the court to investigate its territory and a team of investigators is gathering evidence there.