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The war between Russia and Ukraine: Some key events in the conflict

Two million people – half of them children – have fled Ukraine in less than two weeks since Russia invaded the country, officials said on Tuesday, as Europe’s worst post-World War II refugee crisis escalates with each passing year. day.

The humanitarian situation in the besieged cities of the country has become even more difficult, including in Mariupol, where the bodies lay unharmed on the streets and hopes for a mass evacuation of civilians have been dashed.

A Ukrainian military official said the country mostly needs air defense systems.

Here’s a look at the basics you need to know about war:

WHAT IS A DIRECT TESTIMONY OR CONFIRMED BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS?

Women and children in Mariupol gathered in a shelter in a basement as an outgoing artillery fire blazed in the distance. One of the women, Goma Jana, complains: “Why not cry? I want my home, I want my job. I’m so sad for the people and the city, for the children. “

Civilians in Mariupol, a city of about 430,000 people, have been without water, heating, sanitation and telephone services for several days, and many have turned to shopping. A video shows a Ukrainian soldier telling people, “People, please be united. You don’t have to panic. Please don’t steal everything. You will live here together. ”

Videos show people boarding buses in Sumy on Tuesday and red-marked buses driving on a snowy road as they leave town. Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said the two sides had agreed to a ceasefire from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. to evacuate Sumy civilians heading southwest to the Ukrainian city of Poltava.

HOW DO THEY OPPOSE THE EVACUATION?

Vereshchuk said 5,000 people had been evacuated from Sumy. The Russian military has given a different figure, saying 723 people have been evacuated from the city, identifying them as mostly Indian citizens and the rest from China, Jordan and Tunisia. It does not mention Ukrainians among the evacuees.

But the planned evacuation of civilians from Mariupol failed because Russian troops fired on a Ukrainian convoy carrying humanitarian goods to the city, which would later transport people, Vereshchuk said.

Natalia Mudrenko, an employee of Ukraine’s mission to the United Nations, accused Russia of effectively holding civilian “hostages” and said the “critical situation” in Mariupol and other cities required immediate action by world leaders and humanitarian and medical organizations.

She told a UN Security Council meeting Tuesday afternoon that civilians, mostly women and children, “are not allowed to leave and humanitarian aid is not allowed.

The Russian military has refused to fire on convoys, accusing Ukraine of blocking evacuation efforts.

Repeated attempts to create safe evacuation corridors have failed since last weekend amid ongoing fighting and objections to the proposed routes.

WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING TO THE AUNT?

Russian aircraft bombed residential areas around Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, and Zhytomyr, west of Kyiv, on Tuesday night, and its military also stepped up shelling of Kyiv’s suburbs, Ukrainian emergency services said.

In Malin, a town of 25,000 near Zhytomyr, the bombing killed at least five people, including two children, and destroyed a textile factory and seven houses, the agency said. Two people were killed, including a 7-year-old child, in the Chukhuev bombing near Kharkov.

Ukrainian authorities also reported severe conditions in the Kyiv suburbs of Bucha, Hostomel, Irpen, Vyshgorod and Borodyanka, including the bodies of those who could not be buried.

The mayor of Lviv said the city in far western Ukraine was struggling to feed and shelter more than 200,000 people who had fled there. The displaced are accommodated in gyms, schools and other buildings of the city.

In the nearly two weeks since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the invasion, his forces have taken over parts of southern and coastal Ukraine, but their offensive has been halted in many areas, including around Kyiv.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has vowed that his country will fight Russia’s invasion of its cities, fields and river banks.

“We will not give up and we will not lose,” he told the British House of Commons in a video, calling out the “never give up” speech that Winston Churchill delivered during World War II.

HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KILLED?

Thousands of people, civilians and soldiers, are believed to have been killed, but the actual number is unknown.

The United States believes that Russia underestimated the strength of Ukraine’s resistance before launching its invasion and suffered thousands of casualties, National Intelligence Director Avril Haynes told lawmakers in Washington on Tuesday.

AID FOR UKRAINE?

Additional air defense capabilities are Ukraine’s number one priority, Major General Boris Kremenetsky, a defense attaché at the Ukrainian embassy in Washington, said on Tuesday after a visit to the Pentagon.

“These could be ground-based air defense systems. These can be fighter jets, as much as possible, “Kremenets told the Associated Press.

He said there were countries around the world that had Soviet-made air defense systems that Ukrainians knew how to work with.

“The US government can also motivate these countries to provide us with this equipment,” he said.

Poland said on Tuesday it would give all its MiG-29 fighters to the United States, which Ukrainian pilots have been trained to fly. But the Pentagon said Poland’s offer to give US planes so they could be handed over to Ukraine was unsuccessful and raised serious concerns about the NATO alliance.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the United States would continue talks with Poland on the issue.

HAVE THE SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA DROPPED?

Yes. US President Joe Biden said the United States would ban all imports of Russian oil, even if it meant raising costs for Americans, especially the gas station. Energy exports maintain a steady flow of money to Russia, despite the otherwise severe constraints it faces.

Russia’s central bank has sharply tightened currency restrictions in a way not seen since Soviet times. He ordered commercial banks in the country to limit the amount that customers can withdraw from their hard currency deposits to $ 10,000 in US dollars. All withdrawals above this amount will be converted into rubles at the current exchange rate.

Rising prices for oil and other vital goods, such as wheat used for government-subsidized bread and noodles, are shaking world markets.

McDonald’s, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and General Electric announced on Tuesday that they were suspending their business in Russia. Shell said Tuesday it would stop buying Russian oil after Ukrainian authorities criticized the energy giant for buying a shipment of oil from Moscow.

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Follow the AP’s coverage of the Russia-Ukraine war: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

The war between Russia and Ukraine: Some key events in the conflict

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